We all know how hard it is to buy gifts for hobbies we don’t know much about. So here’s an updated cross stitch gift guide on what to buy the cross stitcher in your life. They’re arranged by price from lowest to highest so you can find the perfect gift for any budget!
Updated for 2023!
Cross Stitch Gifts Under $25/£20
Aida Identification Cards – from $5
One of the most under-rated cross stitch tools out there is a simple card. Many cross stitchers out there are unsure if aida gauges are worth getting and in many cases, simply don’t buy one (even though they’re only a few dollars each).
However, a time will come when you mix up some needles, or find some unlabeled aida and need to identify one from another. This seems like a simple task, but the difference between a 14 count and 16 count aida is small, and the difference between a size 14 and 16 needle is basically impossible (even if you have others you ‘know’ are correct on hand!). That’s when these cards come in handy.
Easily identifying the different size aidas, hardangers, needles, and a whole bunch of other things a cross stitcher uses with 100% accuracy every time.
With something so simple and easy to use, I’m a total convert! And at under $5 you can’t go wrong!
Frogging Scissors – from $5
Every cross stitcher has had the hell that is frogging invade their life. Not only do you feel a goof for counting incorrectly, but taking the stitches out is painful. That is, until now. We found out about surgical scissors a while ago and they make frogging easy. Trust us on this, get yourself a pair as you’re bound to need them in the future.
Fun Needle Minders – from $5
Christmas is mostly about fun gifts you might not buy yourself, and something many cross stitchers always want to add to their collection (but refrain from spoiling themselves on) is buying a fun needle keep. Getting one that is personal to your giftee, without breaking the bank not only shows that you understand them, but care for their hobby too!
You can get them in thousands of different designs, and there are a lot of custom made ones out there, like this 3D printed Pokemon charizard from places like Etsy that cover pretty much every topic you can think of. They’re a little bit fun, and you can combine other things together, so if their other favorite hobby is reading, get a book based one, etc.
There are a lot of options here, so we also made a guide on inding the perfect needle minder that you might find helpful!
Thread Conditioner – from $5
Sadly a few years ago we lost one of the most beloved cross stitch companies; ThreadHeaven. For those who don’t know, they produced a fantastic thread conditioner/moisturizer that makes cross stitching MUCH easier.
Whilst you can no longer get your hands on ThreadHeaven, in the space they created, many great alternatives have sprung up. So many in fact that we put together a list of ThreadHeaven alternatives.
These small pots give all threads (but particularly hard to work with threads like metallics) a smooth texture so they go in and out of the fabric with ease. The gift of easy stitching is one every cross stitcher will appreciate!
Scissor Sheaths – from $5
There’s nothing fancier than covering the sharp ends of your scissors with a nicely made scissor sheath, and let’s face it, we could all do with a little bit more fancy in our lives!
Scissors sheaths are an often overlooked tool, they look nice, but there’s a whole ream of benefits to using them too. Their practical benefit of keeping the scissors covered means the scissors keep sharper much longer, by reducing dust build-up, nicks and moisture. They also have the added benefit of stopping you from stabbing yourself with the tips when they fall off your desk (or is that just us?)
You can pick up a nice cover for under $5, so consider combining this with a nice new pair of embroidery scissors too.
Easy Guide Needles – from $7
A cross stitch needle is just a cross stitch needle, right? Wrong. We not only found out that not all cross stitch needles are made equal, but there are a bunch of cross stitch needle types to choose from. Our favorite is the easy guide needle, which adds a small ball to the tip of a sharp needle, allowing for more controlled stitching.
Canary Micro Snips – from $7
We are seriously passionate about scissors, but these micro snips from Canary are super tiny scissors that can fit on your keychain, are super easy to use, and are TSA compliant for plane travel.
If that wasn’t the best thing you’ve heard all year, I don’t know what is. These scissors are not only super easy to use thanks to their finger pads (and no handles to get stuck in), but they give a really detailed and easy-to-use snip to those thread ends.
As time goes on there are more and more mini scissors entering the market, and yet these snips not only topped our list of the best cross stitch travel scissors, but have become our go-to pair for cross stitching whenever out, or even when at home!
There have always been hand-dyed threads on the market, but recently, with big thread companies reducing their ranges of variated thread, hand-dyed threads have come into their own!
Creating visual interest and breaking up large blocks of color, hand-dyed threads give your work a depth that standard threads simply couldn’t achieve if they tried! They’re often made in very small batches to each skein is unique, and made with care.
We’re big fans of hand-dyed threads, and think every cross stitch should give them a go, but they can be costly, so only buy a few skeins if its a gift!
Satin Embroidery Threads – $15
Where can you write down all those threads you need, pattern WIPS, ideas and other cross stitch facts? Well, in a journal!
But what makes this one extra special is that its been designed to allow you to cross stitch the front with whatever design you like. With a black card insert to sit behind the cover you don’t have any unsightly white poking through your pattern either!
Satin Embroidery Threads – $20
Whilst there are a lot of threads out there (over 500), there is nothing quite as fancy as cross stitching with silk or satin threads.
Whilst this might seem a bit of an unnecessary luxury, most cross stitch was silk based before it came into Europe and cotton became the norm. We tried out a whole series of silk and satin threads and can confirm they’re worth using. If your stitching an heirloom piece, stitching a gift for someone, or just want to go traditional, silk and satin threads are a perfect option.
Thread Shade Chart – $20
We have a copy of the DMC shade card on our site to see at any time, and we know that a lot of people use it on a day to day basis, however, on-screen images aren’t always that reliable, and having the read threads in your hands are a much better alternative. As a result one of the best tools I’ve ever picked up is a cross stitch thread card. We’ve even detailed why you need a DMC thread card. DMC (the most common thread company) do a version with thread samples ($20) including the new DMC threads, which is far superior. Think about getting a metallic shade card from Kreinik too ($36).
The Perfect Stitching Frame – $12 to $30
I know a lot of people think cross stitch is a bit simple, but in reality, RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) is a real issue, and using a good cross stitch frame can save your back from getting sore.
There are loads of different styles on the market, from handmade ones using plumbing parts, to massive wooden standing frames. The best one in my mind to get is an EasyClip frame ($20), which has many of the benefits of more expensive frames without the high price tag. It’s also a great place to start as there are many companies selling accessories such as standing parts, pattern holders, magnetic strips, etc which give your frame an added boost. However, we’ve also rounded up the best cross stitch frames out there so you can find the perfect cross stitch frame for your budget.
A Unique Display Frame – $15 to $25
On the topic of frames, what about the perfect decoration frame?
Coming in different finishes, different shapes, unique materials, or changing things up slightly with hanging frames, decorated hoops, or canvas frames; take your cross stitch to a new dimension. There are loads of ways to frame your cross stitch in a unique way and can bring a bit of pizazz to your work.
We’re also massive fans of using these frames for cross stitch inspiration too, as it makes you think outside your comfort zone, and can create some truly great masterpieces.
A Good Cross Stitch Book – $20 to $30
This year has seen some of the best cross stitch books ever published, and I would personally buy all of them (in fact, I have brought most of them). However, for the cross stitcher in your life books offer both patterns and a fresh look at the hobby. With topics ranging from traditional to absurd and everything in between. But they also offer unique ideas and ways of stitching that you might not be aware of.
The recently released “A Bitch In Time: 30 Sarcastic Stitches For You To Stitch was truly a delight to behold, and even gave me ideas and inspiration on future stitches.
You can find our rundown of the best cross stitch books out on the market but we suggest checking out amazon or your local bookshop as there are more books releasing by the day (there have been more cross stitch books released this year than any other year on record!).
Cross Stitch Gifts Under $50/£40
Travel Cross Stitch Kit – $30
This might not be the first thing that comes to mind when looking for gifts for cross stitchers, however many stitchers either stitch when they travel, or wish they could. Finding a great, small, cross stitch kit featuring everything they need is a great gift, and probably not something they’d think of (so you get brownie points). You can either buy pre-assembled kits, or make one yourself. A pair of Canary mini snips, needle minder, needle tube and a seam ripper are all you need. And you can fit them all into an Altoids tin.
Magnifier – $30
A magnifier might seem like something an old person might want, but when it comes to cross stitch, a magnifier can be a massive help. In fact, we detailed why magnifiers are worth getting a few months ago; we’re big fans of the benefits. You can seriously damage your eyes cross stitching and magnifiers help keep that at bay! And for those sadists that choose to stitch super small designs are in serious need!
Magnifiers are a seriously good long term investment, and even if the stitcher in your life doesn’t use it every day, it will get used whenever they need to thread a needle, frog a section, fix a mistake or just get a little closer to their work.
You can get a whole set of different options here, from ones that light up, to ones that click onto your embroidery hoops. I would try to get one with a 2.5x zoom as this is the most useful for cross stitchers.
A Good Pair Of Scissors – $30
Scissors might not be the first thing that comes to mind for a cross stitcher, but you spend a lot of time snipping things, and frankly, a poor pair of scissors get blunt quickly, and give you nasty frayed ends. Get a nice pair of ‘snipping’ scissors, or ones like the image (a Japanese embroidery scissor), or another specific pair for embroidery/cross stitch or cutting fishing line and you’ll see the difference straight away.
Or you can even get a super awesome pair of frogging scissors, which solves the worst thing about cross stitch (frogging is incorrect stitches that need to be removed).
If you’re not sure what type of scissors to buy, check out our guide on picking the best cross stitch scissors, but you may be shocked at just how many there are out there.
Cross Stitch Project Bag – $30
Cross stitch creates a lot of stuff, and when it comes to stitchers; most have multiple projects on the go at once! And that’s where cross stitch project bags come in.
From simple project bags that look like plastic envelopes to more complicated and larger kit-style bags in the form of laptop bags, backpacks, or suitcases, these will keep everything you need together for each project. With pockets and pouches for everything a cross stitcher needs, these custom-designed bags are honestly a great way to keep organized. To make it slightly more user-friendly, they also allow you to travel with your cross stitch, which is becoming a real trend right now.
We’ve reviewed the different project bags available right now so you can pick the right one for you/the stitcher in your life.
Magazine Subscriptions – $20 to $50 a year
Magazines are fantastic for both giving you patterns, giving you inspiration, finding out about all the new products, reading up on all the happenings of the cross stitch community and finding out some sweet bits of cross stitch history.
What’s great about these is that there are frankly a shocking amount available, from traditional styles to super modern takes on cross stitch like the Xstitch Magazine, (which we create patterns for a write for) so its best to pick one or two you like the most or pick your stitching style. But with most offering cancel anytime policies, you can quickly swap and change until you find the one(s) for you.
You can find our cross stitch magazine reviews here, and get a subscription to those with some nifty discounts. Prices vary from $20 to $50 a year depending on print/digital versions and the country being sent to.
Monthly Subscriptions – $20 to $50 a month
Christmas is all about getting great stuff (let’s be honest), but nothing is quite like getting a gift in the post month after month, stuffed full of awesome cross stitch prizes. It’s basically Christmas all year round!
Cross stitch subscription boxes are a weekly/monthly/quarterly box that includes stitchy gifts all year round. They can be as narrow as unique threads, to a series of hand-crafted kits, to a whole smorgasbord of cross stitch gifts including needles, threads, fabric, patterns, tools, notions, kits, sweets, teas, and even DVDs to watch while you stitch!
You can pick up a whole load of different monthly subscription boxes with prices varying from $20 to $50 a month. We’ve rounded up the best cross stitch subscription boxes so you pick the best out there!
DMC Thread Cones – $40
Most us of buy thread in skeins, and whilst this is great for 90% of our needs, colors like black and white are constantly on our “to buy” list.
But with a DMC cone, you can buy DMC thread like a pro. These cones come in 500g weights and are equal to about 257 skeins. If you do the math, that’s only 27c a skein, which is a lot cheaper than anywhere in the world. Trust me, we know how much DMC skeins cost across the world.
They come in a 35 colors, but in most cases you won’t need anything other than black and white (310 and B5200). But these cones of thread will not only keep your stitcher filled to the brim for years to come, but they’ll avoid the inevitable trip to the store to find them running out of the only two colors you need!
Full Set of CXC Threads – $40
CXC is a fairly new brand to the world of cross stitch, but they’re making massive moves. They produce threads, which match the DMC colors exactly (excluding their 35 new threads), however they make them using a polyester blend. This helps them reduce costs considerably, which is a saving they pass down. In fact, you can pick up their full range of 447 threads for under $40, compared to $400 for DMC threads!
But don’t let the price fool you, CXC threads are just as good as more expensive brands in our tests, and in many situations are better. They’re less likely to knot, less likely to lose their color over time, and less likely to bleach in the sun. These threads are soon to be just as popular as DMC…
Thread Packs – $20 to $40
The DMC company have consistently released new threads over the last 5 years, and we’re starting to see these come into patterns more and more, but many people still don’t have the “new” 35 DMC threads from 2017, don’t have the DMC etoile threads, or are just looking to get more thread from the shocking 500 that are now available.
You can pick up these new threads in fancy packed sets for under $40 from the DMC website directly, or pick them up at your local store/prefered online cross stitch store.
Great Cross Stitch Software – $40 (and under)
The natural progression for a stitcher is to go from kits to patterns, to making their own patterns. Most choose online programs, but they all have their own limitations, so spend $20-$200 on the perfect one. I would personally suggest WinStitch/MacStitch or PCstitch for $35-50. Or you can check out our cross stitch pattern generator comparison page.
Cross Stitch Gifts Under $100/£80
Tracing Pad – $30 to $50
A tracing pad might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of cross stitch, but we think that every cross stitcher should have a tracing pad and there are two great reasons to get one. Firstly, any addition light will help you keep your eyesight while cross stitching, but secondly, and most importantly, it cross stitch on black aida by lighting under your work. You can keep it on your lap or table depending on how you stitch, and they don’t get hot!
Day Light Lamp – $50 to $100
We can tell you, for sure, that day light lamps do make a difference to cross stitch. Not only do they add a massive amount of light to the area you’re working in, which can be super helpful when working with black or dark aida but they help your eyes deal with the intense focus you’re putting them through. We believe that everyone should have a well-lit cross stitch area, and daylight lamps or bulbs are the best way to get that necessary light.
All The Threads! – $100
The only thing better than owning a thread shade card is owning the threads themselves. I always kept using the threads I had on hand, and until I got the whole set, I didn’t realize just how much I was making compromises; my colors have definitely got better. You can see how much a full set of DMC threads has helped us with our blog post about our journey to a complete set of cross stitch threads.
Not the cheapest thing in the world, wait until you can buy a whole set in one go on an offer. The price can drop from $450 to $200. Just don’t be tempted by those cheap Chinese deals to see on eBay.
Cross Stitch Advent Calender – $130
Why keep all the cross stitch goodness until Christmas day?
A themed cross stitch advent calendar like this one from Caterpillar Cross Stitch might sound expensive, but with over $200 worth of cross stitch goodness from brands like Zweigart, DMC threads and more, its a perfect gift for your cross stitching someone.