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Double cross stitch for hand embroidery

Updated: May 19, 2022

Double cross stitch is exactly what it sounds like: two cross stitches right on top of each other. I like to use this stitch for simple embellishments where a French knot just isn’t the best fit (and if you stitch with me each month or have picked up one of my digital patterns, you know I absolutely love a French knot embellishment!).

Photo of 10 double cross stitches in pink, yellow, and green, on a bright orange fabric. The hoop sits on a bright pink background, surrounded by embroidery supplies.
Double cross stitches make for wonderful embellishments in hand embroidery!

In today’s post, you’ll find step-by-step instructions in written, photo, and video format (feel free to jump ahead to the brief video tutorial at the end of this post, should that be your preferred way to learn!). I've also included a few notes on how you might easily modify this stitch to fit your particular needs.

Step 1: Create a single cross stitch.

Hope holds up an embroidery hoop with a pale yellow cross stitch on bright orange fabric.

Step 2: Create a second cross stitch on top of your first.

Next, place a second cross stitch on top of your first.

Hope holds up an embroidery hoop with a pale straight stitch overlapping the cross stitch from the previous photo.
Hope shows the camera that she has created a second straight stitch in pink, leaving her with a finished double cross stitch in yellow and pink on her bright orange hoop.

Modifying the double cross stitch

One way to modify the double cross stitch in hand embroidery is by varying the lengths of your stitches. In the photo below, you can see that I've made my stitch length on the second cross stitch much shorter than on my first cross stitch, creating an almost star-like effect.

Hope holds up her hoop, which now has a second double cross stitch; this one has a much smaller "top" cross stitch than the "base," which makes it look almost like a star!

Another way to modify this stitch is through the use of color. In the photos above, I created my double cross stitches with a base cross stitch in pale yellow, and a top cross stitch in pale pink. In the example below, you can see what those same stitches look like when using the same color for both layers.

Hope holds up her hoop, to which she's now added two additional double cross stitches which she stitched in a dark green color (versus the varying pink and yellow colors she used in previous examples).

Finally, try modifying this stitch by changing its overall size. In the photo below, you can see that this stitch looks much different when used to cover a smaller space; in fact, when stitched over such a small area, the double cross stitch arguably makes for a great alternative to the French knot!

Hope holds up her hoop with one more example stitched into the center of her bright orange hoop: a very tiny double cross stitch in green.

Video tutorial for how to do the double cross stitch in hand embroidery

Thank you for being here, and I can't wait to see what you make!

I hope this was useful, and I can't wait to see what you make - whether you create something from one of my kits or