Spooky Stitchery

Are you on a budget?
Would you like to craft, but hate making decisions?
Does your idea of ‘fun’ involve doing a simple, robotic task over and over again, much like the dot-matrix printers of old?

Then this post is for you! Many people have taken up needlework as a way to re-allocate all their bad brain energy into a physical task. Cross-stitching is really the perfect level of mindlessness; you still need to keep the lights on in there, but otherwise there’s very little to it. I often call it the paint-by-numbers of embroidery…by the way, have you seen those kits now? They’re selling full-on Van Goghs! I don’t know why I’m surprised.

Anyways. I’ve made three different free cross-stitch patterns for the spooky season, two of which are beginner-friendly, and one of which is Not.

What do I need?

Getting started with cross-stitch is both cheap and easy. Basic supplies are readily available at any big box craft store, and you only need six (6) things to get started. Many stores also sell convenient kits that come with everything (or almost everything) you need.

With that, let’s get to the free* patterns! (*Don’t sell them. Especially the last one.)

Spooky Stitches

This is a beginner-friendly pattern with a seasonal variety of lil’ guys. You can pick one to stitch by itself as a little cameo, or you can use it as a border stitch to outline a larger project or whichever. For color choices, I’ve suggested some DMC numbers, but feel free to use whatever you like. For the orange, I picked Autumn Gold on my monitor, but turns out there’s literally a color called Pumpkin (DMC 970, 971, 3825), and at the craft store I noticed the Orange Spice range is also good (DMC 720, 721, 722). Lastly, I’ve modeled this on grey-colored Aida cloth, but depending on your cloth color choice, you may need to omit/add contrasting outline stitches for best results.

Gramarye: The Cross-stitch Pattern

Another beginner-friendly pattern, this one-color rendition of the Bay Area Kei Halloween event logo would be perfect to make into a bookmark, or to add on to another pattern to make it a souvenir. Remember: stitching on black Aida cloth can be hard on your eyes, so consider using a lighter color if you want to avoid straining.

Metal Fence

(un)Original Content, Do Not Steel

Welcome to the Big Leagues. This pattern actually isn’t all that advanced – it’s only one color, and there’s no fractional stitches, beading, or french knots. There’s not even any backstitching!

But it is Big. Dimensions clock in at about 390 x 350, with roughly 26,000 stitches. The pdf pattern takes 20 letter-sized pages to print. Even if you stitch it on 18-count Aida cloth, it will still measure close to 2 feet wide.

I spent days on this, poring over Purestmaiden’s close-up photos of her own dress for reference. In the process, I learned that the aesthetic signature of this Well-Known Metal Fence is slight asymmetry. If you go on to spend days stitching this pattern, please know that every weird little design decision you run into, every strangely asymmetrical bit and bob, was one I likely futzed with at least three times. Feel free to futz with them more! But seriously. If anything, my pattern added MORE symmetry than the original.

The Stitching Hour

That concludes this round-up of free* cross-stitch patterns to hopefully help inspire you on your own DIY journey. And please tag me on social media if you post any work done with my patterns!

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