Come and visit us any time at:

Acorn Craft Shop

6a School Lane

Heaton Chapel




Tel: 0161 442 4336

Monday to Friday

10:00 - 17:15


10:00 - 16:30


Prior booking only

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Hints and Tips

This is a page that will change quite regularly.  We are going to add a basic set of cross stitch tips that should follow on from the "How to get Started" section.  Then we will get into the more interesting and unusual tips.  If you have any of your own, please don't hesitate to share.


Other Equipment

  1. Invest in a good pair of embroidery scissors.  They give good clean finishes to hread when you need to cut them, instead of hacking a threads with bigger duller scissors
  2. If you don't like the idea of having very sharp scissors around (because of children and animals) invest in a thread cutter, it works in a very similar way to way you cut dental floss
  3. If you are in a real pinch you can us nail clippers to cut thread



  1. Make sure all of the stitches are done in the same way.  Decide before you start which half of the stitch will be on top and stick to it.
  2. Work in a way that your hand will not keep touching your finished stitches, it can cause them to fray and  look fuzzy
  3. Check, check and check again that all your stitches are in the right places.  Use reference points to make sure all your stitches line up to where they should be
  4. Every few stitches allow your needle and thread to drop and unwind.  This will smooth the thread giving a smoother look to the finished piece



  1. To stop your fabric from fraying as you complete your project you have a few options; cover the edges with a single layer of masking to, use fabric glue (though this is permanent) or sew a hew with a sewing machine
  2. It may seem obvious but make sure you have anough fabric.  Remember to take into account a border and the amount that will fold over onto the back to thread together so it can be framed



  1. Get used to putting your needle in the same place everytime you take a break - this will minimise you losing your needle
  2. If you can, purchase a magnetic needle block to keep you needle on.  This makes it 10x harder to lose your needle.  (You can buy some very decorative ones through Etsy)
  3. If your needle slips in your finger because you are too warm (and sweaty) apply a little bit of baby powder to your hands but not too much.  This will also prevent your needle from becoming rusty.



  1. If you have a tablet device, take a photo of the chart.  This way not only can you zoom in on hard to see sections, if you lose the paper copy you will always have a backup
  2. If you work from a paper chart, make sure to mark off your progress regularly.  If you cannot work on the project for while and haven't been keeping track of you progress it can be difficult to find your place again
  3. If you really struggle with charts and counting off stitches grid out your fabric before you start into  10x10 squares.  Use a colour thread that stands out to do this and be careful no to sew the grid thread into the actual pattern stitches



  1. DMC match their colour code across their range of fabrics and threads.  For example 310 is plain black stranded cotton, S310 is satin thread and E310 is black light effects (Metallic) and 310 is the code for black Aida
  2. Metallic threads should be kept in the fridge or cool area between uses.  This is because the colder temperatures will contract the fibres and the thread will be far less likely to snag as you pull it through your fabric
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