Cross-stitch is an ideal craft for kits: not only is it beginner-friendly with few necessary supplies, but it’s adaptable to many styles of art and the materials are small and light, making shipping affordable.
Creating kits also means developing two (or more) products in one: more-advanced crafters with a stash of embroidery floss might simply buy a PDF pattern, while beginners—or those purchasing gifts—will likely want all the supplies in one package. You can even vary your offerings with different base materials and colours, or add in extra supplies, like scissors or hoops.
For business and design inspiration, here are six cross-stitch kit makers based in Canada that we love.
What: Colourful cross-stitch kits for kids and adults, on both aida cloth and laser-cut wood.
Why: From avocados and lemons to llamas and unicorns, Watters’ kits scream fun—though funny enough, her bestseller is Sea to Sky, a serene geometric take on the B.C. coast. Her laser-cut wood pieces feel modern, whether the impactful 16-inch circles for her larger designs or the mini ornaments and keychains that make for easy afternoon projects. And we bow down to her ceiling-height, organized-by-colour embroidery thread caddy, which feels more like an art installation than functional work furniture and rakes in the likes on Instagram.
Workshop’s favourite: Besides Sea to Sky? We’re smitten with the Alpine Flowers design, available as a full kit or an instant-download PDF pattern.
What: Beginner-friendly cross-stitch kits featuring imagery like doughnuts and ugly Christmas sweaters.
Why: Wistful Bird have built their catalogue out of a clear set of parameters: simple, primarily object-focused designs on white fabric, either in four-inch hoops or as bookmarks with pre-finished edges. They’ve found a niche with south-of-the-border pink flamingos and retro campers parked next to towering cactuses, but aren’t afraid to branch out to pretty florals or summery ice creams and canoe paddles. Bonus: we appreciate the how-tos on the Wistful Bird website, for those who need a refresher on cross-stitching.
Workshop’s favourite: We can’t resist the Honey Bee for its bright, sunny vibe.
What: Cross-stitch kits and patterns inspired by Canada.
Why: Pigeon Coop taps into regional pride with its kits and patterns featuring landmarks, landscapes, wildlife and more, plus pithy and timely sayings like “I’d rather be canoeing” and “Will you be in my bubble?” Torontonians will appreciate images like the now-vintage streetcars, while nature lovers might pick a pattern of a monarch butterfly or blue jay. One market advantage is the sheer quantity of patterns: there truly is something for everyone here.
Workshop’s favourite: Winter Landscape has us longing for a cozy cabin in the mountains. (To cross-stitch in, of course.)
Where: Oakville, Ont.
What: Cross-stitch kits and other merchandise with designs inspired by traditional Romanian motifs.
Why: The abstract, often geometric art of these patterns is a fantastic fit for the pixelated nature of cross-stitch, and it’s easy to swap in your own colour choices to fit your mood, your decor or your stash of embroidery floss. And while most kits are on standard aida cloth, one nine-inch floral design is stitched on burlap for a rustic, natural look.
Workshop’s favourite: The Flower of Love kit comes in five colour and background options – but we can also imagine this sweet pattern stitched onto a tote bag pocket or an item of clothing.
What: Cross-stitch kits, greeting cards and gifts.
Why: YH carries plenty of simple cross-stitch kits to keep stitchers busy, from florals and trees to the classic wine-glass-or-coffee-cup-plus-saying design. What’s more unique is the hand-stitched greeting cards for various occasions and the custom family cross-stitch portraits – pets included.
Workshop’s favourite: An ice cream motif isn’t new, but what makes the Ice, Ice Cream Baby kit special is the oatmeal-coloured aida cloth and sweet pastel-adjacent colours.
What: Cross-stitch kits that think outside the square.
Why: The owls, raccoons and skunks are cute, but what really caught our eye is the series of designs featuring a girl in a striped dress. She floats off with a balloon, stomps in a puddle and hangs upside down in a tree – all with a chic black, white and yellow colour scheme and backstitched line drawing to accentuate the cross-stitch in a way that feels fresh.
Workshop’s favourite: Could there be any better crafternoon activity to brighten a gloomy day than Girl in the Rain?