How to make a Cross Stitch Sampler



Here is a step by step guide to how to make a cross stitch sampler.

This is a fabulous idea for a Christmas present (or any present) and it is really easy to do, the results are amazing and the recipient will have a gift to treasure for life.

First you need to decide what you are going to stitch, something personal is best. A simple idea is a favourite flower, but my choice is a picture of the person’s home. This might sound daunting, but it really isn’t, as houses are all straight lines! In fact a flower could be more challenging!


To start you will need some graph paper, a pencil, a ruler and a photo of the house or chosen subject. This is a photo of the house that I chose to recreate, it’s actually my first house which I still own and rent out!

You now need to transfer the image to graph paper, starting with the outline and then filling in the details, you can use a bit of artistic licence to make it easier! As long as it is recognisable, it doesn’t matter. You should end up with a drawing something like this:



You will notice that I have used a fair amount of artistic licence here! I’ve turned a terraced house into a single dwelling and simplified some features. I’ve also added a tree and a bush at either end to make it more interesting.

You now need to decide what colour each area will be and make a note on your sketch. It might be easier to use symbols to represent each colour on the sketch. For example: “,=,#,~,<,/,>,^,*, are just some of the symbols you could use.

To complete your sampler you will need the following: 8″ 21cm Cross Stitch Embroidery Wooden Hoop Craft, Sewing Box Embroidery Thread – 24 Skeins Assorted Colours, Aida Needlework Fabric 14 Count 14″X18″-White. This might seem like quite a lot of purchases but you should have enough threads and fabric to complete more projects.


Now you are ready to start sewing! It’s really easy, just a simple cross stitch. Starting at the bottom left of your design, place your fabric between the two embroidery rings and tighten the screw. Your first stitch should start in the bottom left and come up to the top right working across the row in half stitches,  then work back completing each stitch bottom right up to top left. Each “cross” should cover 4 squares. Make sure to leave spaces for cross stitches which will be a different colour. In my design I have also used some running stitches to emphasize certain features, here is my finished design:


Adding a mount and a frame really sets off your finished work and I hope you agree that it would make a stunning present!

Do you have any ideas for a sampler? Please share below!




My name is Caroline Sutton and I'm a wife and mother of 3 children, passionate about food, keeping me and my family healthy, gorgeous interiors and shopping! I have a degree in Biochemistry and Pharmacology and continue to be interested in the science behind diet and drugs. I also have a Diploma and City and Guilds in Interior Design and for the last 17 years have run a property company which develops, redevelops and manages rental properties: Sunlight Properties Ltd.

Posted in Crafts, How To

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