Although most of my posts and tutorials are meant for the total beginner, this post is meant to help those who haven't quite started yet. Pre-beginners, really!
Maybe you’re interested in hand embroidery, but workshops and kits aren’t right for you (financially or otherwise). Perhaps you’ve been “burned” in the past by getting all the expensive supplies you need for a new hobby only to realize it wasn’t for you - and now you’re out of money and space. Or, simply, you might prefer a bit of light hand-holding when you find yourself ready to start gathering supplies - I love a bit of light hand-holding, so you’re not alone there! Whatever the case may be, I hope to be helpful!
In today's short post, I tell you why I like to focus on these essentials, detail the six essential supplies you'll want to grab before you get started, and provide a free downloadable zine that you can carry with you as you start to gather supplies.
Why focus on the "essential supplies" for hand embroidery?
As with other crafts, hand embroidery includes loads of different potential supplies you might use as a new stitcher. I've noticed that beginners often find themselves a bit overwhelmed by all those options, which is why I like to break the supplies down into two categories: essential supplies (the focus of today's post) and optional supplies (supplies you might not need, but could potentially want - should you find that embroidery is a craft you'd like to pursue!).
What are the six essential supplies for hand embroidery?
To get started in hand embroidery, you really only need a few essential supplies. They include:
some sort of stranded embroidery floss (I started by using “friendship bracelet” floss, which you’ll find in craft stores and online);
embroidery needles (go for a “multipack” so you can try out a few different sizes);
scissors (you can really use any scissors you like - you probably have a pair of scissors in your junk drawer!);
fabric (I recommend starting with something not too stretchy, such as the fabric from an old pillowcase or a cut of fabric from a pair of non-stretch jeans you no longer wear); and
some sort of hoop (these come in plastic, bamboo, and wood; in the US, you’ll find most big box craft stores carry the bamboo hoops these days).
You might also look for a pencil to draw a few guidelines onto your fabric to practice stitching.
Once you have these essential supplies (floss, needle, scissors, fabric, hoop, and a pencil), you’re honestly ready to get started - and you’ll find loads of absolutely free tutorials online and through craft books you can check out at your local library. I started with just these essential supplies and free resources, thinking I might not finish anything. Overtime, I realized that embroidery was indeed my “home” craft, and the same might be true for you!
How about a free handy zine to help you gather your supplies?
I love a blog post, but might it be helpful to have something physical with you as you start to shop and look around for these essential supplies? If so, I have a free eight-page zine that includes a few details on each of the supplies outlined above, as well as a handy checklist on the back to help you keep track of the supplies you've acquired.
To download your free zine in PDF format, click on the file below:
Once you've downloaded your file, simply print this single page onto a normal sheet of 8.5"x11" paper; the zine was designed in black and white, so no need for a color printer!
Never folded a zine before? No problem! You'll find a quick tutorial on how to turn this one page piece of paper into an eight-page zine in the short video tutorial below.
How cute is that! And helpful, too (I hope)!
Thank you for being here, and happy stitching!
I hope this was useful, and I can't wait to see what you make! If you'd like to share your supply-gathering with me, you can always tag me on your social media accounts (@hopebroidery on Instagram and Twitter, @hope.broidery on TikTok). If you don't have public social accounts, but still want to share, consider emailing me a few pictures (firstname.lastname@example.org), I would love the chance to tell you how excited I am for you to get started!