I have fallen in LOVE with the art of the modern punch needle. This craft has a few names you may hear as you research it yourself. Rug Hooking is another term often used as well as needle punching. Rug Hooking is where this craft originated. The use of a hook was involved and it was a much more tedious process.

There are two basic styles of punch needle. One uses yarn the other uses embroidery thread.

This post will cover everything you need to know to teach you how to punch needle with yarn.


Watch this video tutorial to learn how to use a punch needle

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Do not be intimidated by this medium, it is as easy as pushing the needle through the monks cloth and back up again.

To start, make sure the point of the punch needle is always moving forwards, it can turn and be fluid but the point will always be the lead for your stitches.

How to use a punch needle

The most important thing to do when using a punch needle:

When you push the needle into the monks cloth or primitive linen make sure to push it all the way into the cloth before pulling back up.

When you pull the needle back up try to just pop it back through the top without pulling the needle away from the monks cloth. Then drag the needle forward and push it back down into the monks cloth.

If you don’t push the needle all the way down or you pull the needle too far up when you pull it out of the monks cloth it will loosen the yarn and create uneven loops.

How to start a section:

To start a project put your thumb over the back of the punch needle to hold the yarn in place and push your needle through the monks cloth. This will ensure the start of your line will be on the correct side of the cloth.

How to finish a section:

When you are finished with a color of yarn pull the punch needle up out of the top of the monks cloth and cut the yarn as close to the cloth as you are comfortable. Then take the point of you needle and push the end through to the right side of your project.

How long should my stitches be?

When doing boarders or finer lined details the punches should be tighter.

Depending on the size of the needle and weight of the yarn you are using and average gauge is every two holes for lines, every three holes when filling in.

When filling in areas the lines can be a few stitches less then the lines.

This is something you will get the feel of. However if you buy Amy Oxford punch needles they all come with a one inch measuring section you can hold over your project to see if you are getting enough stitches for the needle you are using.

How to finish a punch needle project

What to do with all my yarn ends in my project?

When your project is complete turn it over to the loopy side. It will look like a mess. Rub the handle of a pair of metal scissors (not rubber handles) over the loops and any missing ends will pop up. Now clip all the long ends even to the rest of the project.

Then use the tip of the punch needle to push back any loops that have moved away from where you want them.

This process takes some time but if the outlined sections were done with a tighter stitch it will help you adjust your yarn.

What happens if I mess up?

No worries! Just take that piece of yarn and pull it back out. Rub the side of the needle back and forth on the monks cloth and it will move back to it’s normal placement.

And that is all you need to know to use a punch needle!

Check out this PUNCH NEEDLE Q&A to learn more!



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Welcome! I am Tamara and I love teaching beginner sewing projects.

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  1. Tonya LaVigne wrote:

    Do you sell rag blankets?
    I’m trying to find someone that could make 2 twin rag quilts in Minnie Mouse. One pink and one purple.

    Thank You!
    Tonya LaVigne

    Posted 8.16.20 Reply
    • Tamara wrote:

      Hi Tonya, I know of a gal through Instagram who makes beautiful custom rag quilts. I don’t make any to sell at the moment but I love her work and think you would be very happy with her finished product. Her instagram account is @raelynnskreations you can also find her on etsy at Let her know I sent you 🙂 Tamara

      Posted 8.17.20 Reply