How Do You Start A Punch Needle Project (And How To Finish It)

Are you considering learning a new hobby? If you need a creative outlet, you have come to the right place. Punch needlework is a cool new, and popular trend. If you are an absolute beginner, no need to panic! We have taken the time to understand the process for you, to get this craft started and leave a neat finish. 

When beginning a punch needle project, you will have to do the following: 

  • Gather materials for the project. 
  • Trace the desired pattern on the fabric chosen. 
  • Prepare the embroidery hoop for the punch needle. 
  • Thread the punch needle with yarn.
  • Use a punch needle to punch in the design.

When finishing a project, consider the following: 

  • Find a stopping point in your design or complete the design.
  • Cut the excess yarn and separate it from the punch needle.

We'll explain the steps mentioned above in depth. The fundamentals of learning how to create a beautiful punch needle design are pretty simple. If you are still interested in beginning your project, then read on further!

A punch needle pen with very colorful yarn to start of a burlap project, How Do You Start A Punch Needle Project (And How To Finish It)

How to Start A Punch Needle Project

The first step to creating a punch needle project is assembling your supply list. There are quite a few products required for punch needlework. However, most of the items are only required to begin the punch needlework journey and can be reused for future projects. Let's take a look at each item.

Materials Necessary for Project

1. Embroidery Punch Needle Tool

The embroidery punch needle tool is an essential piece of the whole project. Although not all punch needles will work for everyone, there are standard needles to use as a beginner. Most will have a wooden handle that allows for easy grasping since the duration of each project can range from an hour to a few weeks of work. The punch needles vary depending on the diameter of the pen itself. The large diameter of the brass pinhead allows the yarn to pass through the needle hole easily, especially for beginners.

This product is great because it comes in a two-pack. There are also needle threaders included within this pack, if necessary. Click here to find on Amazon.

2. Embroidery Hoop Or Frame

The embroidery hoop has many functions. The first and most obvious function is that it holds the fabric in place while you punch the design is. The hoops' tops have stainless steel screws that allow the rings of the hoops to loosen or tighten and adjust to your fabric as needed. The second function is the size variation. Many available sizes range from four inches for small projects to ten inches for large ones.

The final function is the creative spin it allows for each project. There are standard wooden embroidery hoops that can be colored or polished to match a specific design. Hoops can also be plastic.

Click here to see on Amazon. 

3. Embroidery Floss Or Yarn

You can use embroidery floss for punching. You will need a small punch needle tool to accommodate this thin material.

Click here to see on Amazon.

It is arguably easier to use yarn when punching and more commonly seen. The diameter of the brass pen at the tip of the punch needle is designed for yarn's thickness rather than embroidery floss.

Click here to find on Amazon.

Both of the materials used, yarn and embroidery floss, offer a vast array of colors. The amount of color schemes to choose from are endless and allow for the successful execution of very creative designs.

4. Punch Needle Fabric

Aida cloth is The fabric required for beginners to punch needle. This cloth offers a count cross stitch framework that allows for holes in the fabric to be made and seen more evidently. Depending on the size of the project and the embroidery hoop, the cloth should be measured and cut to adjust.

Click here to find on Amazon.

5. Punch Needle Pattern

Punch needlework, as stated before, has become a trendy craft. Most of the patterns seen on pillowcases or linens have been crafted by following a pre-designed pattern or an iron-on transfer pattern. Patterns are a great alternative for crafters who are uncomfortable with their drawing abilities. The transfer patterns can be ironed on and then followed using the punch needle.

Click here to see on Amazon.

6. Tracing Pencil Or Carbon Paper

If you are the kind of artist that has original ideas and wants to execute your designs, carbon copying paper can be a great tool to use. This product allows for easy transfer tracing and comes with stylus tools to allow for a more effortless transfer.

Click here to find on Amazon.

7. Punch Needle Threader

Some of the punch needle tool kits that you may find online will come with a pair of looped needle threaders to help pull the yarn through the needle more easily. If you lose or break the punch needle threaders for any reason, they are sold separately. They also double in making jewelry and stringing beads!

Click here for a link to Amazon.

8. Scissors Or Embroidery Scissors

Scissors are necessary for a punch needle project because they allow the yarn or embroidery floss to be cut evenly. With starting and finishing a project, there will be a determined amount of material necessary for immediate use and some material set aside for later use. The scissors allow for the division to be made.

Click here to find on Amazon.

Although it is not required to have fancy specialized embroidery scissors, it could be a good investment if this is your new hobby. The scissors featured above are designed for embroidery, needlework, sewing, thread cutting, paper cutting, and DIY crafts, which means that the durability of the scissors may last longer than ordinary scissors.

Start To Punch Needle

Finally! All of your materials are collected, so now we can start to punch needle. Follow the steps below to get your project underway!

Trace Pattern On Fabric

First, trace your desired pattern or iron-on transfer it onto the Aida Cloth. To trace the pattern, pin down the pattern to the fabric to secure it in place. Place the carbon sheet face down onto the fabric. Then trace the design using a pen, pencil, or stylus tool. Carefully lift the carbon paper to see the transfer. Beginning with the transfer allows your pattern to be in place before assembling your punch needle tools.

Prepare Embroidery Hoop

Now that your fabric has the design, unscrew the stainless steel screw at the top of the hoop to loosen up the rings. The inside ring should fall out. Place the fabric over the inner ring, covering it. Next, place the outer hoop on top of the fabric and inner ring so that the inner ring fits back into the outer ring. Once the outer ring is placed back over the inner ring, use the screws to tighten. Make sure that the pattern is positioned directly at the center of the hoop.

Thread Punch Needle

This is a crucial step to the process because it requires multiple materials. First, gather your yarn, threading tool, and punch needle. You will need to place the needle threader into the punch tool, starting at the brass pen, the sharp end of the needle. The threader should show through the backside of the punch needle.

Then place the yarn through the opening of the threader. Pull both the threader and the yarn through the needle so that the yarn is now at the tip of the punch needle, the sharp end. Finally, use the needle threader to pull the yarn through the yarn opening at the tip of the brass pen. Now your punch needle is threaded!

Punch in Design

You are ready to punch. To punch needle, push down on the needle into the fabric. Ensure that the backside of your needle, where the yarn comes through, is faced backward as you move forward. This will allow the needle loops to be even and stay in place. 

Next, bring the needle back up slowly. If the needle is brought up too high, the loop will pull out, and the process will need to begin again, losing all progress. Lastly, repeat the punching and slow lifting motion to follow the pattern you chose!

How to Finish Punch Needle Project

Find a Stopping Point

If you are finishing a project or calling it for the night, make sure you remember where you leave the project by finding a stopping point.

Pull Needle and Cut the Yarn

To finish the project, push your needle to the back of the fabric and cut the yarn at the same height as the loops you created. Cleaning up the loopy side of the project keeps the project looking neat.


Whether you frame your project or use it as a pillow, getting started is the hardest part! Congrats to you for learning how to start and finish a punch needle project. Good luck.

Leave a Reply