How to Make a Counted Cross Stitch Pattern from a Picture

Updated February 21, 2017

There are many beautiful counted cross stitch patterns and kits available for a crafter to purchase and make. There may be a certain picture that you want to stitch for a project. You can make a counted cross stitch pattern from a picture you have found or taken yourself. Look for embroidery floss in colours to match the picture to complete your own project design.

Select the picture or photo you want to make a pattern of. Photocopy the picture in the size you desire onto a piece of white copy paper.

Outline coloured sections of the picture with the pencil. For instance, if you are making a pattern of a barn, outline the walls, roof, windows and doors, which are all separate colours.

Photocopy the coloured, pencil outlined picture on to a piece of graph paper.

Place the graph photocopy next to a new piece of graph paper. Count each line of the picture and colour in the matching graph squares with coloured pencils. Each cross stitch will equal 4 graph squares. Take your time and colour in the entire chart. This is your colour key for your pattern.

Choose the cloth you will be making your cross stitch pattern with. Count the number of stitches that go across and up the length of your pattern. Choose which size of weave your cloth should have for the pattern. For instance Aida cloth comes in 14 or 18 stitches per inch weave.

Record the colours and the amount of cloth you will need for your pattern.


Count your stitches a couple of times to make sure the pattern is accurate.

Things You'll Need

  • Picture
  • Graph paper
  • Pencil
  • Art eraser
  • Coloured pencils
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About the Author

Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for various websites. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.