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Punch Needle Tutorial: A Great Beginner’s Project!

Punch Needle Tutorial: A Great Beginner’s Project!

Project title

Punch needle embroidery is the new needle art trend that’s taken the crafting world by storm, this past year. It’s a fantastic way to indulge your creativity and craft something beautiful for your home – and it’s accessible to crafters of all abilities. The design is formed by punching a needle through a piece of woven fabric; the weave of the fabric itself will hold the yarn to form loops, that come together to create a design. The front side holds what we call the ‘stitches’ and the back side holds what we call the ‘loops’ – but either side can be chosen to display depending on what it is you’re creating! In this punch needle tutorial, Becky Cole takes us through how to create a pretty piece of rainbow embroidery hoop art!

You Will Need:

Top Tips:

  • The scratchier and rougher the wool you use, the better… so use this punch needle project tutorial to use up those scraps of wool that can’t be used for anything else!
  • The longer your needle setting, the longer the loops will be.
  • You can choose the texture of your embroidery by stitching from the front or back.
  • While you are getting used to using the punch needle, pop plasters over your middle and ring fingers of your non-dominant hand. The needle is incredibly sharp and the plasters will act as thimbles to protect your fingers.
  • Monks cloth works best for punch needle embroideries using wool and larger needles. It allows you to pierce the fabric several times without tearing it.
  • Make sure you use a good quality, non-slip embroidery hoop, as keeping the fabric taut is vital.
  • The closer you place your stitches, the tighter they will be and everything will be held securely in the cloth.
  • Make sure you have plenty of yarn pulled loose so that the wool can feed freely. If it can’t you will find that the stitches will start to pull out.
  • If you find a stitch skips, or you miss a section, just either pull out the stitches you have done and re-do them, or punch back to the area you missed and fill it back in.

Step-by-Step Punch Needle Tutorial:


Step 1:

Punch needle tutorial step

Draw out your rainbow and cloud shape onto your monk’s cloth. You won’t see any of the lines, so don’t worry if the pen doesn’t wash out. Use a fabric pen if you’d prefer.

Step 2:

Hoop the cloth into your embroidery hoop so that it is drum tight.

Step 3:

To thread up your punch needle with the red yarn, pass the needle threader wire up through the needle point and out through the top of the needle. Pass the yarn through the wire loop and pull the wire down and out through the needle point. Hold the yarn out of the way and pass the wire loop through the hole at the base of the needle, from outside to inside. Again, pass the yarn through the wire loop and pull the yarn through the hole. You are now ready to start embroidering.

Step 4:

Punch needle tutorial step

To embroider using the punch needle, hold the needle so that the yarn feeding out of the hole is facing you. Push the needle all the way into the cloth at the starting point of the red arch of the rainbow. Turn the embroidery hoop over and pull the yarn tail through to the back. Grip it with your non dominant hand. Turning the hoop back to the front, gently pull the punch needle back up through the fabric. Lift the needle out of the fabric so that the tip is just touching the top of the cloth. Move the needle point 2-3mm along the line of stitching and punch the needle back through the cloth again. Grip this new loop with your non dominant hand and pull the needle back up through the cloth.

Step 5:

Punch needle tutorial step

Repeat this process, drawing a line around the outside of the area you are embroidering in that colour. When you reach your starting point repeat the process, stitching a line just inside the one you already stitched. Continue until you have filled in the whole of the red area of the rainbow.

Punch needle tutorial step

Step 6:

Punch needle tutorial step

To end a colour, push the needle into the fabric as far as it will go and turn the hoop over to the reverse side. Grip the yarn at the needle tip and pull away from the needle so that you are pulling excess yarn through the needle and not from the embroidery. Snip the wool at the needle and pull the needle back through the fabric. Snip the long tails of yarn left over to the length of the loops. To unthread the needle ready for the next colour, just pull the yarn back through the needle.

Step 7:

Thread up the orange yarn in the same way and repeat the process until you have filled in the orange arch of the rainbow.

Step 8:

Repeat this for the yellow, green, pink, and purple arches.

Step 9:

Punch needle tutorial step

Thread up your punch needle with the blue and draw an outline around the outside of the rainbow and the clouds.

Punch needle tutorial step

Step 10:

Thread up your punch needle with white yarn. This time turn your embroidery hoop over so that you are working from the back. Create the stitches in exactly the same way, this time working from the back to the front. Using the looped blue outline to guide you, fill in the cloud shapes in exactly the same way, following the outside edge first and gradually working inwards in a spiral. Cut the yarn.

Step 11:

Punch needle tutorial step

Turn your embroidery to the right side and check that the loops of your clouds are all even and puffy.

Step 12:

To complete our punch needle tutorial, glue the excess fabric around the outside to the inside of the back of the hoop.

Completed project on display

All that’s left to do, is find somewhere to hang your colourful creation!

Completed project close up

Looking for more ways to keep crafting with a needle and thread? Check out the rest of our embroidery projects and tutorials right here.

Lisa at Create & Craft

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