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#1 Punch Needle Tips & Tricks for Everyone

In need of some Punch Needle tips? We’ve got a stack of them with your name on it!

You’ve seen the super fun Punch Needle videos of crafty folks punching out rugs or making cute little coasters, but how in the Hobby Lobby world do they get their Punch Needle loops to stay, and how do you thread a Punch Needle?
All these questions plus more will be covered and answered in this handy-dandy article on Punch Needle tips and tricks!

It’s never too late to jump aboard a crafting train, and we’ve got your ticket saved for ya!

Colorful hand drawn yarn for knitting, crocheting  isolated on white background with punch needle tips

What is the Trick to Punch Needle?

What is the trick to Punch Needle? Something that most certainly helps when you’re entering the Punch Needle world as a beginner is to watch a few real-time videos of folks Punch Needling so you can get a visual of how it’s done. And another vital tool is research, which is what you’re doing right now; gather Punch Needle tips!

The trick to Punch Needle is to have patience with yourself as you learn the movement of the Punch Needle, get the hang of threading your Punch Needle, always make sure you have slack with your yarn/string as you’re punching, and don’t lift your Punch Needle off the cloth as you’re working, and always punch in the direction of your line.

Let’s get more in-depth, though, shall we?

Vector flat hand drawn seamless pattern with yarn with punch needle tips

Punch Needle Tips & Tricks

You’ve come here for helpful Punch Needle tips, and by golly, are we going to deliver.

Below you’ll find a set of excellent Punch Needle tips for beginners and even some Punch Needle tips and tricks for those who have been punching for a while. There’s something for everyone here!

  • Always have Slack: This is an extremely important Punch Needle tip, arguably one of the most vital. While you’re punching, you always want to make sure that there is slack with your yarn/string. Otherwise, your loops will fall out, and you’ll have a not-so-happy Punch Needling time.
  • Punch all the way down: Another reason why your loops/stitches may not be staying is that you aren’t punching your needle all the way down. This means when you’re pushing your needle into the fabric, it should touch the fabric before you lift your needle up. And, on that note, read the Punch Needle tips below!
  • Don’t lift your needle: Once you have punched all the way down to the fabric (not roughly) and you’re starting to lift up, be careful not to lift the end of the needle itself off of the fabric. You want the tip of the needle always to be touching the fabric. Otherwise, you may be accidentally tugging on the yarn/string, and your loops/stitches are going to unravel.
  • Punch in the direction you’re making: In whatever direction you’re punching, that’s the direction the eye of your Punch Needle should be following. Don’t be afraid to move your hoop around with you as you work; don’t worry, this will become like second nature once you get your Punch Needle groove on!
  • Make sure your fabric is tight: Another key reason why your loops/stitches may be unraveling is that your fabric is not fastened tight enough. If the fabric is not taut on your hoop, your yarn won’t be able to form loops for you.
  • Pliers assistance: Sometimes tightening your embroidery hoop can be a killer on your wrists, here’s a nice Punch Needle tips for ya, use a pliers to assist you in getting your fabric nice and taut on your hoop!
  • Use the right needle/string and fabric: Let’s break this down nice and simple; if you thread your Punch Needle and the string won’t pull through, it’s too thick of yarn for that needle. And if you use too thin of string, your loops won’t stay through. Punch Needles require Monks Cloth, and the majority of them can take acrylic/wool yarn that’s used for knitting/crocheting. If you’re working with an Embroidery Punch Needle (small needle that takes Embroidery Floss), you need Weavers Cloth.
  • Take breaks: One downside to this awesome hobby is that it can cause strain in your neck from looking down at your project and can cause pain in your wrists/fingers from overworking them. So, taking breaks and stretching out your neck can be a great benefit to your physical health and can even help you extend your crafting time!
  • Lightbox for tracing: If you’ve found a terrific Punch Needle pattern and you want to transfer it onto your fabric, a great way to achieve this is using a Lightbox tool.
LitEnergy A4 LED Copy Board Light Tracing Box, Ultra-Thin Adjustable USB Power Artcraft LED Trace Light Pad for Tattoo Drawing, Diamond Painting, Streaming, Sketching, Animation, Stenciling
  • EASY CARRYING — Light weight super slim light pad, thickness only 0.2’’, about 5mm. Overall dimension including black frame is L14.2’’xW10.6’’xH0.2’’. The visual working area is 9’’x12’’.
  • ADJUSTABLE BRIGHTNESS — Simply keep pressing the touch switch for several seconds until you get the desired brightness you want. It’s gradual dimming effect.
  • EYESIGHT-PROTECTIVE DESIGN — Light tracing box with energy efficient flicker-free LED lamps, provides a perfectly even illustrated surface.
  • USB POWERED — tracer light board comes with 1pc USB power cable, you can easily connect to any computer, power bank or USB adaptor.
  • Wide APPLICATION — Ideal for stenciling, 2D animation, calligraphy, embrossing, scrapbooking, tattoo transferring, sketching & drawing, streaming, sewing projects, stained glass, quilting etc.
  • Lightbox hack: If you’d rather not purchase a lightbox, you can create a makeshift one! You can turn the brightness up on your laptop or device and place your fabric on top and trace that way (just be careful not to draw on your device’s screen!), or you can turn the flashlight on your phone, face it up, place a clear glass baking pan on top, print off your Punch Needle design and tape it to the glass, and then place your fabric on top of that and give it a trace!
  • Canva for easy patterns: There are plenty of Punch Needle projects you can purchase, but you can also find and create your own with adorable images on Canva. Who doesn’t love Free Punch Needle patterns?
  • Wire threader loss prevention: A simple yet effective way to keep track of your wire threader, since it is thin and easy to lose track of, is to stick it in a yarn ball that you’re using beside you.

Choochoo! There’s plenty of more Punch Needle tips to experience on this crafting train; let’s keep going!

Colorful hand drawn cotton floss for tailors, sewers isolated on white background with Punch Needle Tips

Punch Needle Guidance

No matter the journey, we can all benefit from some guidance. And along with our Punch Needle tips and tricks, we’ve pulled some frequently asked Punch Needle questions, and we’re going to answer them below.

You thought the Punch Needle tips were stopping? Woah-ho, think again, folks; we’ve got plenty more Punch Needle tips for you!

Is Punch Needle Easy to Learn?

Knowing if Punch Needle is easy to learn depends on what your definition of easy is, but we will say that if you’re interested in Punch Needling, we 100% believe you’re up for the task. The frustrations of Punch Needling, especially early on, are often simple trial and error mistakes or not knowing vital Punch Needle tips like the ones you read above.

Punch Needle can be easy to catch on and learn if you read up on Punch Needle tips before you dive in, and take your time with practicing and understanding how to move your Punch Needle and how the loops are made.

Do You Punch Needle from the Front or Back?

The short answer is you can do both or one or the other! But that can sound confusing for a beginner, so let’s break it down.

There’s the flat side and the looped side. Depending on the length of your Punch Needle is how large/long your loops will be.

Below is an example piece of a Punch Needle project that exhibits work done on the front of the project and the back. If you’re looking to give your project depth, you can punch from the back of a piece so your loops are showing on a flat side. Such as the tree’s leaves in the picture below.

Punch Needle tips and how to do punch needle for beginners. Punch needle project. Punch needle patterns.
Example of Punch Needle Project with flat side & looped side

If you want to have a fuzzy-looking Punch Needle project (Punch Rugs are a great example of this style), you can punch from the flat side, but your finished product is going to be the back looped side. An example of this is below; these Punch Needle nature-inspired necklaces for a children’s game.

Punch Needle tips and how to do punch needle for beginners. Punch needle project. Punch needle patterns.
Example of Punch Needle project with looped side only
Colorful hand drawn yarn for knitting, crocheting  isolated on white background with punch needle tips

Why Are the Loops Not Staying in My Punch Needle?

Oftentimes, the reason why your Punch Needle loops aren’t working is because of one of these reasons:

  • Your fabric isn’t taut enough on your hoop
  • You’re lifting your Punch Needle off the fabric
  • There isn’t enough slack while you’re working
  • The Punch Needle isn’t being punched down all the way
  • You’re using the wrong string/needle
  • The Punch Needle isn’t moving in the direction that you’re punching in

For a more in-depth look at these Punch Needle tips, return to the above section of Punch Needle Tips and Tricks!

How to Finish the Back of a Punch Needle Project?

We’ll teach you how to finish the back of a Punch Needle project! This depends on if your project is staying on the hoop or not, but regardless, you’ll want to cut the long ends of the string left behind (tails, as they’re called).

You don’t want to pull the string out, but snipping down the string won’t damage your work.

Do You Glue the Back of Punch Needle?

Gluing the back of your Punch Needle project isn’t required, but if you’re looking for safety measures, you can use glue or mod podge to hold your work together. Or, if you’re making, for instance, a Punch Needle potholder, you’ll want to glue the back of your work to another fabric to hide the loops/stitches.

Vector flat hand drawn seamless pattern with yarn with punch needle tips

We hope our Punch Needle tips brought inspiration, clarity, and buzzing crafting ideas to your day! Be sure to keep an eye out for more Punch Needle Hygge fun from Repurpose Junkie, along with all kinds of other fun crafts that are waiting for you!

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