How to Do Tapestry

Written by tracy morris
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How to Do Tapestry
Neelepoint can be used to create tapestry. (Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

The word tapestry evokes pictures from elementary school books of the Bayeux tapestry or possibly the Unicorn Tapestries from the Cloister's museum. Based on the Medieval examples given, it would almost seem that tapestry making has almost died out. However, the practice of tapestry is alive and well today. Tapestry in the modern era is almost any type of needlework that can be used to decorate a home. Cross stitch, embroidery and other forms of needlework are examples of tapestry.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Graph paper
  • Canvas
  • Tapestry hoop
  • Tapestry needle
  • Coloured floss
  • Scissors

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Place graph paper into a printer. Print a design from your computer to the printer. The graph paper is similar to needlepoint canvas. By using the graph paper as a chart, you can use the grid pattern of the canvas to stitch your tapestry design.

  2. 2

    Insert a piece of needlepoint canvas into a needlepoint hoop. The hoop helps to keep the tapestry fabric taut as you work.

  3. 3

    Thread needlepoint floss into a needlepoint needle. Match the colour of the floss to the squares of colour on the chart.

  4. 4

    Push the needle through the canvas from the underside of the canvas to the face side at the left lower corner of a canvas square. Pull the needle through to bring the floss through the canvas. Hold the trailing end of the thread on the underside of the canvas to keep it from passing all the way through.

  5. 5

    Insert the needle into the upper right corner of the canvas on the canvas's face side. This will leave a lenght of floss that crosses the square of canvas. Pull the floss taught, but do not allow the trailing end of the floss to push through.

  6. 6

    On the underside of the canvas, bring the needle down to second square's lower left side. Push the needle through and pull the floss taut. Tuck the trailing end of the floss under the taut floss to hold it in place. Push the needle through the upper right corner of the second square. Continue to stitch in this way until all of the blocks in this colour in a row are covered with floss from their lower left corners to their upper right corners.

  7. 7

    Bring the needle down to the lower right corner of the underside of the final square. Push the needle through and bring it up to the upper left side. Push the needle through again. The final square will appear to have been crossed by the floss. Repeat this process for each square until the entire row is crossed. Run the needle and floss through the taut floss behind the canvas to secure it. Clip any trialing floss threads.

  8. 8

    Cross stitch the entire tapestry pattern using the appropriate colours to fill in the appropriate boxes. The canvas may be stretched and framed when you have finished.

Tips and warnings

  • Crosstitch is the simplest means of tapestry. However, any type of needlework will also create a tapestry.
  • To transfer a tapestry onto a larger piece of fabric, tack the canvas to that fabric and crosstitch as usual. Pull the canvas out of the stitching in threads when you have finished. The thread will remain behind on the fabric that you have stitched it through.

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