PlanetJune Craft Blog

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punchneedle poll

Okay, so I did a little test this weekend to establish what punchneedle is all about and whether it would be something I could design patterns for. This is my test piece – you may recognise the subjects as my Fuzzy Penguin and Fuzzy Seal πŸ™‚ It’s approx 3.5″x 2.25″ and worked with 3 strands of DMC embroidery floss.

punchneedle penguin and seal by planetjune

For this sample, I wanted to figure out what kind of designs would look best, so I designed the penguin to be not outlined, and the seal with an outline. I’ve learned a few things about designing for punchneedle:

  • Not outlining looks best – the outline looks a bit uneven in places because it’s only 1 loop thick
  • Tiny detail is difficult to replicate (e.g. the seal’s nose)
  • Bold colours and patterns will look really good

But I can see a lot of potential here. I learnt that punchneedle is really easy to do, and it’s so fast compared with cross stitch! I punched the penguin and seal in under an hour and a half – and it was my first attempt, so that includes my slow start as I tried to learn how to punch correctly. The background took a bit longer, but it’s so relaxing and you don’t have to concentrate much, so it’s perfect to punch away while you watch TV.

UPDATE: By request, adding a close-up pic so you can see what the stitches look like:

punchneedle close up
L: Back of piece: looks like regular backstitched embroidery
R: Front of piece (edge on): lots of loops. Mine are 3mm tall but the tool lets you adjust the loop length to much longer

punchneedle tool

Now I’ve finished the experiment, I can visualize a whole series of designs… I think a range of dog breeds would be so cute, and also a wild animal range (giraffe, panda, etc). You could use them to make quilt squares (just add a fabric border), embellishments for bags etc, or just to frame.

Now my questions to you…

  1. Are you intrigued by punchneedle? Would you like me to put up a basic tutorial so you can see how it works?
  2. Might you be interested in PlanetJune punchneedle designs? (They would, of course, be better than my test piece above – I’m thinking more realistic and colourful)

I’m obviously still in the planning stages here, but I’d love some early feedback before I embark on a design range. I’m not asking for any kind of commitment; just your opinion. It’s a cheap craft to get into; once you’ve bought the actual needle, an embroidery hoop, and some woven fabric, then all you need to pick up for each project is the floss colours.

If there’s no interest, I’ll still make some for myself, just for fun, but I really think this is another craft that just needs a little updating with some fresh, cute patterns to be relevant to us. All the patterns I’ve seen are a bit too, um, country (is that the right word?) for my taste.

Please let me know what you think! Any comments welcome.

37 Comments »

  1. Carolina said

    I’d love a tutorial on the basics. As your learn, you could tell us what works best and what doesn’t (like when you mentioned the outline). I’ll be waiting for more πŸ™‚

    Your test piece looks lovely anyway. At first glance I thought it was another cute FO and only noticed the flaws when you mentioned them.

    Thanks for everything and keep up the good work!

  2. Amanda said

    Oh no, June. Another craft!? *sigh* David (my boyfriend) is going to kill me! One more craft and our little one bedroom apartment is going to explode! LOL

    Well, you know I’m game. It looks like fun and it’s cute! I can see this on handbags, small totes, cd cases… oh no.

    Is that just canvas you’re working on? Any material in particular that you need to use to get good results? …so maybe I’m rushing this tutorial a little. πŸ™‚ I’m excited.

  3. Carina said

    I would love to see a tutorial for this, it seems very intriguing. Not that I really * need * another craft. But you know, can’t hurt to know the basics, eh? (-;

    Your penguin and seal look very cute, but I see what you mean about the outline not being perfect – although, in some designs that might not be a bad thing? (-;

  4. Jessica said

    That’s pretty freaking adorable, June. I had never heard of this craft, and I’m definitely intriqued! (even though I need another craft like I need a hole in my head)

  5. Camelama said

    Oh man, I’m having flashbacks to crafting in the 70s with my mom, doing latch hooking! πŸ™‚ It looks somewhat the same kind of engineering, on a smaller scale… Mom still has two pillows we made (chickadees, and Rudolph). I probably wouldn’t start up this craft because of said flashbacks, but it looks cute! Love the seal.

  6. Bree said

    I would love to learn to punch needle, I think it looks like too much fun and would be a great craft to do as we try to “retrofy” our house!

  7. Teddi said

    I’m going to say, “meh” to punchneedle. I certainly don’t need another craft to do and it’s not really my style. Normally I wouldn’t reply with something negative like this, but I thought you might want a balanced opinion.

  8. Robyn said

    I think it looks great for a first attempt. I think more designs would be neat to see.I can’t crochet or knit but can cross stitch a little ,so this would be interesting to see.

  9. Christine said

    I, too, thought this was latch hook when I first saw it and am now curious about the punch. I would be interested in a tutorial.

  10. June said

    Thanks to everyone who has responded so far! And to Teddi: thanks for your honesty – that IS what I was looking for πŸ™‚

  11. Sherry said

    Ive been curious about needle punch, and I agree, the store kits just plain , ? well that says it all , they are very plain!!! Not sure if I have time to get into another craft, I am learning Origami at the moment. Between that and Amigurumi, and full time work, I don’t see any chance of fitting something else in right now. But I think yours is adorable. πŸ™‚

  12. Idadown said

    I think you need to do an orangutan design.LOL

    Perhaps you could showcase it in terms of a functional product, such as bag etc, so that people go “gosh, yeah, I really need to do that!”

  13. puglette said

    Hi June!
    I would love to see more photos of you actually doing the project. I am having a difficult time imagining how you hold the fabric and punch a needle through without stabbing yourself. I did a little surfing about this craft and you are right, the existing patterns are a bit outdated.
    Thanks!
    puglette
    :o)

  14. Brennakins said

    I’d love some tutorials! It looks really cool, but to be honest I’ve never heard of it. Summer vacation’s coming up, and I’d love more stuff to fill up my time (and my room) with. And I’d love some patterns, that would be great.

  15. r.pinnegar said

    This looks interesting! I’d like a tutorial and some patterns, especially for embellishments! Thanks for trying it out and letting us know about it!

  16. Loora said

    Hi June,

    While I’m not finding any flaws in your design and would love a tutorial (out of curiosity), I’m wondering what I’d do with my punchneedle pieces. Therefore, I’m not an enthousiast, because I don’t have any inspiration as to what to do with the finished pieces that would not lie uselessly around the house (I give amigurumi to children, and toys are used, but afghans just lie there). I’d be thrilled to see what ideas you have !

  17. Petra said

    Your sample piece looks really cute. I would love a tutorial. Several years ago I bought a punchneedle set, but I never figured out how to work it correctly.
    Some cute dogs as punchneedle designs would be great!

  18. Misty said

    Wow, I am so amazed you made this as a beginner and in such a short period of time! The penguin and seal look great!

    I would love a tutorial, as I have been curious about this for some time and hearing that it is relatively easy and fast makes it all the more appealing.

    I would definitely be interested in PlanetJune punchneedle patterns. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  19. Alina said

    June, I thought you are talking about bunka punchneedle, which is Japanese punch needle.
    Yours looks very nice!

  20. diana said

    i just love this and its fabulous …i love what you made so supe kawaii!!!
    a tutorial would be awesome and who knows what interest it may spark …even for those that don’t have time

  21. Sarah said

    Please, Please, Please, Please, post a tutorial, my brain is twisting trying to figure out how the needle works! And what would a tutorial be if there were no patterns to practice on one the basics were learned? YES of course publish some patterns, silly!

  22. becky said

    i didn’t even know what it was.. but it sounds cool i would probably consider trying it..

  23. Ali said

    please do a tutorial : ) this looks like something I might like to try. O f course publish some patterns.

  24. Shastababy said

    I’d love a tutorial! I have tried several time to learn and have had no luck at all! I even bought a book and kit-still no go. I can’t make the loops stay. I’ll be a happy camper if I can learn to do it. Please do a tutorial!!

  25. =Tamar said

    Uses… I think punch needle work might make good casual chair seat covers. They would give just enough traction and slight cushioning to add comfort.
    I’d say rugs but cleaning might take some care. Cleaning could also be a problem for placemats.

  26. I *love* punch needle!! I think it makes a really tactile finished product. Plus it’s easy, and I’m lazy. πŸ™‚

  27. Aveen said

    I’d love to see a tutorial! I inherited some punch needle supplies from my friend’s mother, but have absolutely no idea what to do with them, and like you say, the patterns that came with them are not exactly to my taste! I love your penguin & seal though πŸ™‚

  28. June said

    Okay, so that’s a ‘yes’ then? πŸ™‚

    I’m working on some designs for you and then I’ll reveal all about the mysteries of punchneedle!

    Any new readers of this post: please still leave your comments! I’d love to hear your opinions too…

  29. diana said

    thank you june for doin this…i aswell, have some punch needle stuff never used really anxious to see the mysteries unleashed….:)

    aka nycagirl on ravelry…

  30. rosie said

    Hi June, take a look at my blog and see the punch needle things i have made, I love doing it!
    Rosie

  31. Evelin said

    Very cute penguins. But no, not interested at all in punchneedle crafts.

  32. Dawn said

    I would love lessons posted, I bought some kits on sale, put off doing them because I have never done it before. I love dogs and think the dog breed designs are a spectacular idea! Your pattern is so cute, and I agree with you about the outline! Thanks Looking forward to more, if you decide to give it a go, I will be sure to follow πŸ™‚

  33. JustBec said

    I would love a tutorial. I’ve never heard of this craft before, but I do like embroidery, so it sounds like I have a few of the supplied needed already! Can you use normal embroidery patterns and just use this technique to get a little different finish? I’m quite intrigued. πŸ™‚

  34. nydia said

    I love doing it!
    I would definitely be interested in PlanetJune punchneedle patterns. Thank you for sharing this with us! nydia from Puerto Rico

  35. Eliea said

    OOH! This makes me super excited! I think I need a punch needle becasue I am terrible at regualr embriodery but I could do something like this!
    I’m thinking of a specific project which I will be sure to blog about once I finish. πŸ™‚

  36. Sugandha said

    We would love tutorials….

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    June Gilbank

    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!

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