5 Basic Hand Embroidery Stitches for Beginners

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 basic hand embroidery stitches 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 dive in and learn more about 5 basic stitches for beginners as the beginning of our journey into embroidery.


You will need:

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1. Straight Stitch

Straight stitch is a classical beginners stitch. it is important that it is straight – this is its name 😉 

1. make a knot.

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

3. pull gently yet firmly.

4. congratulations, your first straight stitch is finished.

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

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

3. repeat the process to reach desired length.

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. Back stitch

Backstitch is the strongest stitch you can make with hand. You can use it every time when 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 next point and go through the fabric.

Process is clearly seen on YouTube video bellow.

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 thread up taut with other hand and wrap the thread twice around end of 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 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 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 strong stitch.
French knot – 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 beautiful mandala pattern with described stitches

mandala myembroiderypassions

FLOWERS – different flowers can be embroidered using these stitches. Here is a beautiful example of variation of straight stitch. in these technique it is called satin stitch. I regurarly use satin stitch in embroidery because it helps me achive similar look like I would paint with colors. I am far from being 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 unique and special gift for your loved ones.

letters myembroiderypassions


Conclusion – are you ready to start?

These are 5 basic stitches 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 needle. I found, even more, beginners embroidery stitch ideas on Knitting For Profitread HERE.

Even, if you have never seen them before, sketches and names of stitches will be provided in the instructions that will be packaged with your embroidery kit. I have already finished my Monstera plant, where I played with colours – there you will use only 2 stitches for embroidery. My new 2 pack dog embroidery kit for beginners has arrived – to embroider your first dog you will need to know 5 stitches, all of them are described 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 another stitch that you have heard about and never tried it.

Enjoy creating and stay safe & healthy,


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

PS2: you may also like this:

PS: more embroidery reading…

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