Best Needlepoint Books for Beginners – Top 5 Picks for 2021

This is our official list of the best needlepoint books for beginners on the market today. Scroll further down for full details on each product and a brief overview of how-to needlepoint books.

Quick Look:

  1. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars 101 Needlepoint Stitches and How to Use Them
  2. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars Beginner’s Guide to Needle Felting
  3. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars Encyclopedia of Embroidery
  4. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars  The Needlepoint Answer Book
  5. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars Needlepoint: A Foundation Course

We know time is of the essence, so the above is a cheat sheet of what’s ahead, just in case your’re in a hurry. Otherwise, keep scrolling down for more detailed and constructive info on each item.

5 Highest Reviewed Needlepoint Books for Beginners

Needlepoint as we know it today has been around since the 17th century. Originally, needlepoint was a craft practiced only by men when fine furniture was upholstered with embroidered fabric. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (an avid needlepoint fan), this art form moved over into the wealthy class.

Daughters were taught different stitches and practiced long hours to perfect their artwork. Needlepoint became more popular as various inventions allowed the working class to enjoy some leisure time. A good source for a more detailed look at the history of needlepoint can be found at World of Needlepoiont.

Today needlepoint is a hugely popular hobby. Millions of people create beautiful tapestries and pictures to decorate their home. Needlepoint can be used to decorate clothing such as vests and jackets, or accessories such as belts and purses. Needlepoint offers unlimited possibilities for self-expression.

Basically, needlepoint uses a stiff canvas and yarn. Weaving yarn in and out with different stitches produces texture. The simplest project uses just a basic tent stitch and different colored yarn. However, there are literally hundreds of different stitches and techniques available to create intricate patterns. Basic needlepoint is a craft that is easy to learn. However, it can be difficult to choose from the hundreds of needlepoint books available on the market today.

Below is a list of the top five books for anyone just starting out.

1.) 101 Needlepoint Stitches and How to Use Them: Fully Illustrated with Photographs and Diagrams

101 Needlepoint Stitches and How to Use Them

A reference book for any level of experience, this book is well organized and easy to follow. Learning each of the 101 decorative stitches is simple with charts and actual-size photographs of each stitch.

In addition, the author gives suggestions on the best way to use each stitch. This book does not offer combinations of different stitches together, choosing instead to focus on each individual stitch.


  • Clear, concise instructions on 101 different stitches
  • Includes a handy chart comparing the stitches and listing the advantages and disadvantages of each one
  • Great illustrations explain each stitch and show what it should look like
  • This book will appeal to any level of experience


  • This classic book was first published in 1964 and revised in 1975, so it doesn’t include any of the newest stitches developed since that time. In addition, the photographs are not in color but various shades of grey, which makes it more difficult to see the details of the textures of different stitches.

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2.) Beginner’s Guide to Needle Felting

Beginner’s Guide to Needle Felting

This is a great book for people wishing to branch out and try some new techniques with needle felting. The book starts with describing basic techniques with clear and easy to follow step-by-step instructions. It then offers instructions for several basic projects with beautiful color pictures to help illustrate each technique.


  • Includes detailed instructions on the tools and materials needed to get started
  • Good basic step-by-step instructions for the beginner
  • Fun projects with clear directions for each one
  • Beautiful color pictures showing each project in detail


  • This book is designed for beginners and doesn’t offer much in tips or suggestions for the more advanced needle-worker. With only 6 projects offered, the book is designed more for inspiration than as a book you would refer to over and over.

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3.) Encyclopedia of Embroidery Stitches, Including Crewel (Dover Embroidery, Needlepoint)

Encyclopedia of Embroidery

This book is organized into 10 sections. Each section describes a specific family of stitches and their variations, starting with basic stitches and increasing in difficulty.

Covering a total of 178 different stitches, the book gives precise instructions, illustrations, and over 1400 detailed diagrams to show how to work each stitch step-by-step. This is a great reference book for both beginners and more experienced crafters.


  • A comprehensive encyclopedia of 178 different stitches
  • Illustrations show both the front and back of how each stitch should look
  • Each section starts with a sampler to practice each new stitch
  • Clear, concise instructions on each stitch


  • There are no color pictures of what the finished stitches look like in an actual project. This makes it hard to know how the stitches look together and how they can change the texture of the finished project.

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4.) The Needlepoint Answer Book

The Needlepoint Answer Book

The author of this book, Janet Perry, is well-known and highly regarded in the needlepoint world. She has written a number of needlepoint books and offers free on-line classes. You can learn more about her classes at Needlepoint Guru. This book offers basic information in a question and answer style with diagrams showing the basic stitches.


  • Excellent guide to vocabulary and the basics
  • Easy and fun to read question and answer format
  • Black and white diagrams illustrate both basic and advanced stitches


  •  This is a helpful and informative book for beginners, but the information is basic and doesn’t take you very far. The format of this book makes it hard to find specific information you may be looking for, and it doesn’t include projects to work on.

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5.) Needlepoint: A Foundation Course

Needlepoin A Foundation Course

This book allows you to set down a solid foundation in needlepoint by teaching you the four basic stitches first. After you have mastered the basics, you can move on to more advanced techniques and eventually design your own individual projects.


  • Starts with the basics and builds from there
  • Includes a small project with each new stitch for practice
  • Large black and white diagrams and charts are easy to follow
  • Soft-cover book lays flat, making it easy to photocopy charts if necessary


  • This book might be too basic for anyone with some stitching experience. With only 18 projects, even beginners might outgrow this book quickly and be ready for a more detailed study of needlepoint.

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Wrapping Up

Needlepoint is a relaxing and fulfilling hobby that anyone can learn without taking formal lessons. With just a few basic supplies, you can create beautiful and intricate art to express yourself or decorate your home. A good needlepoint book can either teach you the basics or expand your knowledge with advanced stitches and techniques.

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