How to Convert a Photo to a Cross-Stitch Pattern

Written by lindsey salloway
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How to Convert a Photo to a Cross-Stitch Pattern
Convert a photo to a cross-stitch pattern to make a more personal image. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Converting a photo to a cross-stitch pattern can be done using your own computer and easy-to-use software. Once you have the pattern, you can cross-stitch your favourite photos onto just about any surface, such as pillowcases and blankets or simply a piece of material you will frame. Personal photos converted to cross stitch also make special handmade gifts.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Download or scan the photo you want to use onto your computer.

  2. 2

    Upload the image to a site such as PictureCraftwork ( or Pattern Creator ( PictureCraftwork, for example, charges £4 per chart to generate a cross-stitch pattern, but patterns with fewer than 1,000 stitches can be downloaded free. Pattern Creator charges 2.50 euro for this service. You can also purchase software that enables you to generate your own patterns. If you have a PC, you can buy PCStitch in Standard or Pro versions from PC Stitch ( or Ursa Software (; if you have a Mac, you can buy MacStitch from Ursa Software. The software costs between £25.90 for PC Stitch Standard to £51.90 for PC Stitch Pro, but if you plan to create a number of patterns, purchasing software will likely be the least expensive option in the long run.

  3. 3

    Resize the image to fit the desired dimensions of the pattern.

  4. 4

    Select the number of colours you wish to use. The programs will automatically include all of the colours present in the image. If you wish to change the colours, this is when you will do it.

  5. 5

    Print your pattern.

Tips and warnings

  • All sites will differ slightly, so follow the step-by-step instructions on the site you choose.

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