How to Cross Stitch Letters or Make Letter Patterns

By Genevieve Van Wyden
Create cross stitched lettering designs for special gifts.

Some cross stitched gifts may not need lettering when you make them. Other gifts, such as blankets, pillow coverings and wall hangings, can be personalized when you take the time to add cross stitch lettering. Depending on the recipient of the gift, choose from different letter styles, such as line lettering, script lettering or letters created with cross stitches. As you think of the lettering style, don’t forget size, which should not be allowed to overpower the design.

Creating Letters for Cross Stitch

Look at the cross stitch pattern of the item that you are stitching, and find the design size. This is the height and width of the actual cross stitched area. For a larger design area, you’ll need larger letters.

Count out the number of squares needed vertically and horizontally for the pattern design area. Do the same on the graph paper.

Draw an outline on the graph paper that matches the pattern design area of the item that you are stitching.

Draw letters lightly on the graph paper, according to what you have decided best fits the design that you are stitching. Draw the letters outside the design area that you just drew onto the graph paper. If you have chosen line lettering, draw out block, straight letters or italic/script letters. If you have decided to make each letter using cross stitches, lightly draw an outline of the letters that you need. Carefully erase stray marks. Use colored pencils or markers to draw line lettering.

Color in each square using the colored pencils or markers for letters that will be made using cross stitches.

Cut out the entire lettering area that you just drew, and position it on the cross stitch pattern, centering it. Once it is centered, tape the lettering pattern to the cross stitch pattern.

Cross Stitching Letters

Look at your cross stitched design on the fabric, and count the number of squares you need in between it and the top or bottom of the first letter that you will be placing into the fabric. Some lettering may be stitched above the design area, and other lettering may be stitched below the design area.

Place the first lettering stitch according to the placement of the lettering pattern that you just drew, cut out and centered on the cross stitch pattern.

Stitch each letter, using the lettering style and embroidery floss colors that you selected as you created the lettering pattern.

Slide the tapestry needle and embroidery floss in between the back of the fabric and floss to catch and secure the floss ends as you finish with each color.

Tip

Your graph paper should have the same number of squares per block as shown in your cross stitch design pattern.

Warning

Do not make knots on the back of your cross stitch work. They will show on the front and distort the design.

About the Author

Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.