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How to Make and Design Your Own Needlepoint

Almost any design can be turned into needlepoint. Simple designs that contain mostly straight lines, outlines and slight curves transfer easily to cloth. When beginning, it is best to pick straightforward designs such as flowers, letters and shapes. Creating a needlepoint design of your own lets you choose the size of your project. Additionally, making your own needlepoint design allows you to experiment with different color choices and patterns.

Things You'll Need:

  • Colored Thread
  • Needle
  • Pencil
  • Needlepoint Frame
  • Canvas
  • Graph Paper
  • Colored Pencils

Choose a design to turn into needlepoint. If you’re having trouble thinking of a design, websites such as Truswell Needlework Design or Pegasus Originals can give you some ideas for patterns. (See Resources.)

Draw your design onto a piece of graph paper to create the grid. If you have a photocopy or a printout you can draw a grid over the picture instead.

Color in sections of your design as desired to match the thread colors. Use your custom design the same way as any other needlepoint pattern.

If desired, draw the needlepoint design onto the piece of canvas by placing the design underneath the cloth and tracing it with a pencil.

Pull your canvas taught on the needlepoint frame.

Start with any interior stitching, filling in holes with the continental stitch.

Finish by adding outlines using a backstitch.


The cloth should be at least 2 inches larger on all sides than the design.

Use a few small pieces of tape to attach the design to the cloth to prevent it from moving while tracing.

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