Punch Needle Kitties with Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas

Nikki McWilliams Punch Needle Cat Cushion

Nikki McWilliams - Kirstie's Handmade Christmas

You guys- I was on TV! I’ve been sworn to secrecy since filming back in Autumn, but now that the cat (cushion) is literally out of the bag; I wanted to share a wee bit about the Punch Needle project that I demo’d on the Thursday the 13th’s Pet Gift Episode of Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas.

I absolutely love me a craft how-to show (my TV favourites as a kid were Hart Beat with lovely Tony Hart, and then later SMart and Art Attack) so I was excited to be asked to create a craft project to share on the show.  I started punch needle for fun a few months back- and I can honestly say that it’s one of the most satisfying and addictive craft forms I’ve tried for a long while. Kirstie was totally new to it- and picked it up really quickly.  I think she finished punching the whole outline of the Frankie face cushion in about 10 minutes!

If you missed the show and want to watch it back, catch the replay on the Channel 4 website here.

I think the trickiest thing about getting started for me was finding the right materials- and it was a bit of trial and error at the beginning. I knew that folks would be excited to try their own projects at home too- so I did a bit of digging and found some super quality affordable Punch Needles for my online store.

I’ve had lots of questions about materials so have put together a wee Kit List for you to get started with. This is by no means the definitive list- but I’ve tried these materials and they’ve worked for me so far:

Nikki McWilliams Punch Needle Tool

My Punch Needle Kit List

  1. Adjustable Punch Needle 
  2. Monks Cloth (Priciest)
  3. Size 6/8 Aida (Average Priced)
  4. Hessian (cheap)
  5. Wooden Frame (I used an old Box Canvas Frame and stripped the canvas off) like this one
  6. Heavy Stapler or Drawing Pins
  7. Yarn (I like to use Aran weight doubled up but most yarns up to 3.5mm wide will work well)

The other thing that comes in handy is a needle threader- although these are easy to make using a length of firm wire (Fold a piece longer than the length of your Punch Needle in half and secure with some washi tape or a button) or you can work around this by using a needle threaded with cotton and then tied to your yarn to get your punch threaded.

I’ve done a few Instagram LIVE demos over the last week or so-  and I found this ace video on Youtube that shows this needle being used here if you’re looking for a good visual demo too.

I’ll keep sharing my projects on my feed over on Instagram– you’re welcome to pop over and join me there!

Happy Punching pals, GOOD LUCK!

Nikki xx

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