How-to Guide

Before you begin:

Check the register of your canvas:

Canvas is a flexible material and printing on canvas is difficult as it moves (unlike paper). Sometimes during the process of manufacturing or printing the canvas there is some movement. We check each canvas very carefully before posting, but if the canvas is more than 3 holes out of true vertically or horizontally please return it to us for a replacement.

Make a shade card:

We have hundreds of shades to choose from for our designs, and sometimes the printed colours differ slightly from the actual yarn shade to allow for easy interpretation of similar shades. So it is always advisable to prepare the shade card before you begin.

Each kit has a colour code to the right of the design which identifies the shade of wool required. Following the line of the scissors symbol at the bottom of the strip, cut a strip off the edge of your canvas – effectively cutting the colour code in half.  This detached strip will become your shade card. Attach a small sample of yarn to each colour box on the shade card for easy identification during sewing.

How to use the Colour Key:

Each skein of yarn is marked with a number code, use this number code when matching up the shades and making your shade card.

Do not dampen your canvas:

All our canvases are printed using eco-friendly water-based ink. This ink will run if it gets wet or is dampened. On completion of your canvas if you need to block or stretch the canvas we recommend using a light spray to dampen the canvas to avoid running (see instructions below).

Using a Frame:

You can stitch the canvas on a frame or without a frame. If you stitch without a frame your canvas will need blocking after you have finished  – see instructions below. (We prefer to sew with a frame as it produces a more even and neater finish and can be made up without blocking first)



Beginning the kit:

For ease of working yarn should be cut into 16” – 18” lengths (40 – 50cms). Never use knots in your work. Instead start by leaving a small tail of ¾” of yarn and whilst making you first 5 or 6 stitches catch the yarn under the stitches to anchor the wool.

As you come to the end of stitching a length of yarn, run the yarn under 5 or 6 worked stitches on the back of the canvas to anchor the end, and then trim off any excess.


Your POMPOM needlepoint kit is designed to be stitched using the ‘Basketweave’ and ‘Continental’ forms of Tent stitch. Tent stitch is a small, diagonal stitch that crosses over the intersection of one horizontal (weft) and one vertical (warp) thread of the needlepoint canvas forming a slanted stitch at a 45-degree angle. It is one of the most simple and versatile stitches used in needlepoint.

Both Basketweave and Continental tent stitch produce the same appearance on the front of the canvas but are worked in a slightly different way.

Basketweave tent stitch:

The best stitch for covering large areas of canvas, the ‘basketweave’ tent stitch is worked in diagonal rows up and down the canvas. The yarn on the back of the canvas has a ‘basketweave’ appearance, with alternating horizontal and vertical stitches. If you choose to stitch your kit without a frame, basketweave is the best stitch to use. It covers large areas of canvas well and it does not distort the canvas, it is also very hardwearing. 

Continental tent stitch:

A good stitch for detailed areas, ‘continental’ tent stitch is worked horizontally or vertically across the canvas. On the back of the work, the stitches appear diagonally across two threads. This method is hardwearing, but will distort the canvas if used extensively without a frame.

Finishing off:

Hold the canvas up to the light to check no stitches are missing.

To Block your canvas:

If you have chosen not to work your canvas on a frame the end result may be out of shape and so will need to be stretched back into shape. This is known as blocking.

You can take the finished tapestry to be professionally blocked at your local needlework shop, use a finishing service or do it yourself. To do it yourself, you will need a plywood/hardwood/MDF board larger than the canvas, a water mist sprayer, hammer and rust proof carpet-style tacks, and blotting paper.

Tape the blotting paper to the board and draw a square the same size as your work onto the paper. Place your canvas in the middle of the board on top of the blotting paper and put one tack in the middle of the top side of the canvas fixing it to the middle top line on your blotting paper. Pulling the canvas square and taut put a tack in the middle of the bottom side in line with the blotting paper. Work around the canvas, tacking one side then the other and straightening as you go. You may have to take out a tack and reposition it while you work. Working on the flat, spray with a fine mist to dampen. Leave to dry on the flat. The drying process will take a few days and you may have to repeat the process to get it really straight.

Making up:

The final step of your finished tapestry is to make it up into a cushion, picture, seat base…If you are not confident in making it up, you can find a local finishing service to make it up for you.


Get in touch:

If you have any questions you can contact us via our contact us page and we will be happy to help if we can.

We hope you love your kit. Good luck with it and happy stitching!