Did you know that the earliest embroidery finds date back to the 9th and 10th centuries in Sweden? It goes all the way back to the era we now call “the age of Vikings.”
Many of those who embroider, including myself, believe that the art of embroidery is an escape. It’s a hobby that can be considered a true passion, especially as it gives you the freedom to create whatever you put your mind in.
Magic embroidery pens make it easier for beginners to enter the beautiful embroidery world, particularly punch needle embroidery. But what makes these needle pens so “magical”?
Today, I’ll be discussing everything you need to know about magic embroidery pens. I’ve also included magic embroidery pen reviews and a buyer’s guide!
Traditional Embroidery vs. Punch Needle Embroidery: The Difference Between Them
Although both crafts involve stitching by hand, punch needle and traditional embroidery are two completely different forms of art.
Similar to knitting and crocheting, while both use yarn, their techniques, and final products differ.
What is Embroidery?
The word embroidery comes from the French word broderie, which means embellishment.
In simpler terms, embroidery is to decorate with needlework. Throughout history, we’ve seen beautiful embroidery designs on coats, blankets, dresses, and even shoes. Some are made purely with thread, while others include using sequins, beads, and pearls.
What is Punch Needle?
Punch needle is considered a form of embroidery. Instead of conventional sewing wherein you use a needle to create smooth, even stitches, punch needle embroidery requires a hollow, pen-like needle to make loop stitches. It’s somewhat similar to rug hooking.
Those who use the punch needle technique claim that it’s slightly more challenging than traditional embroidering, especially in its initial stages. However, many prefer punch needle embroidery as it takes less time to complete and fills space much quicker.
You can easily differentiate punch needle embroidery from traditional embroidery by looking at the final design. Here are some of the major differences between the two:
The biggest difference between embroidery and punch needle is the tools used in the craft.
When we think of traditional embroidery, the first things that come to mind are needles, colorful threads, embroidery hoops, and perhaps a dozen beads and/or sequins. Similar to what one would expect during regular stitching.
In contrast, punch needle embroidery requires a set of completely different tools, some of which you might not find in regular sewing kits. This includes punch needle tools, thick yarns, and foundation fabric that are tougher than those used in regular embroidery.
The fabric used in traditional embroidery comes in many different types. Whether it be standard sewing fabric such as cotton or linen, or the more delicate silk and nylon, all works well. The fabric can be soft, thin, thick, coarse.
Weaver’s cloth is a half-and-half blend of cotton and polyester, which allows one to easily work the tool through its fibers. The best thing about this cloth is the fact that it’s strong enough to hold the loops in place, making it ideal for punch needle embroidery.
Punch needle embroidery takes a lot less time than traditional embroidery, primarily due to the method used. As punch needle embroidery uses a large needle and bulky thread, it’ll take fewer stitches to complete a design and fill up space than traditional embroidery.
When it comes to traditional embroidery, you can create extremely detailed designs, texts, and images because you’re using thin threads. But it also means that it’ll take you much longer to fill up the space on your design.
Although it isn’t impossible to create detailed designs with punch needle embroidery, the coarse fabric and yarn used will prove it to be increasingly difficult to accomplish.
Nonetheless, the bigger, thicker stitches found in punch needle embroidery tend to stand out nicely on the fabric, especially if one uses colorful and vibrant yarns.
What Is a Magic Embroidery Pen?
Unlike traditional embroidery, wherein one uses a standard sewing needle to create designs, punch needle embroidery uses a pencil-like tool called a magic embroidery pen.
What makes a magic embroidery pen different from standard wooden punch needles is that it gives you the option to adjust the size of the needle you’d like to use. Therefore, it can accommodate fabrics and yarns of different thicknesses.
Moreover, instead of constantly switching between tools, you have a single, convenient pen to do everything with. Some of the best magic embroidery pens have an ergonomic design that’ll allow you to work on your product without your wrist getting tired.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Magic Embroidery Pen
Magic embroidery pens help you complete a punch needle embroidery design without the hassle of switching and replacing the needles. It also allows you to finish your task flawlessly within a predefined time interval.
With that said, it’s important to note that not all magic embroidery pens are alike. Here are some factors to consider before buying one for yourself:
No one wants to invest in re-purchases constantly. Thus, it’s best to buy a magic embroidery pen that has excellent durability so it can hold up to whatever project you’d like to partake in.
Some needle pens break when punched in thick cloths, while others rust when left in moisture or outside. So when buying a magic embroidery pen, make sure that it’s strong enough to withstand numerous fabric material types. Avoid copper needles because they can break easily.
While you can find magic embroidery pens sold by itself, the best comes with various accessories to save you lots of money and time from individual purchases.
Magic embroidery pen kits typically come with different color threads, measuring tapes, needles, threaders, different hoop sizes, and even ready-made embroidered patterns.
Check what’s in the box to make sure you’re getting everything you need for your project. This is especially helpful if you’re a beginner embroiderer so that you can begin your product right away.
Ease of Use
For those who are just starting off in the world of embroidery, nothing is more discouraging than buying a tool that either doesn’t work or is too complicated to use.
Thus, it’s recommended to buy a pen that’s easy to use and come with clear, straightforward directions. Youtube is a brilliant source of tutorials, but nothing beats a manual’s guide from the manufacturers themselves, just in case your magic pen comes with unique features.
Try to find a magic embroidery needle that has the following features:
- A sharp needle to go= through the fabric smoothly without damaging it
- Easy to thread open slot in the handle
- Adjustable loop lengths
Top 3 Best Magic Embroidery Pens of 2020: Embroidery Made Easy
Now that you know what to look for in a magic embroidery pen, here are some of the best I’ve found in the market today. Each magic embroidery pen is carefully cherry-picked from a hundred other options, so you can rest assured that they’re worth checking out.
Gardwens Embroidery Magic Punch Needle Kit: Best Overall
The best thing about the Garden Embroidery Kit is that it’s not just an embroidery kit.
As it contains 137 different accessories, it has everything you’d ever want in a sewing product, whether it be embroidery, friendship bracelets, cross-stitching, or children’s crafts. It’s a complete starter-kit for professionals and beginners alike!
The Gardwen Magic Pen is ergonomically-designed to make it comfortable to hold. Plus, adjusting the needle’s length is made easy thanks to the dial found on the pen’s handle. This feature is extremely helpful when you want to create designs with different textures and lengths.
Even if you don’t prefer using the magic embroidery pen, Gardwen kindly included a standard needle pen that comes with 3 interchangeable needles: smalls, medium, and large.
When it comes to thread colors, you’ll be pleased to know that it has 100 pieces of threads in 50 random colors. Each thread is about 26 feet in length. That’s enough thread to last you for an exceptionally long time.
Furthermore, each length of floss is composed of 6 individual strands that suit any project!
- 1 storage box
- 1 scissors
- 1 thimble
- 1 tape measure
- 2 punch needle pen
- 3 punch needles
- 3 embroidery patches
- 4 threaders (2 lengths)
- 9 large-eye embroidery needles
- 10 winding plates
- 100 embroidery threads
- 1 user manual
- Comes with a ton of pieces for various applications
- 100 different colors opens a realm of design possibilities
- High-quality tools made with stainless steel
- Magic embroidery pen is made with an ergonomic handle for increased comfort
- Some of the thinner threads provided doesn’t fit the needles
- Doesn’t come with embroidery cloth
Yarniss Punch Needle Embroidery Kit: Easiest to Use
If you’re a beginner, you’d want to find a magic embroidery pen that’s easy to use. With the Yarniss Embroidery Kit, you’re in luck; it has one of the easiest magic pens you can get your hands on.
This magic embroidery pen has an extremely simple and straightforward design. You don’t have to deal with tough screws to acquire your desired needle length. Instead, you just have to rotate the pen to get the ideal length for your embroidery product.
Because it’s made of authentic stainless steel, it has a long lifespan. You don’t have to worry about breaking the needle in the middle of your project, nor buy another for many years. The soft TPR handle and ergonomic design are a plus.
The needles in the Yarniss kit comes in three sizes: 1.3, 1.6, and 2.2 mm. Therefore, you can work with whatever fabric you desire, whether it be light fabric or even denim.
With 50 different embroidery threads, thread organizers, embroidery patches, and much more, the Yarniss Punch Needle Embroidery Kit is undoubtedly a product you’ll want to check out.
- 1 storage box
- 1 punch needle pen
- 3 needles (different sizes)
- 2 threaders
- 1 yarn scissors
- 9 large-eye needles
- 1 thread organizer (20 holes)
- 2 embroidery patches (random colors and styles)
- 50 embroidery threads (random color)
- 1 embroidery cloth (12 x 12-inch)
- 1 user manual
- Stainless steel guarantees long life
- Fantastic starter kit for beginners
- Variety of color options to choose from
- Although it’s overall easy to use, it’s slightly difficult to insert the threader
This comprehensive embroidery kit comes with an array of different tools. It also comes with practically every color you can think of. Unlike the Gardwens Embroidery Kit, which comes in 100 threads of 50 different colors, the WeeDee kit comes with 100 threads of 100 different colors!
Many of those who own the Weedee kit say that it’s extremely “fabulous” and “modern-looking.” Frankly, I’d say the same. The kit is worth purchasing, even if you’re only going to use it for standard sewing projects.
Speaking of standard sewing projects, this kit allows users to cross stitch, weave, craft, and make friendship bracelets, meaning it isn’t for embroidery projects alone.
The magic embroidery pen itself is easy to hold even with those who have inflexible hands. It’s made of ABS plastic material and stainless steel needles, making it both ergonomic and durable.
When it comes to ease of use, you’ll be pleased to know that the WeeDee magic pen makes stitching as quick as if you were drawing a picture! It’s extremely easy to use and handle.
- 2 magic punch needle pens
- 5 bamboo hoops
- 100 color threads
- 1 aidas (14 count)
- 1 cotton fabric
- 10 floss bobbins
- 30 needles (3 sizes)
- 5 needle threading tools
- 1 scissors
- 1 thimble
- 1 untwist tool
- 1 measuring tape
- Great quality
- Comes in an organized box
- Can be used for various projects
- Large selection of colors
- Hoops are smooth and functional
- Good starter set for a beginner
- Doesn’t come with a user manual
5 Tips for Punch Needle Embroidery Beginners
Punch needle embroidery is one of those hobbies that will keep you busy in the afternoons. It’s fun, calming, and surprisingly simple!
If you’re a beginner, don’t get discouraged if your first two or three projects didn’t turn out the way you like it. Here are some of the best tips to follow to help you start creating any design you put your mind into:
Use the Right Fabric
Using the wrong fabric is one of the most common mistakes of beginner punch needle embroiderers.
Remember: punch needle embroidering isn’t the same as traditional embroidering. While you can use practically any cloth available for the latter, you can only use specific materials for punch needlecrafts.
Here are some of the best fabric to use for punch needles:
Choose the Right Yarn
Other than using the correct fabric, you need to make sure to pair it with the right yarn, as well.
If you’re punching with a rug yarn, it’s best to use monk’s cloth fabric, as it makes for a sturdy, yet flexible weave.
On the other hand, if your yarn is light or thin, you’ll want to use fabric like weaver’s cloth for your foundation.
Your yarn needs to be thick enough to stay in the holes of your foundation fabric, but thin enough to flow easily through the punch needle tool. Thus, the needle, fabric, and yarn all come hand-in-hand during the punch needle embroidery process.
Use a Right Frame
You need to use an embroidery hoop specifically for punch needle embroidery. Standard wooden embroidery hoops won’t do, as it usually can’t hold the fabric tight enough and may loosen with every stitch.
Not only will you need to tighten the fabric regularly, but it’ll damage your overall design..
Opt for a heavy-duty frame made for punch needle embroidery like the Q-Snap Frame. These square-shaped frames hold much tighter for longer than traditional round hoops. If you’d like to use the traditional round hoop, I recommend you to use one from Caydo or Morgan.
Keep the fabric drum-head tight enough to bounce a coin on so your needle can properly and neatly form stitches.
Work with Outlines
Even professional punch needle embroiderers use a guide to help them with their design. Using a pencil, lightly draw the design you’d like to follow. In the outsides, use smaller, closer stitches, before filling it with larger lines.
If you’re not too confident in your drawing skills, you can buy an embroidery pattern to help you instead. These patterns can be transferred to your fabric by ironing the designs on it. Just remember not to use incredibly detailed patterns as it’s not suited for punch needles.
If you make a mistake or a stitch doesn’t want to stay in, don’t worry! The beauty of punch needle embroidery is that you don’t have to start from the beginning when such a thing happens.
Gently pull the embroidery floss back out to undo the work. Go slow and careful. Don’t rip out too much, or you’ll have more to fix!
Any lingering punch marks can be scratched over to close up the holes in the fabric. Then, punch the area over again!
Keen to know more about punch needle embroidery and magic embroidery pens? Here are some of the web’s most asked questions:
Can you wash punch needle embroidery?
You absolutely can! Once your project is completed, and you make sure that everything is tightly stitched in, most punch needle projects can be washed.
The threads of the fabric keep the punch needle loops in place. So as long as you use the right cloth and yarn that doesn’t bleed, you can go ahead and wash your punch needle embroidery.
How do you use a magic embroidery pen?
Magic embroidery pens are extremely easy to use! Here’s how:
- Thread the yarn through the eye of the needle tool and up through the slot found in the handle.
- Adjust the length of the needle you’d like to use. The “needle meter” is usually found on the side of the handle.
- Once your magic embroidery pen is loaded with your desired color and needle length, use the tool to punch consecutive holes in the fabric you’re using.
- Remember to draw a pattern you’ve designed beforehand, so you have a guide to follow. With each stitch, a loop of yarn forms in the back of the fabric.
And that’s it! Once done, you’ll have a highly textured design made entirely of small hoops, similar to what’s found on rugs.
How do you stop embroidery from unraveling?
It’s certainly frustrating to have to deal with yarn that doesn’t stay in place. The good news is, it’s fairly easy to keep this from happening.
Other than making sure you’re using the right frame, yarn, and needle size, you’ll need to punch the magic embroidery needle all the way down to its plastic or metal handle.
This won’t only keep your embroidery from unraveling, but it’ll also make sure that your yarn loops are of uniform length.
A magic embroidery pen makes punch needle embroidery a walk in the park. You can even do it while watching your favorite show or talking to friends as it doesn’t require extreme attention, unlike that of standard punch needles.
All the above products deserve their place as some of the best embroidery kits in the market. However, if given a choice, I’d say that my favorite out of the 3 is the Gardwens Embroidery Magic Punch Needle Kit.
It has everything every punch needle artist needs, and more! Plus, the magic embroidery pen itself is durable and easy to use.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my toddler however, that is typically a challenge with her limited attention span, messiness, and desire to always have clean hands. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and fond memory for the both of us.