How to design your own cross stitch pattern

Cross Stitch Flowers

Cross stitched flowers


What you will need:

  • a picture to convert to cross stitch
  • tracing graph paper
  • markers or coloured pencils
  • a floss shade card

handpainted vintage postcard

Original image (handpainted vintage postcard)

1. Choose a tracing graph paper which correspond in size to the fabric count you will use (the higher the count, the more detailed your design will be). You can download and print it here for free.

How To Design Your Own Cross Stitch Pattern

2. Lay the tracing graph paper over the image you would like to convert and redraw the image by colouring the grid squares.

How To Design Your Own Cross Stitch Pattern - 1

3. Add backstitch lines, french knots or beads.

How To Design Your Own Cross Stitch Pattern - 2

4. Use a shade card to match thread colours and make a simple chart key with thread numbers.

How To Design Your Own Cross Stitch Pattern - 3

5. Now you can stitch your design!

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Needlebook stitched on 32 count cream linen


Free cross stitch pattern by Ajisai Press


… Digital Delivery …


Blank cross stitch gridsBLANK CROSS STITCH GRIDS

This PDF contains 4 printable blank grids:
– 11 count Aida
– 14 count Aida and 28 count linen
– 16 count Aida and 32 count linen
– 18 count Aida and 36 count linen
You can print these grids on A4 white paper or tracing paper.


Click here for MORE INFO.



9 thoughts on “How to design your own cross stitch pattern

  1. Pingback: stitch kit- tracing design on the aida cloth - IndusLadies

  2. Lailamoharram

    I have a question please help. The colour used to draw on fabric is oil or water or any pencils or what

    1. Valentina Sardu Post author

      In cross stitch, the pattern is generally drawn on a graph paper, not on the fabric: each square represents one stitch and you have to count the threads of the linen to know where to put the design. Anyway, a water soluble pen can be helpful to mark some guidelines on the fabric before stitching (the two central lines or the whole grid).

  3. LeAnn Jardine

    Thank you so much for these directions. I have been wondering how to go about making a photo into a cross stich. This will help me more than you know!

  4. Tiffany Freeman

    I came across your page while trying to find something cross-stitch worthy for an installation I am doing featuring literature memorialized in cross-stitch. Would you consider converting your prints to a cross-stitch pattern or allowing me permission to do so (no for resale/reproduction – exclusively for the installation)? Thank you for your time. Beautiful work!



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