Designing Your Own Cross Stitch Embroidery Patterns

As you learn to cross stitch embroider with more skill and precision, you often find that you would like to cross stitch something unique or something which you cannot find a pattern for. When faced with this challenge, you have one of two choices – you can give up or your can make your own pattern! Making your own pattern is not that hard and can provide you with an amazing sense of accomplishment once you have finished cross stitching your design.

Designing your own cross stitch pattern will allow you the freedom to create just about any design you want. It will also allow you to be able to cross stitch your favorite photos and other memorabilia.

Supplies You Will Need

To design your own cross stitch pattern you will need to gather up the following items: graph paper, a sharp pencil, a good eraser, colored pencils and possibly a floss color chart from your favorite embroidery thread maker.

You can find good pencils and erasers in the art supply store or even in the office supply section of your local drugstore. You want to use a very sharp pencil and a good eraser which will clearly remove any pencil marks and not smear them on the paper. The gummy form of erasers used by drafts people are perfect for this. Graph paper can also be found in the same places, or you can print it out from your computer using Excel or an Internet website. You will want your graph paper to have at least eight squares per inch.

Once you have drawn your design then you will want to shade it in using your colored pencils and thread color guide. This will allow you to have a list of thread colors to purchase from your craft store to stitch your design.

The easiest way to deal with the size of your final design is to use graph paper which as the same number of squares in it that your cross stitch fabric does. If you are using 16 count fabrics, then if you design on graph paper with 16 squares per inch, your design and your final stitched project will be the exact same size. It is very, very important to keep the final size of your project in mind while you do your designing.

Making Your Design

To make your first cross stitch chart you will want to start by drawing your design and, for the most part, ignoring the lines of the graph paper. Once your design is complete then you will need to take the time to make your design able to be converted to cross stitch work. To do this, you will work to square off round edges and mark the areas where you will need to do partial stitching and all of your over-stitching for finalizing your project.

If you would like your design to have a three dimensional look to it you will want to add some simple shading. Do this by imagining a light-source and where the shadows on the page would be if the light source was shining on your design. This takes some time to master, but it can really help your designs to look more realistic.

Once your shading is complete, then you can color in your design with your colored pencils. This will allow you to “see” your final design and decide exactly which colors you want to use. This is where your thread guide comes in; you will use it to match up to your design and create a list of threads to purchase for your project.

Designing your own cross stitch embroidery patterns can be a really rewarding thing to do. It is not simple, and it takes a bit of time to master, but it allows you to be able to stitch anything you can imagine. You can create just the right look on paper and then make it come to life on fabric. The only limitation is that of your mind.