Hand Embroidery: Easy Tips to Help You Get Started

Needle Thread Hand Embroidery

Hand Embroidery Made Easy!

Do you have a plain t-shirt, dress or blouse that could be your favorite if only it had a bit more pizazz? The good news is that, thanks to hand embroidery, enlivening your favorite plain tee is probably easier than you thought.  In this brief post we’re going to address the concept of hand embroidery and provide you with a few free resources to help kick start your foray into this decorating medium.

Before we go into hand embroidery here’s a brief explanation of the concept as explained by Wise Geek:

“…Hand embroidery differs from counted cross stitch in that it uses many different types of stitches to achieve texture and interest, whereas counted cross stitch uses a single stitch and relies on color and shading for texture.

Counted cross stitch is worked from a graph, where the printed design is rendered as a series of X’s and the artist stitches the design accordingly. Embroidery designs may be stamped or drawn on the material, or they can be done freehand. Embroidery uses embroidery floss and an embroidery needle…”

Some of the more popular hand embroidery stitches like satin, French knot and lazy daisy tend to be really simple.

One word of advice, though, is that the type of material with which you choose to create your embroidered pieces will affect the finished look. The most commonly used material or medium is embroidery floss. These mediums come in a wide range of textures and colors.

For instance, you could do hand embroidery with silk floss, acrylic floss and cotton floss.  Another embroidery medium is silk or satin ribbon.

Most of these mediums are easily found at your local craft store. Your biggest challenge, here, is usually being able to pick a color for your hand embroidered items.  Now that you have your thread, here are a couple of resources to help you get started:


One of the best places to find out how to do hand embroidery crafts is on sites such as YouTube.  You can also find high quality hand embroidery videos on clothing craft related blogs and forums.


In addition to videos there are also a number of excellent instructional books on hand embroidery that you could find at your local library or book store. One book that seems to be referenced a lot online is A.G. Christie’s Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving.  Also, Needle N Thread provides reviews of several online free book resources which are a great starting point for those of you who are new to embroidery.

Other Resources

If you’d like to try hand embroidery for the first time but are at a loss for a really nice design you can also check out general embroidery design sites. Many of them allow you to download free embroidery designs directly from their websites.

Even if you don’t have the perfect shirt to embroider, you can find terrific wholesale priced blank t-shirts on the Rock Bottom T-Shirts website. For more inspiration, here are some wonderful embroidery blogs that you can check out.

We hope that you found these hand embroidery resources to be helpful.  We’d also like to hear your thoughts.  Is hand embroidery something that you already do or have been considering? You can let us know what you think by responding to this post with a comment.


Filed under crafts, Crafts/Projects, embroidery

3 responses to “Hand Embroidery: Easy Tips to Help You Get Started

  1. Pingback: A Lesson in Back to School Shopping from the Mother of a Teenage Daughter – Part I | Rock Bottom T-Shirts Blog

  2. Pingback: E is for Embroidery | moonlit garden

  3. Pingback: From the Archives – Top 10 Craft Posts from the Rock Bottom T-Shirts Blog | Rock Bottom T-Shirts Blog

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