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Making Cross Stitch Patterns

Are you a cross stitch enthusiast looking to take your skills to the next level? Do you want to create your own unique cross stitch designs? Look no further than the art of making cross stitch patterns. This technique allows you to transform your creativity into cross stitch patterns that can be stitched and shared with others. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making cross stitch patterns so that you can create beautiful and personalized designs.

What is making cross stitch patterns?

Cross stitch is a type of embroidery that involves sewing X-shaped stitches on a piece of fabric to create a pattern. Making cross stitch patterns is the process of designing your own patterns for use in cross stitch. This allows you to create an original design that represents your individual style and vision.

The benefits of making cross stitch patterns

Making cross stitch patterns has several benefits. First, it allows you to express your individual creativity. You can create designs that reflect your unique perspective on the world. Second, it allows you to customize patterns to suit your own needs. You can adjust the size, color, and complexity of your patterns to fit the materials you have available and the time you have to complete the project. Finally, it allows you to share your designs with others. You can sell or gift your patterns to other cross stitch enthusiasts who may be looking for something new and original.

How to make a cross stitch pattern

Step 1: Choose a design

The first step in making a cross stitch pattern is to choose a design. You can either create one yourself or use an existing design as a reference. Websites like Pinterest and Etsy are great places to find inspiration. You can also use the images from the data provided to spark your imagination.

Step 2: Choose a program or method

Once you have a design, you need to choose a program or method to create your pattern. There are many software programs available that can help you create cross stitch patterns, such as Adobe Illustrator, PCStitch, and PhotoPad. Alternatively, you can use graph paper and colored pencils to create a pattern by hand.

Step 3: Import your design or start drawing

Now that you have a design and a program or method, it’s time to create your pattern. If you are using a software program, you can import your design and start working. If you are working by hand, start drawing your pattern on the graph paper.

Step 4: Adjust the size and colors

Once you have created an initial pattern using your chosen program or method, you may want to adjust the size or change the colors. Depending on the program or method you have chosen, this process may differ. Photoshop allows you to use filters to convert a photo into a cross stitch pattern. PCStitch and cross stitch designer software are other options that allow you to select the color and size of your pattern. For hand-drawn patterns, you will need to consider the different shades of thread and adjust the graph paper accordingly.

Step 5: Print your pattern and start stitching

Once you have completed your pattern and made any necessary adjustments, it’s time to print it out and start stitching. Make sure you have the right materials on hand, including fabrics, needles, and embroidery floss. Then start stitching each X-shaped stitch to create your pattern.

Different tips for making cross stitch patterns

Select the right fabric

The type of fabric you choose for your cross stitch pattern can affect the overall appearance of the design. Aida fabric is the most common choice for cross stitch because it’s easy to manipulate and count. However, other fabrics such as linen or evenweave can offer finer detail.

Choose the right color

The colors you choose for your cross stitch pattern can affect the final look of your design. Don't hesitate to experiment with different color combinations that work best with your project, but make sure to test them first by running a small stitch count or sample on your fabric before you commit to a larger amount.

Keep the thread tension consistent

Thread tension, or how tightly or loosely you pull the thread that you use in the stitches, is crucial when stitching. Too tight and your stitches will warp, and too loose will make your stitches look untidy and uneven. Consult the product instructions on the thread you plan on using, or if necessary, tighten or loosen the thread tension with the help of your local needlework/embroidery shop.

The best programs for making cross stitch patterns


PCStitch is available for Windows and Mac, and it’s widely considered to be one of the best cross stitch software programs out there. It has a large library of pre-existing patterns and has a way to create your custom templates with your chosen colors.

Stitch Crafts

Stitch Crafts is a free online platform that offers an easy-to-use basic version and a paid version with advanced features. It has a tool that automatically generates patterns from photos.


MyCrossStitch is an online cross stitching pattern software that allows you to upload a photo or an image to be transformed into a chart format that you can customize with size, color, and stitch style.

Pattern Keeper

Pattern Keeper is an app that makes it simple to view and keep track of your patterns while stitching without printing out patterns or losing track of your place. You can also create custom patterns by uploading your image and letting Pattern Keeper do the work of transforming your image into a workable pattern.


Making cross stitch patterns is an excellent way to express creativity and individuality. With the right tools and techniques, anyone can design and stitch their own unique patterns. If you're a beginner, try easy designs before moving on to more complex patterns. Additionally, always make sure to have the proper materials before diving into your project. Happy stitching!

Making Cross Stitch Pattern


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