How To Use A Sharpie To Chart A Needlepoint Pattern

How to use a needlepoint chart or pattern - using a sharpie!

This easy way to use and read a needlepoint chart pattern is perfect when needlepointing detailed charts.


It makes the process a relaxed and peaceful stitching experience by creating a framework for you to stitch and count within (it also helps to avoid miscounting!).

Watch the step by step tutorial below. I hope you love it!



A charted design (Click here for the Folk Nativity pattern)

A ruler

18 count needlepoint canvas

*Sharpies (any pen or marker you use should say "permanent") 

Artist Tape



*Some colors of markers and pens that say “permanent” will still bleed when soaked with water. Use caution when using colors like red and pink - if you plan on blocking your piece take this into consideration.

You can always test your markers before hand!

1. Simply draw a line of intersections in each color you are planning to use in the project onto a scrap piece of canvas. Allow to dry.

2. Spray the canvas with water until thoroughly wet. Place the canvas between two white towels (old cotton t-shirts are a good alternative), place a stack of books on top, and allow to dry.

3. If any sharpie is transferred to the towel you should use caution when blocking.  (I tested this piece and the only color that transferred to my towel was the red).

Keep in mind that if you are stitching over the marker in the same color thread - the bleeding might not be an issue (slight bleeding from a red sharpie is unlikely to show up on red thread). 



1 Response

Anne Shaughnessy
Anne Shaughnessy

April 27, 2023

Thank you very much for the tutorial showing how to use markers to prepare a canvas for stitching. I purchased the Christmas ornament recently and just ordered my threads, so I was ready to prepare the canvas but really didn’t have a systematic method for doing so. Your timing could not have been better for me. The directions were very clear without being overwhelming. Great job.

Many thanks, Abigail.


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