I got the idea for these embroidered needlepoint Hanukkah cocktail napkins while reading Carly‘s blog recently. She’s one of my absolute favorite bloggers, always churning out genuine, relatable content, and she’s been super into needlepoint through the pandemic. To be honest, I didn’t think needlepoint was for me. I don’t love precise crafts where you have to get every stitch perfect. Then, she posted about embroidered napkins.
Dipping My Toe into Needlepoint Embroidery
Okay, this seemed easy enough…there’s no pattern to follow. You just draw something out freehand and then stitch it. I can manage a needle and thread, plus these seemed like a fabulous, thoughtful gift idea. Plus, I’m cheap and, while I’ve always loved the look of needlepoint cocktail napkins, I was never going to shell out almost $50 for a set of 4.
Y’all, it’s just as easy as it looks. Since I got the supplies last week, I’ve cranked out 8 napkins. They’re going to be my new go-to hostess gift. If you know me and I have a reason to give a gift, you’re probably getting a personalized set of these. FYI.
DIY Embroidered Needlepoint Hanukkah Cocktail Napkins
I’ve done a few sets of Christmas napkins for friends but, since I wanted to get festive this week around our own home, I whipped up these needlepoint Hanukkah cocktail napkins with menorahs (I also did a dreidel but it didn’t make the photo shoot).
So, how’d I do it? To start at the very beginning, I went to Michael’s Craft Store and picked up embroidery floss, needles, and a hoop (you’ll use the 4×4 size). Off Amazon, I ordered water soluble markers and cocktail napkins. I started with a pack of 12 napkins, just in case I didn’t enjoy it, and have since ordered the 50 pack. They’re a steal at about a dollar a napkin when you go for the big pack.
Then, I picked an easy image to embroider. If you need inspiration, I’d suggest looking up “vector image” plus whatever you want to draw. That will help you keep it in easy, solid blocks. I’d even recommend keeping it to simple line drawings and only filling in specific, small parts. Anything to make it easy.
Next, if you read Carly’s post, she includes several videos about how to stitch. YouTube will teach you everything you need to know. I’ve found the stem stitch the most helpful because I love the chain look that it has when you double up rows (I don’t have an example in these napkins but, trust me, it looks awesome). For these napkins, I just did a stem stitch to outline the menorah, a satin stitch for the base, and then a few random satin stitches to mimic a flame.
Just a note: I said these are easy, but I wouldn’t say they’re quick. In Carly’s post, she said they each take about an hour and I thought, no way is that possible. But, an hour is about exactly right start to finish. I like to think about this as time in the evening I can relax that I’d otherwise probably spend scrolling through Instagram. It’s an easy way to add some creativity and joy to my evening.
Once I finished, I washed off the marker. Let them dry overnight, then gave them a quick iron. Done and done. Now, go pour yourself a cocktail and enjoy!