It's so handy to be able to make your own aperture cards for showing off your cross stitch designs and sending them to family and friends. By making your own you can create any colour card you want, that best shows off your finished pieces, and you can also make it any size you want allowing you to make any small cross stitch piece into a card.
Here's a step by step guide to making your own aperture cards!
What you will need:
Trace the outline of the card, including the aperture, onto your piece of card including the extra piece that will go inside the card to back your cross stitch.
Cut out the card, but not the aperture
Use a craft knife and a ruler to cut out the aperture. Make sure you do use a ruler for this bit as freehand edges often leads to wobbly edges!
My template has curved edges, cut these freehand after you have cut the straight edges with the ruler.
Centre the cross stitch design inside the aperture. Use the edges of the card to mark the fabric so that you know where to cut. I use a water soluble fabric pen for this but you can use a pencil as you won't see these edges once they are inside the card.
Cut out your design one square smaller than your line using fabric scissors.
Stick double sided tape around the edges of the aperture on the inside of the card.
Remove the backing from the tape and then carefully place your cross stitch piece centrally in the frame. This should be straight forwards as you have carefully measured and cut your piece already.
Stick double side tape on the corners of your backing piece. Stick this over the back of your cross stitch for a neat finish inside.
Marvel at your beautiful aperture card! If you make your cards a standard size (A6 for example) then you can use a pack of standard envelopes. Or why not make your own?
P.S If you love this card and would like more designs to fit into the template below then the designs are available here.
P.P.S I've linked up some supplies in the post as a Love Crafts Affiliate. When you purchase through these links I get a small commission at now extra cost to you. Thanks so much for shopping with my links!
P.P.P.S Get you free aperture card template (plus all my other free downloads) to your inbox by adding your email below!
Thinking about trying Cross Stitch but not sure where to start? Cross Stitch is such a fun and easy hobby and it doesn't take long to get the hang of it.
It is, however, much easier shown in video than explained in words! This free video tutorial covers:
This video will give you all the basics to get started with cross stitching and you can also download the pattern and kit list required to make this design below.
P.S If you need some help on the kit you need for cross stitchthen check out my post on the essentials you need to get stitching.
Get the Scandi bird hoop design plus kit list direct to your inbox by signing up here:
Cross Stitch is such an easy and versatile hobby that really doesn’t require much in the way of supplies – though of course when you get into it you might ending up growing quite a collection of fabric and threads, but then that’s all part of the fun!
Here is a run down of what you need to get started:
Cross Stitch uses embroidery threads, also called stranded cotton, which come in what is called skeins. Major brands include DMC and Anchor.I use DMC threads that you can shop here.
Each colour has a different number which the pattern designer will quote so that you can order the right colour thread. You can, of course, change up patterns to use colours you already have or just prefer.
The best cross stitch fabric for beginners is called Aida and comes in lots of lovely colours and patterns like this selection. It has regular holes across the fabric which make it easy to form those little x’s. You’ll be best starting with a 14 count fabric in a light colour like white or beige (it is a little trickier to stitch on dark fabrics)
Embroidery hoops come in all shapes and sizes and you can even frame your work in them. In Cross Stitch embroidery hoops are used to hold your fabric taut, making it easier to stitch. They aren’t essential though and you can stitch without them.
When you find a new pattern they may suggest the size of embroidery hoop to get so that the design will fit within it at the end (if you want to frame it in the hoop). If you are looking for a small, manageable hoop to hold and stitch with thena six inch hoop is a good option.
You will also need a sharp pair of scissors. Embroidery scissors are small and have a sharp point making it easy to snip little threads.
Cross Stitch Needle
Simply search for ‘cross stitch needles’ online or go for size24 or 26 needles.
This is the really fun part, choosing your pattern! Your pattern will have the image on a grid (like graph paper) and a key which tells you what colour thread to stitch each cross.
You can buy patterns online which come as PDF downloads straight to your inbox on sites like Etsy. I have a range of simple beginner friendly patterns in my shop. I have also included a free download below of some tropical mini motifs so that you can practice your stitching!
Or Try a Kit….
You can also purchase complete kits for cross stitch which come with everything you need to get started. In the long run these end up more expensive but can be a good option when you are just starting out. Here are some lovely options available on Love Crafts.
If you would like some help learning the basics of stitching then do check out my free mini course that comes with a free Scandi Bird hoop design.
Get the free mini motifs to your inbox by entering your details below.
Please Note - This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase via these links we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for using our links!
This month on the podcast we have been talking all about what to do with your cross stitch supplies. Of course stitching and collecting supplies are two separate and equally valid hobbies but it can leave us in a bit of a conundrum as to what to do with all our beautiful sewing supplies as our collection blossoms!
Here are some of my tips, linked up to where you can get hold of them. Stitch Talk is an affiliate partner of Love Crafts so we receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you purchase via our link which helps us to keep the podcast going so thanks so much for shopping via our links!
Fabric and Patterns
Whole Project Storage
Do check out the episode for more tips and let me know your storage solutions in the comments below or over on Instagram!
Fancy making one of your cross stitch projects into a wall hanging? I made this cross stitch wall hanging with only items I already had at home. No need to order any new or hard to sources kit!
So here’s how to do it:
2. Use your cross stitch design as a guide to cut one piece of wadding (not essential but nice if you have it) or felt and a piece of fabric down to the same size.
3. Cut 1cm from around the edge of your wadding/felt piece.
4. Lay the cross stitch design and fabric right sides together. Insert the string/ribbon for your hanging in between the two pieces facing downwards (see image below)
5. Stitch around the two layers of fabric on three sides of your piece, leaving the bottom edge of the hanging open and unstitched. Use a 1cm seam allowance for this.6. Trim across the corners where you have stitched and then turn the pattern and fabric right side out. Give it a good press.
7. Insert the wadding/felt inside the wall hanging.
8. Cut a piece of stiff cardboard (I used an packaging box) to the length of your hanging minus 2cm. Insert this into the very top of your hanging. This will keep the top edge stiff so that it hangs straight.
9. Fold the bottom edges under by 1cm and pin.
10. Stitch around the whole of the hanging using a 5mm seam allowance. Try not the catch the cardboard with your needle, it really won’t like that!
11. Give it a final press and voila! You have yourself a brand new cross stitch wall hanging!
If you are anything like me, as your love of cross stitch grows so will your pile of finished pieces! Very quickly you can run out of wall space and wonder what to do with all these beautiful things you are creating. To give you a helping us hand I have pulled together this list of ‘Cross Stitch Items to Make’.
If you are part of my Design Your Own Cross Stitch Pattern course then you might also think about designing specifically for the design to be made into an object. I don’t see that many of these kinds of patterns around so it could also be a unique way of setting a new cross stitch business apart.
Cross Stitch Items also make fantastic gifts so if you are being very diligent and thinking about your Christmas gifting then some of these ideas may be a great place to start.
Do check out my Pinterest board on Cross Stitch Items as I have pinned some tutorials there for how to make some of these items. I’ll keep updating that as I come across new ones.
I had in my mind that I wasn’t going to write another blog post for a couple of weeks but after writing my post on Tuesday about tips for sketching and receiving the responses that I have I just had to get these thoughts out and share them with you all.
Because one of the main responses I have had to my last post is a resounding ‘yes’. Yes to feeling fearful about creating original sketches. Yes to being afraid to get those patterns of our imagination out there. Yes to the fear of not being good enough and so not creating anything to begin with. For every person that has contacted me to tell me about the designs that have just never come to be because of this fear I have felt the frustration grow inside of me as I have heard about each uncreated dream.
For every person I have spoken too I have urged them to squelch those fears in whatever way they can because the world needs our creativity. The stitching community really does want those beautiful designs. Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and thought ‘ugh, no! Not another lovely cross stitch pattern, who needs one of those?!’ No! Of course not! Because every design that every designer bravely puts out into the world brings us such joy. We just want more of it. And if you have designs inside of you then you are part of that. We need your creativity. We need your imagination. We really, really want to see it.
After all, only you can create what you have inside your mind. That is your idea, that has been given to you and no one else has it. If you don’t create it, it will never exist. It is as simple as that. So, lovely friends and stitchers, please put pencil to paper, please create whatever it is you have within you to create.
Of course there is my pattern design course, and that is where all this thinking came from, but it doesn’t have to be that. Whatever you want to create and whatever means you have to do it, just get it out there. We’ve had a really rough ride of it the last few months and the world needs more beauty, more creativity and more joy so please bring it if you have it within you. We can’t wait to see it.
I find that one of the biggest hurdles that people face when approaching my cross stitch pattern design course is the fear of drawing. I often wonder where this fear comes from, someone looming over our shoulder and judging our efforts when we were at school perhaps? Or just the feeling that in some fundamental way we aren’t artistic or good enough to create the things we have in our imaginations?
The belief that we cannot draw can make picking up that pencil and paper feel like a overwhelming task and so can block all of that creativity that is waiting there to flow. For me, drawing is a bit like singing. A singing teacher once told me that there are very few people who truly cannot sing in tune but there are many, many people who believe they can’t and so struggle to even open their mouth and try.
Drawing, like singing, is a skill that takes practice and you really can do it! The ideas of our imaginations are ours and ours alone, only we can create them so don’t let that critical voice in your mind stop you from setting those ideas free.
So here are my top tips for improving your drawing skills and bringing those patterns of your imagination to life!
Down time is something that we all need and we, as stitchers have a head start on this. We know how important it is to make time for things that matter to us. We know how enjoyable the rhythmic motion of thread through fabric feels. We know the joy of creating something beautiful and we make time for all of this. Stitching is, I believe, naturally relaxing but how can we maximize on its benefits to calm our minds? How can we make the most of our stitching time and really leave it feeling revived and more energized than before?
Here’s a few tips from Mindful Stitching HQ, where relaxing stitching is always the order of the day!
This week we enjoyed some rare sunshine in the UK and it was warm enough to sit out in the evening and enjoy some stitching. Stitching in nature gives double benefits I believe. The stitching relaxes you but so do the sounds of nature around you. Can you escape off for n hour or two a stitch somewhere extra beautiful? Or can you make the view from your favourite stitching place and inspirational one? Where I stitch I surround myself with projects I have completed. I find it inspiring and joy making. Where I stitch truly transforms my experience.
The Perfect Drink
Whether it is a special tea, your favourite flavoured coffee or perhaps even a chilled glass of wine, there is something so special about sitting down with something delicious to accompany your stitching. While you are savouring that drink you will also wind down and savour your stitching time.
A Relaxing Pattern
Some patterns lend themselves to truly relaxing and mindful stitching more than others. Sometimes it is great to take on a challenge but other times you might simply want to sink into your stitching, to enjoy the rhythm of it and the feel of the needle in your hand. If this is your goal then you might consider patterns that focus on a few key colours and shapes. Perhaps even go for a scene that makes you feel serene and relaxed. That is what we aim to do with all our patterns at the Mindful Stitching Company. We focus on blocks of beautiful colour in our patterns and designs that evoke peaceful and happy times to bring you that sense of calm you are looking for in your stitching.
Slow Right Down
Sometimes we are all chasing that elusive finish. When I’m feeling this way I can suddenly find that my shoulders are all tense and I’m hunched up in my chair. I’m not relaxing at all! I leave those sessions feeling more anxious than I began, the opposite of the goal of my stitching time. Instead I try to remind myself to breath deep, stitch slow and enjoy the process.
Follow these tips and you’ll be blissfully stitching in no time and that, after all, is what we are all seeking and what you very much deserve.
Like many people my cross stitching journey began when I was very young. If you grew up in the UK around the 80s or 90s then I'm sure you will remember the 'Forever Friends' craze down at your local Clintons (for anyone outside the UK, sorry, that will be total nonsense to you!)
That was where my cross stitching began, with a Forever Friends teddy kit that sat in a tupperware box my Mum wasn't using that I worked away at in front of the TV. I don't know that I ever even finished that kit but it planted something that only truly grew later on in life. A love of colour, of thread, of the simple act of putting a needle through fabric and of seeing an image come to life.
Since childhood I have always been a lover of craft. In fact I would go so far as to say that craft has been the thing that has saved me numerous times in my life. It has been a distraction when I needed it, an outlet for creativity when the rest of life felt stale, a place of peace and rest at the end of a busy day. Cross stitch truly came into it's own for me when I was pregnant. Prior to this I was spending a lot of my spare time dressmaking, something I still love to do. But suddenly, with my bump every growing, crawling around on the floor shifting around pattern pieces wasn't quite the enjoyable activity it was before. I decided to pick up a sampler, a woodland animals themed one to match my plans for my baby's nursery. About ten stitches into that piece I was hooked. As soon as it was finished I was desperate to get onto the next piece as fast as I possibly could.
And that next piece is one that now hangs proudly in my hall, the Bothy Threads Love Tree. This piece of cross stitching not only accompanied me through the last weeks of my pregnancy (during a heatwave I might add!) but also came with me to hospital and helped me pass the time while I was being induced and waiting for my baby to finally make his arrival. It might sound cheesy but I felt like I stitched love into that piece of cross stitch. It was my outlet for all of worries, hopes and expectations. Every time I look at it now I think of that time and remember how I held it in my hands every day as I went became a Mum.
Motherhood hasn't slowed down my stitching, in fact it has been the perfect accompaniment to these early year with my son. Now I have a craft room that is covered wall to wall in finished projects, each one reminding me of a special time in my life or simply making me smile. And now, of course, some of my own designs are up there. The culmination of all my stitching hopes and dreams! I have designed for what I love to stitch best, for special occasions and to remember special moments in my life and that is what I hope to continue to do.
But the best feeling of all on my cross stitch journey? When I see someone else create my designs to remind them of their own special times. My heart was at its fullest when someone told me they were stitching my Greek hoop design to remember their engagement on a sun soaked Greek Island. In some small way I feel part of their special moment and it is the best!
So how about you? When did you start stitching and what does it bring to your life? I'd love to hear your stories.