How to Punch Needle for Beginners

Learn how to do punch needle with this comprehensive novice ’ south scout and bit-by-bit tutorial. This article has everything you need to know to start making beautiful punch needle artwork today !
finished punch needle flower in an embroidery hoop
punch needle is a creative embroidery technique that both beginners and experienced crafters love to do. And it ’ south comfortable to get originate ! once you learn the basic proficiency, you can make all sorts of projects, including wall hangings, pillows, and rugs .

What is a Punch Needle

A punch needle tool is a long acerate leaf with a empty stem, a bevel point, and a bombastic eye. Yarn is threaded through the empty stalk of the needle and inserted through the eye. The point of the needle is punched through a weave foundation framework, creating loops of narration. The series of loop form a atomic pile on the overrule side of the foundation fabric.

There are many types of punch needle tools. They come in unlike lengths and thicknesses. Some have an adjustable depth gauge to control the length of the thread loops .

What is Punch Needle Embroidery

Punch needle is a form of needlework closely related to rug hooking. Punch needle goes by a few names, including phonograph needle punch, punch needle embroidery, and punch acerate leaf rug hook .
To do punch needle, the artist uses a empty acerate leaf cock to “ punch ” loops of wool narration through holes in a weave foundation fabric to create a design. The series of loops ( aka the atomic pile ) gives the invention a rug-like appearance .

Punch Needle History

punch needle has a long history dating back hundreds, if not thousands of years. Fine punch acerate leaf embroidery was used to decorate chivalric garments and religious panels. late, the proficiency was used with thick yarns to make rugs .
Our contemporary interpretation of punch phonograph needle began in the former 1880s, evolving from more traditional rug hooking techniques, to become the artwork shape we know today .
tools for punch needle, including scissors, monk's cloth fabric and punch needle tools

How to Use a Punch Needle

To begin a punch needle project, start by stretching a assemble of weave foundation framework on a gripper plunder inning or no-slip embellishment basket. Transfer your practice to the foundation fabric .
future, thread the punch needle tool with yarn. Working from the back or “ ill-timed ” side, use the punch needle creature to make a serial of stitches in the framework. Each stitch creates a loop of thread that ’ s held in position by the tension in the basis fabric .
When the design is complete, remove the fabric from the frame. Trim the remaining yarn ends and straighten any roll loops. Finish the back or the edges as desired .

How Does a Punch Needle Work

The punch acerate leaf tool forms a series of continuous narration loops. Each time you insert the through the holes in the foundation framework, it pushes down a length of yarn. When you bring the tool back up to the surface of the fabric, the length of yarn folds up to form a loop. The woven foundation garment fabric holds the loops in place while you make the future sew. As you fill in the design, the tension of all the loops packed together keeps everything securely in place .
traditionally, punch needle projects are worked from the back side, or “ wrong ”, side of the framework. For this reason, punch needle patterns are printed in the reverse. The back slope of a finished punch phonograph needle project looks more like embroidery, while the front side ( or right side ) has loops that look like a hooklike rug .
Although the coil side is traditionally called the “ right ” slope, some artists prefer to display the back side of their shape as the “ right ” english — it ’ s a topic of predilection !
two types of punch needle tools and two types of foundation fabricUltra punch (left) and Oxford punch tool (right)

Types of Punch Needle

There are several forms of needlework that all equip under the larger umbrella of “ punch needle ”. The chief types include miniature punch phonograph needle embellishment ( besides called russian punch needle ), japanese Bunka embroidery, and punch needle rug hook .
These days, there are two chief types of punch needle tools that you ’ ll see on the market :

  • Punch Needle Embroidery. The first type uses a small gauge needle tool to punch fine threads and embroidery floss through a tightly woven fabric called weaver’s cloth. It is sometimes called “Russian miniature punch needle” or Igolochkoy.
  • Punch Needle Rug Hooking. The second type uses a larger gauge needle tool to punch bulky wool yarns through a loosely woven fabric called monk’s cloth. This type is more similar to rug hooking.

Punch Needle vs Rug Hooking
Punch needle is very similar to the traditional craft of rug hook, but the stitch action is a bit different. The punch needle tool pushes the loops down into the work, whereas the rug hooking tool pulls the loop up through the workplace .
two sizes of punch needle threaded with yarn in a variety of colors
If you are looking to try punch needle for the first gear time, you ’ ll need a few particular tools and materials .

Punch needle tool

punch needle tools come in different sizes to accommodate different weights and types of fibers. When shopping, choose a punch needle cock that is comfortable to use and easy to control .
There are two main types of punch acerate leaf tools that you ’ ll find on-line : a small size to use with embroidery dental floss ( I like the Ultra Punch ), and a larger size to use with rug thread ( I like the Oxford Punch Needle ) .

Rug Yarn

For most punch needle projects like pillows and rugs, I recommend using wool rug narration. Rug wool is sturdier than other fibers, ensuring your project will final for years to come .
For wall hangings and other cosmetic projects, you can use bulky weight craft yarn ( like the kind you ’ vitamin d function for knitting ) .
You can besides experiment with flimsy narration by using multiple strands at once. For exemplify, I ’ ve used doubled worsted weight yarn and tripled windsock thread .
two types of frames for punch needle, including a no-slip embroidery hoop and a pvc q-snap frame

Foundation Fabric

Choose among a diverseness of waver fabrics for your foundation garment fabric : monk ’ second fabric, archaic linen, burlap, or rug warp .
For the majority of projects, I recommend monk ’ mho fabric. Monk ’ s cloth smooth and elastic, so far uncompromising enough to hold the yarn. It is a good choice of foundation framework for pillows, bags, stuffed toys, and other items which need a piece of flex .
Important Note : big craft stores carry a type of fabric that ’ second besides called “ monk ’ s cloth ”, but which has excessively big of a weave to be used for punch phonograph needle. You can find the correct type of monk ’ s fabric from on-line retailers that specialize in punch needle and rug hook .

Embroidery Hoop or Frame

A frame holds the basis framework rigorous while you punch the blueprint. There are a few types of frames that work well for punch needle .
The gripper leach frames are the nicest to work with, but are the most expensive choice. ( Isn ’ t that normally the case ? )
You may be tempted to try a unconstipated embroidery hoop, but they don ’ triiodothyronine hold a fast adequate tension over fourth dimension. Set yourself up for success with one of the no-slip options in the tilt above .
For more detailed data about all of the different punch phonograph needle tools, materials, and supplies, wear ’ metric ton miss this stake : The Best Punch Needle Supplies

Starter Kits

If you would rather purchase everything you need at once, punch acerate leaf kits will provide you will all of the basic supplies in one dim-witted package. You can check out my favorite modern punch phonograph needle kits here : 17 Modern Punch Needle Kits for Beginners
how to thread an Oxford punch needle

How to Thread a Punch Needle

Some punch needle tools, like the Oxford acerate leaf, are very easy to thread by hand because they have an clear slot in the bow. To thread these types of open needles :

  1. Insert the yarn through the eye of the needle, from back to front.
  2. While holding on to the yarn end with one hand, place the yarn into the slot in the handle of the tool. (It might not go in all the way, that’s okay.)
  3. While holding on to the handle of the needle tool with one hand, pull on the yarn end at the pointed end of the tool. As you pull, the yarn should pop into the slot in the stem.

early types of acerate leaf tools require the habit of a thin, wire threading tool to insert the yarn. To thread these types of conclude needles :

  1. Insert the wire thread up through the hollow stem of the tool, from the pointed tip to the end of the handle. Catch the end of the yarn, and pull it down through the stem.
  2. Next, insert the wire threader through the eye of the needle, from front to back. Catch the end of the yarn, and pull it through the eye of the needle.

punch needle pattern traced onto monk's cloth with permanent market, surrounded by several colors of yarn

Transfer the Pattern

If you want to use a premade pattern, you ’ ll motivation to transfer the design to the monk ’ s fabric before you stretch it on the frame. There are a few ways to transfer the print blueprint onto your monk ’ s fabric .
Simple Tracing : You can transfer the designs directly onto the fabric using a light up source such as a lightbox or window. Put the print composition form behind the monk ’ s fabric and hold both up to a bright window or a lightbox. You should be able to see the print convention lines through the monk ’ s fabric. then, trace the lines onto the monk ’ s fabric with a permanent marker .
Iron-On Transfer : You can besides transfer the model with an iron-on transplant pen. Look for a playpen that has “ permanent ” ink .
To do this, lay the practice correct side up, and cover it with a sheet of tracing composition. Use masking magnetic tape to secure the layers. Use the iron-on penitentiary to copy the plan onto the hound paper .
then, flip the tissue paper over, ink slope down, onto the monk ’ s fabric. Use masking tape to secure it at the corners. ( At this period, the pattern should be reversed. )
Following the software instructions, iron the design onto the monk ’ s fabric. weigh with high heat on a tauten, heat-proof surface. If there are neglect spots, or the transplant is excessively faint, you can go over the design with a permanent marker .

The Basic Technique

To get started, stretch the monk’s cloth tightly in the hoop or the frame. It should feel american samoa tight as a drum .
Hold the punch needle tool like a pencil, with the open slot pointing in the direction you are working. Push the crisp tip of the instrument straight toss off through a hole in the monk ’ s cloth framework. Pull the light thread tail to the front english of the workplace. ( You ’ ll trim this narration tail belated. )
Insert the tool all the way down, until the manage touches the monk ’ s fabric. then, bring the tool back up until the tiptoe of the joyride is even with the top surface of the framework .
Congratulations, you ’ ve made the first stitch !
two images showing how to punch the needle tool down into the monk's cloth
To make the next stitch, move the point of the joyride a light distance along the surface of the framework ( omission 2-3 holes ). Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate pick up the tool excessively high off of the monk ’ s fabric. rather, try to graze the surface of the framework with the needle lean .
Start your project by working the outlines in a short stitch ( 6 stitches per inch ). And then, fill in the shapes with a slenderly longer stitch ( 4 stitches per column inch )
punch needle project with the outline of the design completedIf you change your mind, you can punch outside the pattern. The pattern tracing will be hidden by the yarn loops.
To change directions or turn a corner, rotate your phonograph needle in the down position. You can besides try rotating the embellishment hoop rather if that feels more comfortable to you .
As you go, you ’ ll see a pipeline of categoric stitches on the back side of the sour and a course of thread loops on the front. Continue filling in your design, following your radiation pattern .
flower punch needle project with the outline and inner shapes of the design completed
To change yarn colors, rethread your phonograph needle with a different color of thread. Insert the tool as earlier, pulling the thread tail to the iteration side of the work. Remember, you don ’ t need to tie any knots. The tension of the framework will keep your stitches in place .
If you make a mistake, lightly pull on the narration to undo the oeuvre. Use your pinpoint or another blunt border to scratch the framework and “ erase ” the holes. then, rethread the acerate leaf tool and punch the section again .
punch needle project with the flower design and background filled in I removed the dark green yarn and will replace it with a light blue yarn.
Finishing your work. When you ’ re done punch in the plan, cut the yarn and pull the fag end to the front side of the bring. Remember, no knots are needed .
Turn the frame over sol that the loop side is facing you. Trim any remaining narration tails even with the height of the loops .
At this bespeak, you might notice that the outlines of your plan aren ’ t vitamin a defined as you ’ d like. sometimes, when you ’ re punch, the thread loops can move beyond the sketch of the design. This is identical common and easy to fix .
Clean up the lines of your design by “ poking ” or pushing the thread loops back into the justly spot. Use a chopstick or even the empty needle cock itself to push thread loops that have moved out of plaza.

For more advice, be sure to read 10 Tips for Punch Needle Embroidery Beginners
scissors trimmed the yarn tails form the looped side of the punch needle design

How to Make a Punch Needle Frame

You can make your own DIY punch needle frame from wooden analyze capstone bars and carpet baste strips or gripper strips. To make the ensnare, attach the carpet sheet strips to the assembled wooden human body with nails .
Wooden canvas capstone bars are available from most craft and artist issue stores. And, you can find carpet baste clean from home improvement stores .
To use the frame, stretch the monk ’ s fabric over the tacks. The tacks will hold the framework tight while you work. You may want to cover the tacks with a thick folded towel to protect yourself while you work .

Punch Needle Project Ideas

While punch needle may have evolved as a manner to make wool rugs, modern punch needle artists are using this craft proficiency to make a across-the-board variety of projects .

  • Wall art
  • Pillow covers
  • Bags and purses
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Clothing and patches
  • Christmas ornaments

If you are interest in making rampart art, you may like this free model for a rainbow punch needle wall suspension .
And, if you want to sew your punch needle design into a pillow, don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate miss this tutorial for an easy punch acerate leaf pillow with a whip stitch border .

How to Finish Punch Needle Projects

There are several ways to finish the binding of punch needle embellishment, depending on the type of project .

  • Wall hanging: Maybe people like to frame their finished punch needle projects in a wooden embroidery hook. Or, you can hem a finished project and hang it like a tapestry. For more information, read: Punch Needle Wall Art
  • Pillow: You can also sew a finished punch needle project into a beautiful – and functional – throw pillow. Check out a project tutorial, here: How to Make A Punch Needle Pillow
  • Rug: And of course, you can turn a punch needle project into a finished rug. Fold the monk’s cloth toward the back, twice, so that the raw edges are enclosed. Whipstitch the monk’s cloth to the back of the rug to secure.

How to Fix Punch Needle Problems

As you exercise punch needle, you may run across a few issues. here are a few frequently asked questions .
How to keep punch needle from unraveling? If the loops are coming out, you may be pulling your needle tip off besides far away from the open of your fabric in between stitches .
second, you may have besides much tension on the yarn itself. Make sure there is plenty of slump .
Third, make sure you are holding the punch needle creature with the slot opening facing the management that you ’ ra making your stitches .
How to fix uneven loops? If the stitches look uneven on the front side of your fabric, make certain to punch the phonograph needle down all the way down to the wield on every stitch .
For more information about early coarse problems, don ’ triiodothyronine girl this post : punch Needle FAQs : trouble-shoot Problems

More Punch Needle Patterns

Be on the lookout for more exempt punch needle patterns. And in the meanwhile, take a expression at my model patronize .

What’s Next?

Pin this post: Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards sol that you can come back to it late .
Leave a comment: We love to hear your feedback. Tell me in the comments below !
Share on Instagram or Facebook: When you make this project, share it on sociable media and tag me @ sarahmaker. We love to see what you make !

Have questions? Join the Facebook Group!

We hope this article was utilitarian for you ! If you have any extra questions, feel free to join my Facebook Group. We created this group for you to share pictures, ask questions, and help each early out .
How to Punch Needle

How to Punch Needle

yield :


active clock time :

2 hours

entire time :

2 hours

difficulty :


How to do punch needle embroidery to create a fabric wall art hanging. Learn the best supplies to use, the basic sew proficiency, and how to finish punch needle projects .


  • rug yarn
  • monk’s cloth


  • punch needle tool
  • hoop or frame
  • scissors
  • permanent marker


  1. Transfer the pattern to the foundation fabric. You can use a window or lightbox to help you trace the design with a permanent marker. Or, you an iron-on transfer pen to transfer the pattern onto the monk’s cloth.
  2. Stretch the fabric on a frame. You want the monk’s cloth to be as tight as a drum for the best results.
  3. Thread the punch needle with yarn.
  4. Make the punch needle stitches. Start with the outlines of the design, and then fill in the shapes.
  5. Clean up the design. Trim the yarn tails even with the height of the loops. Use a tool to poke stray loops back into place.
  6. Remove the fabric from the frame. Finish the edges with a simple hem or whip stitch border.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other consort programs, I earn from qualifying purchases .

  • Rug Wool Yarn Multi Pack
    Rug Wool Yarn Multi Pack

  • Dorr Mill Monk's Cloth
    Dorr Mill Monk ‘s Cloth

  • Oxford Wood Punch Needle Rug Hooking Tool #10 1/4" Regular w/ Box Booklet
    Oxford Wood Punch Needle Rug Hooking Tool # 10 1/4 ” regular w/ Box Booklet

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Sarah Stearns has helped thousands of makers find their following craft project with free patterns and bit-by-bit tutorials on her blog, Read more .
Her function has been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, Lifehacker, and more .


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