PlanetJune Craft Blog

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punchneedle: the next big thing?

I’m so happy to finally be able to reveal the secret project I’ve been working on for the past couple of months. You may remember that I discovered a little-known traditional technique called Punchneedle Embroidery a couple of months back, and posted about my first experiments with it.

Since then, I have been busy researching, learning, experimenting, designing, and testing, and I’m so excited by my results!

punchneedle by planetjune

Why isn’t Punchneedle more popular? I think the reason is that all the available patterns seem very focused in one genre (country/primitive style) that doesn’t appeal to a lot of today’s crafters, so Punchneedle hasn’t seen the surge in popularity that many other traditional crafts are experiencing.

Well, I’m here to change all that – this technique is too good to be overlooked any longer! Here are just a few of the reasons I find it so appealing:

  • Easy: Only one simple stitch to learn; you don’t have to be super-neat to get a beautiful result
  • Fast: No need to knot the ends of the thread, and, other than the outline, it doesn’t matter exactly where you place your stitches, as long as you punch enough stitches to fill each area
  • Stunning results: Easy to create bold, bright, appealing embroideries
  • Relaxing: Unlike cross stitch, there’s no counting involved – just fill in each area with colour like a paint-by-number painting!
  • Inexpensive: After you’ve bought a punchneedle and hoop, the only supplies you need are fabric and embroidery floss
  • Easy to fix mistakes: Any stitch can be easily pulled out without affecting neighbouring stitches; with a few simple techniques you can fix any unsightly mistakes
  • Portable: Carry all your project supplies in a small bag for those crafting on-the-go moments
  • Versatile: Make finished embroideries into framed artwork, decorative patches or appliqués, or add fabric borders to make quilts, cushions, etc – there’s limitless potential here

Intrigued yet?

buy The Punchneedle Handbook by June Gilbank

I’ve written an eBook called The Punchneedle Handbook: Miniature Punchneedle Embroidery Basics & Beyond. This eBook includes everything about punchneedle from the absolute basics for those who have never heard of this craft, to my techniques that will allow absolutely anyone to create beautiful punchneedle embroideries. I designed the eBook to be a go-to reference book for all your punch needle questions. See more details and the table of contents.

I’ve made an excerpt from the eBook into a free tutorial so you can get a taste for what punchneedle is about.

Of course, a techniques book would be useless without some patterns, and this is the part I’m really excited about – time to show you my initial designs! I hope you like them…

punchneedle patterns by planetjune

I’ve found that designing in 2D is very different to designing in 3D – I think that the shaping is the most important feature of my crochet patterns, whereas with these punchneedle designs it’s really the colour that gives them such impact.

(I’m also working on another piece – something very different to the above designs, which will show a different side of punchneedle – more on that later today.)

Square designs are so useful because they can easily be sewn directly together to make a larger piece, or fabric borders added to make quilt squares etc. Here’s what I’ve made with my three jungle designs:

tote bag with jungle animal punchneedle designs by planetjune

… a cute little green linen tote bag. The techniques I used to join the finished embroideries together and to attach the fabric ‘frame’ to make the front of the bag are covered in detail in The Punchneedle Handbook.

My punchneedle patterns are available individually or in a set of any three patterns of your choice. As an introductory offer, I’m also giving away one pattern (of your choice) FREE with every purchase of The Punchneedle Handbook eBook!

I know this has been a long post, but I had a lot to cover! If you’re interested in learning more about punchneedle, here’s a summary of your options, with links:

Please let me know what you think of my new venture! I anxiously await your comments…


  1. Mack said

    I think that the punchneedle designs are GREAT and im definately willing to try it out!! When I first saw the pictures I thought that the final product was much bigger and I thought it was made with yarn. I do like the mini size but I was wondering: How could you make it bigger?? I really do like the designs!! 🙂

  2. Lisa said

    In that case, a wheaten terrier would look wonderful. Then again I have one, so I’m biased, mwahaha. Your work is wonderful, you’re very talented!

  3. Billie said

    I love these little critters….do you happen to have/or create using the knitting procedure? I don’t knit.

  4. June said

    Reba: e-mailed you 🙂

    Lisa: yes, I’d love to make more dog breeds, and other things too. I’d love ideas from everyone on what I should make next!

  5. Lisa said

    Wow, I’d love to try this, it looks like so much fun! The dogs are adorable, are you going to make anymore breeds? A wheaten terrier would look adorable this way!

  6. Reba said

    Sorry June! I keep commenting on this because I love it. I love the pug and the corgi. Did you just draw them on the fabric or what?

  7. June said

    Loora, I am not at all sure about this!

    1. It would take an awfully long time to make enough loops to cover a bath towel.

    2. The loops that are formed by punching can be easily pulled out from the wrong side of the fabric, so you would have to create 2 separate sides, and quilt them together so that the insides are protected and you would have loops on both sides.

    3. Wear issues – I am not sure how well it would last with being handled as roughly as a bathtowel!

    My suggestion would be to create a small applique with punchneedle and attach this to the end of a bought bathtowel, to add some interest and decoration to a regular towel with a similar loopy texture. You can find instructions for making appliques in my eBook 🙂

    And to everyone who has left a comment: THANK YOU! So happy you like my new project!

  8. Loora said

    I love it too !

    I’m wondering: isn’t the same stitch used to create bathtowels ? Except that bathtowels have “loops” on both side. But I’m still wondering if one could not take this technique and craft highly colorful bathtowels ?

    I may sound weird, but I’m not learning another craft that will end up getting framed. Walls are full, and so are shelves. I thought it would be fun to replace my 10-years-old bathtowels.

  9. Puglette said

    yay june!!!
    these are adorable patterns and i must get a punchneedle set this weekend!
    i will link up to my blog later tonight and if you don’t mind i will snatch your photo of the six pack too. of course proper credit will be given.
    you are so creative and thoughtful!

  10. Misty said

    These are great designs! It looks like your ebook is very thorough and I love that you have a trouble-shooting section. I’ll be saving up my money so I can try this out. 🙂

  11. futuregirl said

    Of course punchneedle is the next big thing! And it’ll all be because of you. 🙂 You’re right that the designs available aren’t exciting to crafters like us. These two sets are wonderful! I can’t wait to see what else you have up your sleeve.

    Seriously. You are amazing! These designs look so professional!

  12. Idadown said

    Once again you have provided a delightful range of craft to tempt – presented in the June Proffesional way that we all love and respect. Great job June! I think that the tote is absolutely fabulous, and the designs – well obviously they are too! Cant wait to read your book.

    T downunder

  13. melissa said

    oh my gosh june!
    the book and patterns are amazing!
    i am off to buy them!
    thank you for creating them!

  14. gillieweed said

    This brings back memories! I discovered punch-needle when I was around 11 or 12 years old. (Many years ago.) I still have one of my projects, a punch needle embroidered kitten that was made with some sort of thread that when you brush it, it fuzzes and looks like fur.

  15. Sherry said

    June ,
    These are really nice, I would like to see a complete kit, with book, patterns, needle and thread for the free pattern, I think more people would be intrigued to start learning.

  16. Alina said

    June, you are so talented. It is impressive how you can create, in such a short time, awesome things.

  17. Jana said

    WOW! Another awesome product from the Planet of June! 😀 These look like lots of fun! I will have to get a punchneedle when I go home next week!
    I especially love all of the colors! And embroidery floss is a very easy material to get, so no problems there either!
    Can’t wait to try it out!

  18. Marykz said

    The patterns look fun- and would be a good activity for pre-teens/teens. My question is- are the needles sold in craft stores? I’m not familiar with them. (I’m assuming they are finer than latch hook type needles…)

    • June said

      Mary: yes, the needles are sold in most craft stores, usually near the embroidery section. You can get fancy ones with adjustable depth gauges, or basic ones with a single depth. You only need the basic model to complete embroideries like these, although the fancier ones have a more comfortable grip.

      And yes, any child old enough to not stab him/herself with the needle should be able to manage it (especially with a simple design) – it’s almost as simple as colouring with a pencil!

  19. kris said

    June that bag came out awesome!!!!!
    I have an idea for another bag you can make for me – HEHEHEHE
    i can’t wait to try this out – i need a little relaxing… maybe we can even get kassie in on this – she says she likes the pug!

  20. photojenic said

    What a totally kewl technique! I’m not sure I’m ready to take on a new craft yet, but you sure are tempting me. 🙂

  21. Reba said

    Hey June! I just love that punchneedle. I love how you don’t do just craft you do a bunch. I HAVE to get that ebook! Thanks so much!

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