In order to needlepoint, you technically only need three things: a canvas, a needle, and fibers (Side note: The needlepoint community doesn’t call them threads. They call them fibers. The more you know!)
That being said, there are some key supplies that make the art of needlepoint a bit more enjoyable by solving some of the most common challenges facing stitchers. I still consider myself a novice, but I have quickly learned which tools I love having on hand. Today’s post is a collection of my favorite needlepoint supplies, and I hope this resource will prove helpful!
I tend to stitch when light is at a minimum (right before bed or while we are watching a family movie). Needlepoint requires good lighting, particularly when working with darker colors, and I have found two solutions that I love. The first is a flexible light that you wear around your neck. The beam of light falls perfectly on the canvas, and the light is flexible so you can make adjustments. The second is a clip on light that easily attaches to the stretcher bars of your project. This option gives a broader beam of light, but is very bight (in a good way). Both are fantastic options, rechargeable, and easy to stash in your stitching bag.
Stretcher bars are lightweight wooden bars that clip together and form a frame around your canvas, holding it taught while you stitch. Some people cannot stitch without them. Others loathe them. I tend to like them for smaller canvases, but pass on larger canvases. The important thing to note is that you will need two pairs of stretcher bars for each canvas…one for the width and one for the length. You also need to make sure your stretcher bars are slightly smaller than your canvas, otherwise the canvas won’t fit on them. For example, if your canvas is 9-inches by 7-inches, you would need a pair of 8-inch stretcher bars and a set of 6-inch stretcher bars. The corners of the bars clip together, and then you tack the canvas onto the bars.
Speaking of tacking canvases onto stretcher bars, you are going to need a tack kit if you use stretcher bars. I adore this one. It is elegant, and so well-designed! It comes with a tiny box of gold tacks which are used to attach the canvas to the stretcher bars. There is also a round tool with a wooden handle and a magnetic base that you use to push the tacks into the stretcher bars. The magnetic feature is key, keeping the tack in place, and the shape of the handle is so intuitive. The kit also includes a small tool perfectly sized for prying the tacks out of the stretcher bar when you are finished stitching. The entire kit is easy to store in a supply bag, and I feel so satisfied having the right tool for the job.
You are going to need a pair of very sharp, very tiny-tipped scissors for cutting tiny fibers very close to the canvas. Regular scissors will fail you. Stitching scissors are a must. There are a million cute ones out there, but the ones that I use on the regular are the plastic ones from Amazon. I think it is key to make sure you have a cover for your scissors (the plastic ones come with a cover) to prevent the tips from catching on other items in your supply bag.
Sometimes it is tricky to get that fiber through the eye of a tiny needle. Good news! Needle threaders make this chore a cinch. Particularly in the beginning, this is a great tool to add to your supply bag to keep frustrations to a minimum.
As you can imagine, needles are difficult to find in a bag full of supplies. You can definitely keep your needle woven into the corner of your canvas, but that’s not as cute as a Needle Minder! Needle Minders are magnetic, designed to keep your needle in one place, and come in a huge variety of patterns and designs. I particularly like the ones by Le Point Studio. They are not mandatory, but like any cute accessory, the fun is in finding one that aligns with your style. They are so practical too, making it easy to find your needle mid-project.
With all of these supplies, you are going to need a fun project bag. I love a good bag, and my stitching storage solution involves lots of zipper bags. I keep my canvas, the fiber I am using, scissors, and my needle in one bag. I keep my tack kit in its own smaller bag. And I keep all future projects (referred to by the needlepoint community as “your stash”) in their own bags, ready to grab. Kind of like needle minders, it is fun to find fun bags that you like. I will say, these plastic zip bags from Container Store come in really large sizes, which make them ideal for larger projects. Have fun and find a bag you love!