5 Easy Hand Embroidery Stitches for Beginners | Full Guide

When I started embroidery I was a bit afraid of how many stitches I will have to learn to embroider something beautiful. I was glad when I learned that I do not need to know a lot of stitches, most popular & useful I will describe for you here.

These 5 Easy Hand Embroidery Stitches for Beginners are easy to learn & are easy for beginners and I will share my biggest tip with you – tension is the key! Your hands need to adjust the right amount of tension and then your stitches will look beautiful. To master tension, you need to practice. Sounds simple, right?

Let’s dive in and learn more about 5 basic hand embroidery stitches as the beginning of our journey into the amazing world of embroidery.


You will need:

  • needle,
  • 6 strand embroidery or Cross Stitch Thread,
  • hoop,
  • and test cloth.

1. Straight Stitch or Free Stitch

Straight stitch is one of my favourite stitches. I use it a lot. Here is my video on how to make it and why I love to use it so often.

2. Running stitch – version of straight stitch

Running stitch is like a straight stitch continuing with spaces in longer lines. 

myembroiderypassions running stitch tutorial

1. pull the thread through point 1 and insert the needle through point 2.

2. decide on space distance & pull the thread through point 1 and insert the needle through point 2.

3. repeat the process to reach the desired length.

You can also check out my tutorial on YouTube 🙂

4. Here is one example, where I have used Running stitch as decorative edging – this is my Variegated Monstera.

myembroiderypassions variegated monstera banggood product review

3. Backstitch

Backstitch is the strongest stitch you can make with your hand. You can use it every time you need to sew something very strong and you do not have a sewing machine to do it.


1. Bring the needle up through the fabric.

2. Stitch to the next point and go through the fabric.

The process is clearly seen on the YouTube video below.

4. French knot

French knots are very cute and add texture. Tension is also key here and with some practice, you will soon make beautiful knots.


1. bring the needle up at 1.

2. Hold the thread up taut with the other hand and wrap the thread twice around the end of a needle.

3. gently pull the thread so that the wrapped threads tighten and while holding it taut, insert needle next to 1. Pull the thread through onto the back until the knot is formed and lies securely on the surface.

5. Leaf stitch

I found this very good video, where the process of creating leaf stitch is very well shown. You can use this stitch on any flower or tree.

Where you can use embroidery stitches?

Straight stitch– for simple decoration of kids dresses, sweaters or blouses.
– you can use it randomly – long or short – and create more texture on your surface.
– you can cover a larger area with it.
Running stitch– use it as a decorative border.
– use it as the fill of bigger area.
Backstitch– whenever we have a quick turn in the pattern.
– when you need to sew something with a strong stitch.
French knot– the centre of daisies & other flowers.
– stand-alone flower cluster.
Leaf Stitch– to embroider flower or plant leaves
Description usage of embroidery stitches

Ideas for your future work

MANDALA: You can make a beautiful mandala pattern with described stitches

mandala myembroiderypassions

FLOWERS – different flowers can be embroidered using these stitches. Here is a beautiful example of a variation of straight stitch – in this technique, it is called satin stitch. I regularly use satin stitch in embroidery because it helps me achieve a similar look as I would paint with colours. I am far from being a master of this stitch, but with practice, I will grow more skills and it will be easier for me to achieve the look that I aim for.flowers myembroiderypassions

You can also embroider letters and verses as a special gift on towels or pillows. This is trully a unique and special gift for your loved ones.

letters myembroiderypassions


Conclusion – are you ready to start?

You can use these stitches to start with your first project – check out my post on How to Sew a Hand Embroidery Flower Design Purse, it’s free tutorial and I hope it will inspire your creativity.

These are 5 easy hand embroidery stitches for Beginners that you need to know before you start working on your first embroidery kit. You can practice them on any fabric, you just need thread and a needle. I found, even more, beginner embroidery stitch ideas on Knitting For Profitread HERE.

Please, let me know if the photos of the embroidery process are OK – I made them myself. Should I redo them? I have also added videos from other embroiderers for better clarification.

I would also love to hear from you if you will like for me to show you another stitch that you have heard about and never tried.

Enjoy creating and stay safe & healthy,


PS1: For more ideas Check out Craftsy’s Free Classes!

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