Whether you’re a new stitcher or highly experienced it’s so much easier when you have the right cross stitch tools. While it’s true you can start cross stitching with as little as: a needle, some thread, and a bit of fabric, adding any or all of our classy 10 tools and gadgets below will be sure to make life much easier for you.
I’ll also tell you where you can get them too. Most of them can be bought from Amazon.com so it’s always worth checking there.
Ten Cross Stitch Tools To Enhance Your Stitching Experience
Here are our must have cross stitch gadgets and tools every stitcher should at least try out. I believe you’ll find several, if not all, of these cross stitch aids will be a highly useful addition to your armory.
Gingher Embroidery Scissors
Beginner stitchers tend to use any old scissors lying around the house, which is just about OK if you’re still undecided whether cross stitch is for you.
However, if you’re committed to stitching you should always have at least one pair of good quality embroidery scissors so they will last and not rust.
Never use them for anything other than your cross-stitch or similar work. NEVER use them on paper. It is the fastest way to dull the blades.
I have other, cheaper pairs around the house for family members to use, and I keep my cross-stitch scissors in my stitching bag. Some stitchers sew a piece of fabric through one of the finger holes, so everyone knows “Don’t Touch!”.
For me the best scissors for needlework are those made by Gingher. They have an elegant design so they look really great, are well balanced, functional and very sharp.
You can get them at a number of outlets, including Manhatten Wardrobe Supply.
Floss Bobbin Winder
For cross stitchers who like to stitch larger projects – those using 50 or more colors – will find using a floss bobbins winder saves you so much time when preparing for your next project. Same goes for those of you who store their floss on plastic bobbins, this is one of those cross stitch tools that makes life so much easier.
Made from sturdy plastic, bobbin winders are cheap to buy and can be obtained online from a number of outlets, including 123stitch.com.
Here’s a short video (less than 2 minutes) showing how to wind floss onto a bobbin winder manually.
For many stitchers, threading their cross stitch needles can be tricky and they could do with a little help. Help, which come in the guise of this inexpensive needle threader.
While there are several different kinds threaders, a number of them tend to be flimsy with easily broken wires. Personally, I prefer the one-piece metal type for their safe strength and durability. They enable you to thread needles quickly and safely.
With the double ended LoRan threader, you can thread those needles which have a long eye, such as embroidery, tapestry, and chenille needles.
You can get this cross stitch gadget from forsmallhands.com.
Magnetic Needle Minder
Until I got my first needle minder, I lost way too many needles. More often than not, they were found by hubby sitting or standing on them – he was NOT impressed!
Thankfully, that’s now a thing of the past thanks to my magnetic needle minders. When not in use, the needles stick to them like glue, which is so convenient.
While not essential for all stitchers, this is one of those cross stitch tools that is a godsend for my family. Lost or missing needles was becoming a bone of contention.
While it’s great to add seed beads to your cross stitch for both depth and increased interest, the tiny beads can be tricky to pick up and thread.
LoRan makes a bead nabber ring I really like and is easy to use. You simply slip the ring onto your finger, lightly press onto the beads to pick them up, then thread them. It also protects you from accidentally stabbing yourself.
Again, you can buy these from several outlets, including Thunderbirds Supply.
A thread conditioner is a product that can be the answer to your stitching prayers by providing an invisible and virtually impenetrable coating on your floss to protect it from color-damaging UV rays, mold and mildew.
This allows your floss to glide through the fabric easily, making stitching both easier and neater. The best thread conditioner is ‘Thread Magic’ by Taylor Seville Originals.
To use ‘Thread Magic’, you separate the strands of floss, coating them individually by drawing the strands across the surface of the product.
Then you will need to draw the thread between your forefinger and thumb. This will create a minute static charge that reduces tangling.
Easy Count Guideline
Easy-Count Guideline is a bright red nylon thread that enables you to locate the exact point you’re seeking on the fabric, especially on large cross stitch projects. This reduces stitch counting time significantly and therefore improves your stitching speed.
The Guideline is installed with a running stitch and forms squares to match the cross stitch grid pattern of the fabric, thus making stitching a breeze.
Why not give Easy-Count Guideline a try with your next cross-stitch project? We encourage you to try this invaluable cross stitch tool to make those larger, more detailed cross-stitch projects flow with ease!
You’ll save time and frustration by crafting more beautiful cross-stitch artwork in a shorter time and with fewer mistakes (less frogging!).
Proper lighting is absolutely essential for Cross Stitch success, and of course for the continuing health of your eyes as well. It is so much easier to stitch on any Cross Stitch Stitching Surface when it is well-illuminated.
A magnifier will also help you to see your work better. They are many different types you can buy, ranging from those that hang from your neck to those that are fixed to stands and even have a light attached too. They all free up your hands … for stitching.
Buying a lap-light (light box) that sends light up through the fabric can help you to see the holes in the fabric through which the needle should go. A less sophisticated way of doing this is to place a piece of material of contrasting color to your fabric underneath your stitching.
Since this is such a broad subject, giving any in-depth advice is beyond the scope of this article, so if you’d like to know more, check out this article on magnifying lamps.
The magnifier lamp featured is one of many from Amazon.com and attaches around your neck to give you optimum viewing of small stitches and patterns.
To help any cross stitch project go as smoothly as possible, it’s essential, for your own peace of mind, to keep your still-to-be-used threads neat and tidy.
A thread organizer is a great option because it enables you to cut all your threads to length and then loop them through the holes on the thread organizer, so it’s ready to go when you need it. And all this before you start stitching.
A solid wooden or plastic thread organizer is a great choice because you can use it repeatedly for successive projects. However, if money’s tight or you’d just like to make one of your own, then checkout this article for a quick and simple thread organizer.
There are a lot of cross stitch tools for organizing your threads at lots of sites online. This must-have tool came from Amazon.com.
Perhaps less of a tool and more of an alternative to fabric. However, if you’ve never tried cross stitching on plastic canvas, you should!
With plastic canvas, you can create unique cross stitch projects that you can’t create with fabric. For instance, because the plastic is firm, you can even create three-dimensional projects.
Plastic canvas is great for projects such as:
- Tissue box covers
- Christmas ornaments
- Children’s projects
Plastic canvas traditionally comes in 7, 10, and 14-count. Since it’s made from plastic, it’s tough and will last and, therefore, is perfect for seasonal decorations.
It’s also terrific to use when you’re creating a project you want to display or use in your everyday life, such as a tissue box cover or a bookmark.
Plastic canvas is a great accessory for teaching children how to do cross-stitch and needlepoint. It comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors.
Plastic canvas is readily available online, including Blicks.com
There are many more gadgets and gizmos you can use for your needlework. I nearly included a seam ripper here, but decided against it since virtually every active stitcher probably has one already.
As an aside, this interesting video by “Sunshine” will give you an insight into what she considers to be must-have cross stitch tools:
So there you have our ten neat cross stitch tools and gadgets that will enable you to do your stitching quicker and easier, and therefore it follows you’ll have much more enjoyment and fun!
I hope you enjoyed this article and found some of the ideas in it useful. I’d love to hear from you with any must-have cross stitch tools YOU cannot do without, in the comments section below. I will always reply to you.
Scarlet, “In the UK”.