Cross stitch has been a hobby of mine since I was a child. Not only is it fun, creative, and super satisfying to produce artwork, it’s a really mindful activity too.
If you’re totally new to the craft, cross stitch is a type of embroidery that is made up of stitched crosses of different colours to form a beautiful image or pattern. It’s a relatively easy form of embroidery, making cross stitch great for both beginners and experts alike, depending on the pattern.
Cross stitch kits are a great place to start, because they contain everything you’ll need to create a beautiful embroidery, from the thread to the fabric and embroidery hoop.
Because of this, cross stitch kits make wonderful gifts for the crafty people in your life, whether they've ventured into the world of cross stitching or not.
More advanced cross stitchers may only need a pattern to get going with a new project, as they’ll no doubt have an ever-growing stash of fabric and countless coloured threads already.
Whether you’re buying for yourself, or a gift for a beginner or your favourite expert-stitcher, these are my 8 favourite creative and colourful cross stitch patterns for animal lovers (plus a couple of extras).
1. Cozy Vibes Only Cross Stitch Kit by The Geeky Stitching Co, £17.99
Jess founded The Geeky Stitching Co in 2014, and designs her cute cross stitch patterns and accessories from North Devon.
Every one of her designs is totally adorable, but I can’t resist this fox’s happy face, surrounded by those sweet flowers and teapots. Cross stitching feels like such a cosy activity, so this pattern is just perfect.
The Cozy Vibes Only cross stitch pattern is a manageable size (15cm) and super affordable too, so it’d make a great present for beginners.
She also has many of her designs available as downloadable PDFs, for those who already have their own fully-stocked cross stitch stash.
Special mention has to go to the I Froggin’ Love You Cross Stitch Kit - I can’t resist a pun. Sadly it’s sold out, but I really hope it’ll be restocked soon.
2. Flower Friends: Set of 3 by Satsuma Street, $14 (approx £11.15)
I love these super colourful, retro cross stitch designs made by Jodi from Satsuma Street - they’re so cheerful and pretty. And I need to find out where those bright frames are from too!
Her small business is based in the US, and only ships kits within US and Canada, but she also creates downloadable PDFs like this one for international buyers who already have all the cross stitching kit they need.
3. Anchor Under The Sea Jellyfish Cross Stitch Kit by Sew Sophie Crafts, £13.99
How adorable is this happy little jellyfish? This cross stitch kit is suitable for those dipping their toes into cross stitching, although you will need your own 6” embroidery hoop - they’re super easy to find in craft shops or online.
Sophie creates beginner-friendly cross stitch kits from her garden studio in Norwich, and even has a book packed with cross stitch projects with step-by-step guides and mindful reflections, which would make a gorgeous gift.
4. All the Cats Cross Stitch Pattern by Stitchrovia, £5.99
This cross stitch pattern is the purrfect gift for every cat-loving crafter. I love all the different felines playing with their toys or curling up for yet another nap, doing what cats do best.
The All The Cats cross stitch pattern doesn’t have to be made into a cushion, but it looks just as wonderful as a cushion as it would framed.
All Stitchrovia downloadable PDF patterns are designed by Emma Congdon, a multidisciplinary designer living in London.
5. Jewelled Giraffes Cross Stitch Kit by Bothy Threads, £41.99
Bothy Threads is run by Kate and John in Cumbria, working alongside 50 artists to create hundreds of unique cross stitch patterns.
I love this beautiful image of a giraffe and calf designed by Sharon Turner, with amazing jazzy patterns covering them both - it reminds me a little of my own Mandala Giraffe Cross Stitch Kit.
It’s a larger design (32x32cm) and involves both cross stitching and back stitch, so along with the complex patterns, this may be a better gift for more experienced stitchers.
6. Karma Chameleon Cross Stitch Pattern by Tiny Modernist, £5
This sweet little cross stitch design is a teeny 12x12cm, and comes as a downloadable PDF. Just look how happy that chameleon looks on his flowery branch.
This cross stitch pattern would make a lovely, affordable gift for a crafty friend if you pop it in a box with some thrifted fabric and sewing notions - check out my favourite embroidery threads if you’re not sure where to start.
Cheryl McKinnon is the creative brains behind Canadian cross stitch brand, Tiny Modernist. She was initially inspired by her talented mum and grandmother to take up cross stitch as a hobby.
7. Into the Jungle Cross Stitch Pattern by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, £15.32
This colourful cross stitch pattern contains loads of adorable jungle-dwelling creatures great and small, making it an ideal gift for animal-loving crafters.
The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery has been creating cross stitch designs and “adding kawaii eyeballs to everything” since 2010, in sunny Northern California. Most of their designs are downloadable PDFs, but they do ship their cross stitch kits internationally, too.
You get a whopping 25% off when you sign up to their newsletter, which might be a handy discount if you’re paying for international shipping.
And who says we can’t include fictional animals in this list? Another one I need to mention is the Camelot the Dragon Cross Stitch Pattern - I can barely cope with the cuteness!
8. Mandala Elephant Cross Stitch Kit by Meloca Designs, from £31.95
I can’t create a list of cross stitch patterns for animal lovers without mentioning my own cross stitch kits, can I? I’ve been creating cross stitch patterns since 2017 for my small business, Meloca Designs, and the Mandala Elephant is by far our most popular kit.
This cross stitch kit comes with everything you need, and despite its bold patterns is suitable for both new and experienced crafters, making it a perfect gift.
Meloca Designs cross stitch designs are also available as printed patterns, for those who have all the cross stitching equipment they need. The Mandala Bee Cross Stitch Pattern is another lovely one to keep your hands buzz-y.
Phew! I’ve got to admit, it was hard to narrow my list down to just 8, as there are thousands of stunning animal-themed cross stitch patterns in the crafty world.
Hopefully you’ve found one amongst my list that’s perfect for you or as a gift for your favourite crafter.
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