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Best wildlife-themed embroidery kits

Get creative with these wildlife-inspired embroidery kits, from moon-gazing hares to buzzing bees.

Girl doing embroidery. © Edwin Tan/Getty
Published: April 15, 2022 at 8:00 am
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Feeling crafty and want to try your hand at embroidery? Whether you're a complete beginner or a more experience stitcher, there's something for everyone in our round-up of these beautiful wildlife-themed embroidery kits.

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What's the difference between embroidery and cross stitch?

Technically, cross stitching is a type of embroidery, but as explained in our best wildlife-themed cross stitch kits article, each stitch is a little x and usually worked onto a piece of gridded fabric called aida (sometimes printed). In embroidery, a template outline is transferred onto fabric (sometimes printed on) and filled in and uses a wider variety of stitches.

If you're new to embroider (or cross stitching, our colleagues over on Gathered.how have got lots of helpful guides and tutorials in their How To Embroider hub (or How To Cross Stitch hub), as well as plenty of free embroidery patterns (or free cross-stitch patterns) to download and enjoy.

How to choose the right embroidery kit for you

There's a few factors to keep in mind when shopping for a embroidery kit – levels of difficulty (including the types of stitches and how many colours are used), how large a design you want to stitch (and how portable it is), and the quality of fabric and threads. Plus, whether you need to buy a whole kit or if you've got a stash of fabric and threads to hand and actually it would be better to buy and download a chart instead (some of the charts in the kits below are also available as PDF downloads).


Best animal, plant and fungi embroidery kits

Wildwood embroidery kit, by Hawthorn Handmade

Wildwood embroidery kit by Hawthorn Handmade

This lovely wildwood embroidery kit by the Dorset-based company features a botanical inspired pattern, plus a bonus little beetle. It's a great kit for beginners to try out as the pattern is printed onto the 100% cotton fabric, so there's no faffing around with transfers (which are not difficult to use, but by not having one, it makes the kit a bit easier for complete beginners).

However, I did find that the printed lines were perhaps a little thick, even when using the recommended three strands of thread, and could be just a little thinner to help hide them once the stitches are in place. The stitch guide is clear and easy to follow. Plus, it's also available with a black fabric background instead of white.

This pattern consists of six types of stitches, and is available as a PDF download (£5.95).

The kit contains: a wooden embroidery hoop, pre-printed cotton fabric, DMC embroidery thread (in five colours), an embroidery needle, instructions, a stitch guide and a printed card pattern.

Stitch your own card embroidery kit - sea creatures, by West Coast Stitchery

Three brown cards with stitched designs in: whale, seahorse and turtle.

This kit is a really nice way to introduce yourself (or someone else) to embroidery – whilst also creating cute marine-themed cards! The A6 cards come with the design printed on, the stitching holes punched in, and are blank inside for you to add your own message. The pre-punching of the holes and only using two types of stitching (back stitch and running stitch) meant that embroidering these cards was even more mindful than the other embroidery kits, as less concentration was required.

A kit containing the three cards contains: three pre-printed and pre-punched brown recycled cards, three brown recycled envelopes, DMC embroidery thread (in six colours), an embroidery needle, coloured craft paper for the back of the embroidery, instructions and a stitch guide.

Moon gazing hare embroidery kit, by Paraffle

A geometric hare with gold and white threading looking up at a moon, on a navy background in a wooden hoop.

This embroidery kit from Edinburgh-based Paraffle consists of an absolutely charming moon-gazing hare pattern, and is made up of just two colours. That, combined with the types of stitches and the accompanying stitch guide, means that this isn't too difficult a pattern for beginners. The fabric comes unprinted, which may be daunting for some, but there are instructions for the using the Solvy paper – which is adhesive and water soluble. So once finished, you just need to run the fabric under a lukewarm tap to break up and wash away the transfer (again, details on doing so are included in the instructions).

This pattern includes eight types of stitches: single, back, chain, stem, satin, French knot, lazy Daisy and six-point star, and is also available as a PDF download (£4.99) via the Paraffle Embroidery website.

The kit contains: a wooden embroidery hoop, unprinted cotton fabric, pattern paper, felt fabric (for backing), embroidery needle, DMC embroidery thread (in two colours), instructions and stitch guide.

Wild flowers and bee linen embroidery kit, by Hoop Embroidery Company

Purple and white flowers with a bumblebee flying between them, stitched onto linen fabric and topped with the phrase 'stay wild', within a wooden hoop.

This is such a sweet little set, I almost didn't want to try it out for review and instead gift it to a friend! Perhaps I shall gift the completed kit instead. My kit came with pre-printed fabric, and the pattern was very easy to follow - though I did struggle with the fine details of the bumblebee's wings. Once thing I find was that the edges of the linen fabric starting fraying very quickly and often needed snipping. The instructions are relatively clear to read and follow, though I did end up checking some of the stitching types against online guides.

This pattern consists of five types of stitches: satin, brick, whip, split and French knots, and is available as a PDF download (£7.20).

The kit contains: a wooden embroidery hoop, pre-printed "magic paper" pattern or pre printed fabric, white cotton calico fabric or natural linen fabric, Madeira mercerised embroidery thread (in five colours), an embroidery needle, instructions.

Cream spot tiger moth embroidery kit, by Rabbit Hat Designs

Tiger Moth embroidery kit in a small wooden hoop.

I do so love a tiger moth, so this cream spot tiger moth pattern was very enjoyable to embroider. Although the pattern is quite small (the hoop is 4 inches in diameter), it's a good kit for beginners as the black areas are very forgiving to mistakes. It also comes with the pre-printed fabric already loaded into the embroidery hoop, which is very handy for anyone that might struggle with pattern transfers or fitting fabric smoothly into hoops.

This pattern consists of two types of stitches: straight and back stitch, and is available as a PDF download (£7.70).

The kit contains: a bamboo embroidery hoop, embroidery threads (in four colours), an embroidery needle, instructions, fabric template, natural embroidery linen.

Soothing Spring embroidery kit, by DMC

DMC Soothing Spring Embroidery Kit

This kit is part of DMC's Mindful Making collection, which includes a range of embroidery, cross-stitch, punch needle, knitting, crochet and macrame kits. The embroidery kits are all botanically inspired, from forest fruits and poppies, to succulents and carnations. This particular kit is named “The Soothing Spring” and is inspired by spring flowers. It's labelled as suitable for beginner and comes with pre-printed patterns on the cotton fabric. I found the instructions are clear and easy to follow, and once I got into a rhythm of stitching, it was soothing indeed.

This pattern consists of five types of stitches: back stitch, stem stitch, French knot, satin stitch, and split filling stitch.

The kit contains: a wooden embroidery hoop, an embroider needle, two pre-printed pieces of cotton fabric, DMC embroidery thread (in seven colours), instructions.


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Main image: Girl doing embroidery. © Edwin Tan/Getty

Authors

Megan ShersbyEditorial and digital co-ordinator at BBC Wildlife Magazine, and countryfile.com
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