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How to Punch Needle for Beginners

This type of embroidery is a fun and fast craft that comes together to create awesome art! Learn all about the tools and techniques you’ll need to make this embroidery hoop wall hanging, and how to punch needle for beginners.

How to punch needle for beginners
How to punch needle for beginners
colorful punch needle art

I have big dreams of creating a huge, oversized punch needle wall hanging for our home. But seeing as how I had literally never held one before just recently, I figured perhaps a test run was in order. So I learned how to punch needle for beginners!

What is Punch Needle?

DIY punch needle wall hanging

Punch needle is a technique that’s sort of a combination of embroidery and rug hook. A large needle is threaded with either embroidery floss or yarn and punched through a loose-weave fabric to create a cool, textured, piece of textile art. You can create patterns, designs, or pictures (or create a freehand design like I did here).

It’s a really fun textile art to experiment with because you can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, so projects come together pretty quickly. That’s especially true if you work with a thicker yarn. And the final product is just so cool!

In my first few efforts, I realized that lots of the online videos make it look super easy but there’s definitely some technique to learn. I also learned that the right tools and materials are crucial!

Before you jump in, check out some of our other fiber art tutorials like this easy woven wreath!

The Best Materials

There are four main materials that will contribute to the success of your punch needle embroidery project: a hoop or frame, the right fabric, the yarn or embroidery floss, and a good needle. For each project you’ll make, you’ll probably need to adjust each of these a bit depending on how you’d like the project to look.

As an example, if you’re planning on using embroidery floss, you’ll need a fabric with a tighter weave than if you’re planning on using yarn. For this project, I wanted to use all yarn so I chose a fabric with a looser weave.

Check out the materials list below for everything I used, and let’s make this DIY wall hanging!

How to Punch Needle For Beginners

Materials

Make Time: 2 Hours

Prep Your Materials

  1. If you want to sketch a design onto your fabric, now is the time to do that. You can use a transfer or sketch with a pencil. For this project, I did some freehand organic shapes.
  2. Start by placing your fabric into the embroidery hoop. Make sure it’s stretched as taut as you can make it. This will help keep your stitches even. If it loosens as you work, keep pulling it taut.
  3. Thread the punch needle with your yarn or embroidery floss. Usually the thread or yarn runs from the back, to the front, and through the small hole on the needle. Use a threader if needed.

Make Your Punch Needle Wall Hanging

  1. Pull a tail of yarn about 3″ long from the end of the needle. To make your first stitch, push the needle through the fabric all the way up the shaft of the needle. Pull the needle out just enough so that the point grazes the fabric, but the loop of yarn stays pressed through the fabric. Move the needle along to the next stitch and repeat.
  2. Continue with this color of yarn until you’re satisfied with the shape. To finish this section, hold the final stitch with your finger. Then pull a little extra yarn from the needle, and cut.
  3. Rethread the needle with another color and start another section. If you have an adjustable needle and would like to make different size loops, play with the settings on your needle for longer or shorter loops.
  4. Once all of your area is covered, then trim your final yarn. If you have any tails remaining on the front of the work, use a needle to pull them to the back. Trim all tails to about 1″ long.
  5. This part is optional, but I like to give a light seal to the back of my punch needle to keep it intact. You can use school glue or ModPodge and brush on a thin layer over the back of your work to keep all of the stitches in place.
  6. Trim the excess fabric around the hoop to leave about 2″ of fabric all the way around.
  7. Glue the excess fabric around the back of the hoop using hot glue.
How to punch needle for beginners
How to punch needle for beginners
trimming punch needle art
sealing punch needle art with glue
How to punch needle for beginners

A Few Punch Needle Troubleshooting Tips

  • If you pull the needle out too far, you’ll pull your stitch out too.
  • If you find your stitches aren’t holding, you may be working with a fabric that isn’t the best fit for your yarn or thread. The weave of the fabric is what holds the stitches in place.
  • As you’re working the punch needle, you’re actually working on the back side of the project. Flip it over to see what it will look like.
  • Some projects have you flip back to front to create different textures. Experiment flipping to the front side and trying some stitches there. They’ll be flatter and create a new texture.

DIY Home Decor

I think punch needle creations look so fun around the house! You can create them to be wall hangings like this one, or lean them on a shelf. You can also create pillow covers, patches for clothing, and more.

Is this a craft technique that you’ve tried before? I’d love to know if you’ve done it, and if you have any other tricks to teach us all! Next up I’m going to attempt to create something larger. I’ll be sure to share! xoxo

bright office with punch needle wall hanging
Yield: Punch Needle Art

How to Punch Needle for Beginners

This tutorial is a perfect introduction to punch needle for beginners!

Active Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours

Tools

Instructions

    1. If you want to sketch a design onto your fabric, now is the time to do that. You can use a transfer or sketch with a pencil. For this project, I did some freehand organic shapes.
    2. Start by placing your fabric into the embroidery hoop. Make sure it's stretched as taut as you can make it. This will help keep your stitches even. If it loosens as you work, keep pulling it taut.
    3. Thread the punch needle with your yarn or embroidery floss. Usually the thread or yarn runs from the back, to the front, and through the small hole on the needle. Use a threader if needed.
    4. Pull a tail of yarn about 3" long from the end of the needle. To make your first stitch, push the needle through the fabric all the way up the shaft of the needle. Pull the needle out just enough so that the point grazes the fabric, but the loop of yarn stays pressed through the fabric. Move the needle along to the next stitch and repeat.
    5. Continue with this color of yarn until you're satisfied with the shape. To finish this section, hold the final stitch with your finger. Then pull a little extra yarn from the needle, and cut.
    6. Rethread the needle with another color and start another section. If you have an adjustable needle and would like to make different size loops, play with the settings on your needle for longer or shorter loops.
    7. Once all of your area is covered, then trim your final yarn. If you have any tails remaining on the front of the work, use a needle to pull them to the back. Trim all tails to about 1" long.
    8. This part is optional, but I like to give a light seal to the back of my punch needle to keep it intact. You can use school glue or ModPodge and brush on a thin layer over the back of your work to keep all of the stitches in place.
    9. Trim the excess fabric around the hoop to leave about 2" of fabric all the way around.
    10. Glue the excess fabric around the back of the hoop using hot glue.

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