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Punch needle embroidery: A beginner’s guide to get started!

Punch needle embroidery: a beginner’s guide to get started

Hi everyone,  

I hope you all had a happy festive season and had a good time with friends and family. Here in Pleasanton, we had a long weekend due to Halloween. Long weekends are relaxing, and they give us a perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together as a family.  

Just like other holidays, when I have asked my girls what we can do together during this long weekend, my little one replied, she wants to learn “Punch needle embroidery craft”. I had heard about punch needle craft before, but I did not know much details. So, we watched some YouTube tutorials for punch needle craft and read some articles online. 

After some research, Pranjal has ordered a punch needle kit from Amazon. And we had made some cool punch needle embroidery designs during this holiday. 

What is punch needle embroidery craft? How is the punch needle different than routine embroidery? What supplies do you need to get started? How to make your first punch needle embroidery design? Read the post to know more! 

What is punch needle embroidery?  

As per definition, punch needle embroidery is a unique embroidery technique made by using punch needle. A punch needle is a manual tool used for embroidery or rug making that creates a field of tightly packed loops of thread or yarn on a woven fabric substrate. 

While making a punch needle stitch, we push thread or yarn into the fabric and by repeated action, it creates a series of loops on the reverse side of foundation fabric.  

History of punch needle 

Punch needle embroidery
Punch needle embroidery

Punch needle is one of the oldest non-woven yarn craft. The punch needle was first invented in the year 1881 by Ebenezer Ross in Toledo Ohio.  in recent time, punch needle embroidery craft has gained popularity since year 2017. Nowadays, various types of punch needles are available for embroidery craft, and you can choose anyone as per your personal preference.  

How punch needle embroidery is different (and easier) than routine embroidery? 

Punch needle embroidery is different and a lot easier than routine embroidery. With routine embroidery, you need to learn various stitches (like chain, stem and lazy dazy stitches). After learning a few stitches (at least 5-10), you can make embroidery patterns and designs. Learning each stitch requires a serious effort and concentration which might not be an easier task for everyone (especially for kids).  

While punch needle embroidery craft did not involve creating different stitches each time. You just need to learn once the technique of handling punch needle and then you can create beautiful punch needle crafts by using same (and simple) technique. It is a simple art of punching yarn with a punch needle. Even smaller kids (older than 5 years) can learn punch needle embroidery easily.  

Punch needle embroidery craft is a great way to keep kids creatively engaged. It helps in enhancing creativity and concentration power in kids. In this pandemic era, punch needle craft can be used as a best option to reduce gadget addition and limit the screen time in kids.  

What supplies do you need to get started with punch needle embroidery craft? 

Punch needle embroidery supplies
Punch needle embroidery supplies

For punch needle embroidery craft, you will need the following supplies:  

  • Punch needle  
  • Yarn (you can use any type of yarn, but I recommended using thin yarn for beginners)  
  • Monk’s cloth (it is a loosely woven cotton or linen fabric, specially designed for punch embroidery)  
  • Embroidery hoop 
  • Threader (for inserting needle)  
  • Tracing paper, carbon paper or stencils of design (optional) 
  • Marker or pencil  
  • Scissors for cutting the edges  

Although, you can purchase all these items separately or as a better option, you can order the punch needle embroidery kit.  

We have ordered a punch needle embroidery kit for beginners from amazon (non-sponsored). The kit has all the above-mentioned supplies and an affordable option for beginners ($15 per kit).  but we had a problem with monk’s cloth. The cloth quality is quite poor and smaller in size. So, it creates a problem while punching the needle.  

Tips before getting started with your punch needle embroidery craft  

Before getting started, read the instructions properly and gather your supplies properly. If you are doing this with your kids (like me), then explain the whole process to them in simple language and ask them to be patient as every new craft and activity requires a proper set of effort and you must keep a good level of patience before seeing the amazing end results.  

Personal experience 

In our case, we had first started with thick yarn and plastic punch needle. We followed correct techniques as recommended in tutorial videos. Still, we would not be able to create a good punch needle stitch. The stitches come out from their place as soon as when tried to make a new stitch. After multiple attempts, I had thought to change the yarn and punch needle. This time, we had used thin yarn and metal punch needle. This change has made the whole thing easier, and we would be able to create a good punch needle embroidery design within 30 minutes.  

I am glad that my little one has kept a good level of patience during this trial period, and after multiple attempts, she was so happy to make her first punch needle embroidery design.  

Step by step instructions to make your first punch needle embroidery design 

Punch needle embroidery: a beginner's guide to get started
Punch needle embroidery: a beginner’s guide to get started

Here are step-by-step instructions for making your first punch needle embroidery design.  

  • First stretch out your monk’s cloth and fit this in your embroidery hoop. After fitting the cloth properly, tighten the screw at upper end of loop. Fitting your cloth properly in hoop is one of the most important steps to create your design. If the cloth is loose, then it will come out easily while punching the needle.  
  • Next, take out your punch needle and set this to “D” level (I do not know technicality behind this setting, but this is the recommended setting by embroidery experts).  
  • Now, use the needle threader. First insert the needle threader from the front end of punch needle and pull it from back. Next, from the back end insert the yarn with needle threader and pull it from b front.
Insert the yarn with threader
Insert the yarn with threader
insert the yearn
insert the yearn
  • Next, use the same needle threader in the eye of punch needle. And insert yarn into the hole or eye of punch needle (like we do with routine needle) 
  • Now, your punch needle is threaded with the yarn and ready to use.  
Punch needle is ready to use
Punch needle is ready to use
  • Next step, draw a simple design on your monk’s cloth. If you want you can use tracing and carbon paper to create any design of your choice, but I will recommend getting started with a simple shape like square. We had drawn the square shape.  
Start punching the punch needle
Start punching the punch needle
  • Now, you can start making your first punch needle embroidery stitch. First, punch the threaded punch needle at the front end of monk cloth. And check that you have a proper thread at the back end.  
Repeat the punching action
Repeat the punching action
  • After that, slowly take out your punch needle from back to front end and make a small stitch by punching needle again. Now, repeat the same action again. And by punching needle make small stitches on draw line. This repeated action will create a loop of yarn on the back side of fabric.  
Make your first punch needle embroidery design
Make your first punch needle embroidery design
  • Make sure to keep a small distance between each stitch. If you keep a long distance, then your stitches will loosen up and come out from their place.  
  • When you complete the outline by making punch needle stitches, you can start filling the draw shape by same technique. Just like satin embroidery stitch, you can fill your draw shape and your first punch needle embroidery design will get ready in no time.  
Simple punch needle embroidery design
Simple punch needle embroidery design

Watch this short video to learn proper technique of punch needle embroidery art.

We had a great time while trying this unique embroidery craft. And now, we are excited to make different design patterns with the punch needle.  

Have you heard of or tried punch embroidery craft before? What was your experience? Please share with me.  

If you liked this post, then do not forget to check out our “Embroidery for beginners” series.

Read also: https://surbhiprapanna.com/2021/10/04/5-basic-embroidery-stitches-for-beginners-a-quick-recap-with-easy-video-tutorials/


  • Samata

    In our times there was a subject called Work education in 10th Standard where we need to learn all these stitches, knitting, paintings and other creative things. That time I learned some stitching techniques which I can still do subject to the fact that I get time… Punch needle embroidery is one among them. You refreshed my memories.

    • Harjeet Kaur

      I never heard of punch needle embroidery before. This week all the blogs have been very enlightening. Learning something new from each. Thank you for sharing Surbhi. So happy to see that your daughter was interested to try something different

  • Varsh

    I’ve never tried my hand at punch embroidery but it seems simple and fun to do. It’s definitely something my daughter would enjoy as well. Will get the supplies now.

    • Ladies Corner

      Im glad that you shared this blogppost. I have learnt embroidery work in my childhood and this post just brought out those memories. Thank you so much.

  • bytetrails

    Never heard about punch needle embroidery, but it seems quite alluring . I shall too get the supplies for me; a nice hobby to explore.

  • Imagemakeover

    I have seen this but never tried. This looks super cool and interesting. You and your kids are very creative. I used to do lot of embroidery but lost touch now. Would love to revive that side of me again.

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