Crafts for adults

Craft fail: Punch Needle

trying punch needle

You know how I love to try new crafts. I usually stick to my favourites of sewing and paper cutting, but a few months ago I signed up to a craft subscription box and received a punch needle kit. I hadn’t heard of punch needle before but the kit contained fabric, an embroidery hoop, embroidery threads and a punch needle.

What is punch needle?

If you haven’t heard the term punch needle before then I would explain it as something maybe your grandmother did. You use a punch needle (which looks a little like a pen) to literally punch a hole in fabric and push a loop of embroidery thread through.

The craft kit I bought had a modern feel to it as there were three patterns for fruit. I always think of punch needle as being a little old-fashioned, but if you get the hang of it (and I’m afraid I didn’t!) then you could design any kind of pattern you like.

what is punch needle

What do you need to punch needle?

Punch needle is not a spendy kind of craft. You only need the right kind of fabric, a punch needle and embroidery thread. Obviously the better quality supplies you have, the more successful you will be.

How to make a punch needle pice of art

Like I said, the kit I bought had three patterns so I placed the fabric securely in the embroidery hoop and transferred the pattern on to the fabric (I just used a sunny window to do this). You do punch needle from the BACK of the fabric, pushing the punch needle against the fabric so the needle actually goes through the fabric. then you remove the punch needle and place it slightly next to the hole you just made, so you end up with a tight row or loops of embroidery thread.

craft fail punch needle

Now, it sounds quite easy but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Either the thread didn’t stay in place and I was left with holes in my fabric or the loops were all different sizes. To be honest I wasn’t really enjoying myself. I had chosen the watermelon design so added the next layer of colour. It still wasn’t looking as the picture in the instructions did. Should I carry on or give up?

craft fail punch needle

I have to say I gave up. I HATE giving up but the back and front looked equally terrible. I don’t have a lot of patience but neither do I have a lot of free time at the moment. I decided to swish it into the bin and concentrate on something else which would bring me some joy.

Have you ever tried punch needle? Would you after reading my experience?


  • Reply
    Mellissa Williams
    April 10, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    I think you need lots of patience for this! I much prefer embroidery but even that take ages to make anything good.

  • Reply
    Joanne Dewberry
    April 11, 2019 at 10:01 am

    I hate it when a craft looks so simple and then it’s super fiddly and doesn’t work! I’m sure I remember doing something similar when I was a child.

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