Embroidering is a great skill to create beautiful wall art, pillow cushions, and more home décor pieces sure to make a statement. For those new to the activity, an embroidery kit often includes everything needed—like skeins of floss, fabric, a plastic or wood hoop, or an instructional guide—to help even the most novice learn basic stitches and create their first project.
"From my experience, most kits you find on Etsy will be direct from the designer, and they’ll be sure that you have everything you need and the best quality materials," artist and expert crafter Aimee Ray tells The Spruce. "Mass-produced kits from craft stores can be hit or miss; sometimes the materials aren’t as good and the instructions can be unclear."
We took Ray's insight and undertook hours of editorial research to recommend the best embroidery kits below.
Etsy Stitch Sampler Beginner Kit
Great for beginners
Teaches 14 basic stitches
Other materials needed outside the kit
Ray herself authors the Doodle Stitching embroidery book series and offers a collection of beautiful embroidery kits. We love this pick, which walks you through all of the basic stitches, so you can learn as you go. The end result offers a helpful and beautiful guide for future endeavors.
Be aware that you will need your own embroidery hoop, needle, and floss to complete this project. Luckily, other options on Ray's Etsy shop offer all of the materials so you can choose based on what you need and your skill level.
Dimensions: 8 x 8 inches | Included Materials: Color printed fabric, instruction sheet
Best for Beginners
Purl Soho Beginner Sampler Kit
Includes dowel to hang art
Comes with beginner booklet
Accounts for leftover fabric for future projects
Only 3 designs available
If you're looking to practice some new stitches and create a simple but stylish wall hanging, look to Purl Soho's Beginner Sampler Kit. You can choose from several color options, each creating a different look with the same stitching. Since this sampler uses circles, transferring the pattern lines is as easy as tracing the included stencils!
Dimensions: 14.5 x 12 inches | Included Materials: Fabric, 12 skeins of floss, 12 bobbin cards, 4 needles, fabric marker, hoop, dowel, sampler stencil, instruction booklet
Best for Kids
ALEX Toys My Embroidery Kit
Designed for kids to learn basic stitches
Has everything needed for a project
Some users found the instructions lacking
This embroidery kit from ALEX Toys has everything kids ages 7 and up need. While many embroidery kits focus on one specific project, this is more designed to teach kids embroidery and give them basic supplies. That said, it does include instructions for making an embroidered headband, making this a great craft kit option for girls.
This is also an easier kit to find, as it is usually available at Amazon, Target, and other large retailers at a discounted price.
Dimensions: 10.25 x 7.25 x 2.13 inches | Included Materials: Beads, buttons, 10 skeins of thread, headband, hoop, and more
Best Tote Bag
Heidi Boyd Stitch-a-Tote: Under the Sea
Suitable for teens and adults
Includes all needed supplies
While this fun tote bag has a detailed design, you can embroider the whole thing with beginner-level stitches. The Stitch-a-Tote kit includes a silk-screened tote (no transferring!), and all the supplies required. All you need to add is a pair of scissors!
The kit is recommended for ages 13 and up so it makes a perfect craft kit for teens. Heidi Boyd also offers adorable tea towel kits.
Dimensions: 13 x 13 inches | Included Materials: Tote bag, hoop, floss, needle, stitch guide, color guide
Etsy Cushion Cover Embroidery Full Kit
High-quality string included
May take a few weeks to ship
The floral design in this kit is sure to liven up the pillows in your house. With everything included, this set is beginner-friendly and the design allows you to practice multiple stitches. Since the pillow comes with the pattern already printed on, you can get started right away.
Dimensions: 17.71 x 17.71 inches | Included Materials: Hoop, linen cushion cover, 2 needles, set of threads, instruction sheet
Etsy Floral Embroidery Kit
Multiple design and hoop options
Comes with YouTube video instructions
Some designs are better suited for beginners than others
As the name suggests, TheCherryBlosomUS Etsy shop features multiple embroidery kits featuring flower and succulent designs for the modern stitcher. This option has tons of choices for customization to fit the design and style that matches your home and taste best. Choose from 11 designs featuring various plants on shelves or in space with trendy bright colors. Also, you can pick between a plastic, bamboo, or beechwood hoop to finish off your project.
Dimensions: 6 x 6 inches | Included Materials: Hoop, linen fabric, 2 needles, set of embroidery cotton, instructions
Etsy Hand Embroidery Kit
Great for beginners
Want something that looks intermediate or advanced, but is beginner-friendly? We love this gorgeous floral pattern from Hoffelt and Hooper Co on Etsy. The rich colors and grey-blue background make this pattern really pop, and lots of commenters mention how easy it is to make—even as your first embroidery project. The kit is available in a variety of color combinations, and there are plenty of other floral patterns to choose from as well.
Dimensions: 5-7 inches | Included Materials: Cotton fabric, hoop, skeins of floss, instructional booklet
Best Double Hoop
Jessica Long Embroidery Spring Wreath Embroidery Kit
Available in normal hoop as well
Includes detailed instructions and shopping list
Wood hoop may need staining or varnish
Namaste Embroidery designs incredible patterns often with bold styling. This spring hoop is a little more delicate and also unique with its double hoop wreath design. You can choose to buy this kit pre-printed as a single hoop version or transfer the pattern yourself in the double hoop kit.
And although the stitching looks complex, the kit includes access to a video tutorial for beginners.
Dimensions: 9 x 9 inches | Included Materials: 13 skeins of floss, needles, double hoop, instructions, beginner's guide
Tamar NY Blue Ocean Embroidery Kit
Customized kit based on your preferences
Not all kits include everything needed
Artist Tamar Nahir-Yanai has a sweet and whimsical style that seems to capture people's imagination. You only need to know simple stitches for most of her kits, including this blue work design called Blue Ocean. When you order directly from Tamar, you can choose different options for what you'd like included with the kit. You can also find some of her designs in large US craft stores.
Dimensions: 8 x 8 inches | Included Materials: Varies by kit option
What to Look for in an Embroidery Kit
When browsing for embroidery kits, beginners should look for these common items needed to finish a project: a hoop, needles, skeins of floss in the correct colors for the design, and instructional materials. If using a hoop, you will also receive a piece of fabric, often linen or cotton. If creating a tote bag or pillowcase, this will be included as well in order to fulfill the project.
Some options on this list allow you to only select the materials you need, which is a great way to save money if you already own your own needles, threads, etc. More avid embroiderers can opt for a more simple kit and use the materials they already own to supplement the rest.
Your familiarity with embroidery will help determine the right kit for you. Beginners should look for ones with ample instructions as well as all the materials needed to complete the embroidery. They should also opt for simple designs when stitching for the first time. Professionals can opt for larger and more intricate designs and kits that require more skill and time. There are also embroidery kits designed specifically for kids, which are perfect for small hands who may be curious about crafting.
The great thing about embroidery projects is that they can create something new to hang on the wall or display in your home. If looking to fill an empty space on a gallery wall, be sure to consider the size of the project included in your embroidery kit. If using a hoop, use the size of the hoop rather than the fabric when determining the size. For other projects like a tote bag, pillowcase, or even clothing item, consider where your project will live and determine if it is the right size and shape to enjoy for years to come.
Whether you are skilled in embroidery or not, you will enjoy a project more when you are excited by the design you are using. There are endless options for embroidery designs from classic florals to pop culture references and cartoon characters. Ensure that you will enjoy your project for as long as possible by choosing a design that you enjoy and think will work well in your space.
Small businesses and sellers often create a personal buying experience, says embroiderer Alexis Acevedo, and they often offer a plethora of design options. "Connecting with a designer you love is a great way to immerse yourself among an amazing community of doers and makers like yourself," she shares.
What are the five types of embroidery?
The five types of embroidery are blackwork, whitework, stumpwork, cross-stitch, and crewel embroidery, according to Acevedo. Blackwork uses black thread as the name suggests, while whitework uses white. Stumpwork included three-dimensional elements where the floss is raised off the fabric. Cross stitch uses x-shaped stitches while crewel embroidery is more traditional using wool to create a slightly raised pattern on a fabric background.
Artist and expert crafter Aimee Ray also mentions including basic hand embroidery, which can include a combination of different stitches, and needle punch, which uses a special needle punching thread through the fabric over and over.
Can you embroider with a sewing machine?
There is another form of embroidery that uses a sewing machine specifically designed for embroidery. You'll need a digital pattern to do this. However, this is different than embroidering by hand, which is accounted for in all of the kits on this list.
What is included in a standard embroidery kit?
"You’ll need a wood or plastic hoop, embroidery needle, floss, fabric, and instructions," says Ray. Some have additional materials, like the ones from Acevedo's Etsy shop. "Our kits also come with a felt backing for your embroidery hoop, to give you a polished finish," she says.
Simple materials including tape and scissors are often necessary for completing projects and must be supplied by the consumer.
How long do the projects in embroidery kits take?
This can vary greatly depending on the intricacy of the design and your skill level. Beginners may require more time to complete a project than professionals. Acevedo reminds us that embroidery is meant to be relaxing. "No matter how long it takes, at the end of your journey you’ll have a piece of bespoke handmade art you can cherish for a lifetime," she shares.
Why Trust the Spruce Crafts?
This article was written by Mollie Johanson who has over 10 years of professional crafting experience. She has been writing for The Spruce Crafts for over three years and also runs her blog and product line Wild Olive. Additional reporting was done by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce brands covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays. She's also covered similar topics in other roles, including toy reviews, product round-ups, expert-focused articles, and more.
Expert advice was provided by Etsy seller and graphic designer Aimee Ray and Etsy seller and embroiderer Alexis Acevedo.