Hand embroidery is arguably one of the most accessible art forms. You don’t need a ton of materials to pick it up, and once you’ve learned some basic stitches you can pass hours working on a spectacular pattern. It’s also meditative—you can zone out while embroidering or do it while watching TV or listening to your favorite podcast. Whether you are picking up the craft for the first time or eager to ease back into it after many years, our picks will help you determine which is the best starter kit for you.
1. Kissbuty Embroidery Starter Kit
This kit offers an excellent guided experience for first-time embroiderers, providing a basic overview of the process and common stitches. It includes one cotton cloth made of Aida fabric (a popular textile for cross-stitching due to its square pattern) that comes pre-stamped with a pattern, a sturdy bamboo embroidery hoop, more than enough thread for the project, three needles, and clear instructions. You can choose from a generous selection of floral and plant-related contemporary designs that are not too complex, but they do not look simplistic or tacky—you’ll actually want to show them off!
2. Caydo Embroidery Starter Kit
If you want to embroider your own designs, we recommend this comprehensive kit, which gives you everything you need to work on multiple projects. It includes 14 blank Aida cloths, six-strand floss in 50 vibrant colors, 30 needles in three sizes, and five bamboo hoops that will hold their shape. A nice touch: the hoops come in five different sizes. These are good-quality tools that will give you a solid feel for the craft.
3. Artilife Embroidery Kit
If you want to try embroidering letters, this is a fun option that also provides a satisfying challenge. Artilife offers a selection of pre-stamped patterns with messages that range from encouraging (“Let it go”) to sassy (“Who cares”) and are surrounded by tranquil and beautiful floral designs. Each kit comes with crisp embroidery cloth, needles, a generous amount of colorful floss, and a plastic hoop. While the instructions are not as clear as they could be, you can easily find a video tutorial online to learn about the required stitches.
4. Sozo Needlepoint Embroidery Kit
Needlepoint, which follows square-by-square patterns, can be easier than hand embroidery that is more freeform. This kit is an accessible option for folks of all ages, allowing you to start on a small scale, and it comes with all the materials you need to finish one work of art. With needlepoint, rather than using a hoop, you work with a simple gridded plastic surface with large holes that ease the stitching process. The pre-stamped designs are cute and colorful, ranging from animals in sweaters to a mermaid. And once you’re done, the packaging can be turned into a frame to reduce waste.
5. Maydear Cross Stitch Kit
While hand embroidery generally involves many stitches to yield highly detailed and organic designs, cross-stitch relies on X-shaped stitches alone. We like this product because it offers high-quality materials, from supersoft cotton floss to durable Aida cloth, as well as a good selection of designs that are clearly outlined on the fabric. These aren’t as modern-looking as Kissbuty’s patterns, but they are pleasing and are intricate enough to present a suitable challenge and learning experience for beginner embroiderers.