One of the best things about embroidery is that it doesn’t take long to get started. With just a few basic, inexpensive supplies, you can start sewing a variety of projects. And depending on your level of cunning, you might already have a needle and thread handy!
The longer you embroider, the more you will realize that there are many supplies that, while not necessary for sewing, make crafting easier and more enjoyable. They’re not fancy tools – and some even double as office supplies – but they help you stay organized and let you challenge yourself with increasingly complex designs.
Need help with your embroidery shopping list? Scroll below for some of our favorite supplies, from a good pair of scissors to a handy needle guard.
Basic Hand Embroidery Supplies
If you’re going to embroider on fabric, you’ll want to invest in at least two embroidery hoops of different sizes. They range from a few inches to over a foot in diameter. Most are made of wood or plastic; all require you to tighten a screw at the top of the hoop to hold your fabric taut as you work.
Try that: Darice Wooden Embroidery Hoop
You’ll need a needle for embroidery, of course, but it’s worth knowing a bit more about how size works. Embroidery needles are numbered from 1 to 12: the smaller the number, the larger the size (for example, 1 would be larger than 12). Not all needles are the same. Look for needles intended for embroidery as opposed to those used for tapestry.
Try that: Dritz embroidery needles, size 3 to 9
You can use any scissors to cut the wire, but you’ll find it easier to cut the wire with a sharp pair in your hand. This will ensure that your dental floss does not fray. (It’s much harder to thread a needle with frayed thread!)
DMC is the industry standard for embroidery floss, also known as dental floss. They have hundreds of different colors with each skein comprising six strands of yarn.
Try that: DMC Popular Floss Colors, 36 Pack
Beyond Basic Embroidery Supplies
Dot and Dot Stabilizer Paper
Dot and Dot Stabilizer is a special paper packet that goes in your printer. Used for patterns, you can print a pattern onto its special fibers which you then peel and stick onto your fabric. When you are done sewing, simply wash it off with warm water.
Try that: Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch Stabilizer
water soluble pen
A water-soluble pen is another option when you want to transfer a design to fabric. This special pen will stay on your fabric until, like the stick and stitch stabilizer, you remove it by running your project under the tap or dabbing it with a damp cloth.
Try that: Dritz Disappearing Ink marking pen
Spools of dental floss
Everyone has their own way of organizing their yarn, but one of the most popular methods is to wind a DMC skein onto a spool of yarn. Just be sure to mark the color number on the can as well!
dental floss organizer case
If you find yourself embroidering a lot, it’s imperative that you stay organized. Try to classify your thread by color and its DMC number; you’ll save a lot of time searching for the color you need to complete this pattern.
Try that: Darice Floss Organizer
With so many spools of thread, it can be difficult to keep track of the colors of thread you use for a particular project. Metal rings keep your thread spools neat and together as you work. And when you’re done, they can be easily stored in your dental floss organizer case.
Try that: Loose Leaf Binder Rings, 15 Pack
Worried about losing your needles? Keep your fears at bay by using a needle guard. It’s basically an enamel pin with a super strong magnet. When you’re done sewing or changing threads, place your needle against it so it stays in place.
Try that: Unicorn Needle Minder by Kiriki Press
You’ll probably use more than one needle in your embroidery, so store them all in a handy needle book. The fabric book features thin fleece pages that keep needles (and other notions) safe until you get back to that project.
Try that: Needle Book by Stitchcrafty Designs
26 hand embroidery designs ready to download and start sewing
Ultimate Embroidery Guide: How It All Began and How to Start Today
Embroidery artists use needle and thread to “paint” beautiful stitched artwork