In this post, I am sharing my 7 tips on teaching kids how to cross stitch and sharing my reasons why I think it’s good to teach kids cross stitch.
When I say kids, I don’t necessarily mean it has to be your child. Maybe you work with kids, you foster, you’re planning kids, you have nieces, nephews or grandchildren, this is just some advice on what we can do make learning cross stitch even more fun and enjoyable (for you as well as the kids).
You can listen to the episode below or read the post further down.
And if you haven’t got time to read the full post now scroll to the bottom and pin the image for later!
Why teach kids how to cross stitch?
I think cross stitch is a wonderful thing to teach children. Especially in this modern world of screen and technology, what a lovely gift to help them learn to cross stitch.
And here are some other reasons:
- It’s doable. Once they know how to start, tie off and do an X they’re good to go. (They might need a little extra help with tying on and off at first though).
- Cross stitch patterns are easy to follow.
- Cross stitch needles are blunt so safer than ordinary sewing/embroidery needles.
- It is something you can enjoy together which can mean more stitching time for you!
7 tips to teach kids how to cross stitch
These aren’t actual tutorials on how to stitch, but instead, it’s more advice to make the teaching part more fun. If you need any tutorials to show them I have video tutorials in my how to guide and I’m sure there are more tutorials specific for kids on YouTube.
1. Give them freedom
When you are first getting started I don’t recommend buying a kit or pattern for the kids to follow. Instead, just pop some aida in a hoop (I recommend a flexi hoop for kids), let them choose some threads and just get the hang of going in and out of the aida with a needle and thread.
2. Be present
First of all, make sure you are supervising the kids at all times. There are going to be scissors around and although the needle is blunt it can still hurt if you poke yourself with it.
I also recommend moving your phone away so you aren’t tempted to scroll through while the kids are busy stitching. No judgment, I totally get it! It’s so easy to pick up your phone during those quiet times.
But this is a great way to teach kids a hobby that doesn’t involve screens so try not to be on yours.
Instead, get your stitching out and join them in some screen-free relaxation!
3. Let them pick their supplies
Teaching them doesn’t start when they learn to stitch it starts before that. I’m not saying go in the shop and let them go crazy and buy all of the craft supplies. You could just let them pick some from your craft stash. But just let them lead the way and make the decisions here.
You could also let them make a board on your Pinterest and pick some designs or kits that they like.
4. Let them design their own cross stitch pattern
Maybe you could even help them design their own pattern on graph paper. Or you can get a blank grid with my free patttern planning sheets which you can get for free by signing up for my newsletter.
They can just write their name (there are lots of free fonts on Pinterest) or some simple shade. Just see what they come up with with your help.
5. Be patient
They won’t get the hang the first time around and this can actually be a little frustrating.
Again, no judgment as this is me! I know how easy it is to get frustrated if the kids aren’t really listening or following the pattern properly and it’s hard to step back and let them do their own things.
But this is what I recommend you do so you don’t put them off.
And it’s why it’s nice to have your own stitching with you. If they don’t want your help then just be next to them, have a stitch and try to let the perfectionism go.
6. Be ok with them not carrying on
You might be desperate for your kids to do this with you but not all kids are going to love cross stitch.
My 6 year old wasn’t overly interested when he was 5, but I’m going to try him with it again. We have to let them do their own thing and come back when/if they’re ready.
I started cross stitching for a while when I was 6/7 but then stopped for nearly 15 years before I came back to it and now look at me.
If your kids aren’t interested right now, be OK and just try again in a few months.
7. Make it even more fun
I think cross stitch is fun enough already, but for kids, it might not be very entertaining. I have a few ideas on this one.
- If you’re up for it, get their friends involved too. You could get them all together with a table full of cross stitch supplies and have a little cross stitch party!
- You can paint the hoops. Do this before to prepare for stitching or after to jazz it up a bit. You can also stick pom-pom trim around the hoop when it’s finished and framed.
- Speaking of jazzing it up, let them add other things to their fabric like sequins, buttons or pom-poms or any other embellishments they want. It doesn’t just have to be stitching on there.
I hope this has given you some ideas on teaching kids how to cross stitch. Of course, you might not want to teach the kids in your life how to cross stitch because this your hobby to help you relax after a full day with kids so that’s totally OK. You don’t have to teach your kids how to cross stitch, but if you do I hope this these tips have helped you.
If you are wondering about kits and patterns for kids I have set up a cross stitch for kids Pinterest board that ou can follow for some ideas and inspiration for kids kits and patterns.
I’d love to see you stitching with your kids so be sure to tag me on Instagram and look out in my stories for my attempts to get my kids started with it (again). @hannahhandmakes