Choosing your own colours for an embroidery project

Sometimes it can feel a little daunting selecting you own colours for an embroidery project.

I know there can be that fear of what if I get the colour choice wrong?

We spend a lot of time on our craft projects and it can be very disappointing if we're not happy with our project we've made because of the colours we chose.

I therefore wanted to provide some top tips to help you choose a colour palette that will work for your Bargello Embroidery Project.


My first top tip would be to think about what project you're creating and what it will be used for....

- Is it a clothing item/accessory for you?

- Is it an item for your home or a gift for a friend's home?

For instance, when looking at choosing your own colours for the Bargello Pot Holder, if it was for your home, you could first of all decide where you would display the pot holder in your home. Let's say you decided that you would be putting a plant in the finished holder in your living room. I would first look at the colour scheme from your living room...what key colours could you pick that would work well to match and look part of your living room? The same principles could be applied if making one for a friend's home and you planned to gift it perhaps with a plant inside it.

In this photo you'll see an example of a Pot Holder I made for my living room which, I use for storing my pens in:

The pot holder colours consist of orange, pink, white and purple. They are all colours that feature in my living room.

In my opinion, when they're blended together, they work quite well and these basic colour choices were all I needed to successfully make this colour scheme work in this particular space.


If you're still struggling to choose colours that you think will work, perhaps pick some colours that you like separately without initially thinking about how they will work together.

If you don't have any tapestry threads to hand or in your stash, especially if you're new to Bargello Embroidery, you could always head to your local DIY store and pick up some paint swatch colour strips:

You could cut the colour strips up and pick colours that you think would work well for your next project.

Perhaps pick a few extra colours to the amount required for your craft project if you're still not quite sure how the colours will work together.

You can then buy some tapestry threads that are similar to these colours you chose on the colour strips to experiment with.



Once you've selected your tapestry wool colours, I'd highly recommend swatching samples of how they look together as the colours combined on a bargello stitch pattern can look completely different to how they look if they were just placed together in actual skeins.

You may also want to play around with the colour order on the pattern to see which colour sequence you like the best before committing your colour choice to the final project.


A classic mistake people make when experimenting with colour choices for their next bargello project, is not having enough tapestry thread and/or canvas to complete the project because they used of it in their swatching examples. I'd therefore recommend buying an extra tapestry skein of each colour and some additional canvas to experiment with or perhaps you already have sufficient in your stash.

Some people feel confident enough to skip the swatching phase and go straight into their project without obtaining additional materials because they are super happy with their colour choices they have made and know they will work together.

Have a play and see what works for you.


You may not get your colour choices correct first time, but keep experimenting with different colours and you may be surprised to find what colours work well together. It's quite nice to keep a record of the swatches you make and you could put them in some plastic wallets in a ring binder. I personally keep my swatches recorded in my Bargello Embroidery Journal (these are available for purchase in the book section of my shop). The swatches I put in there too using paper clips so the actual swatch won't get damaged rather then if I stuck it in the journal with glue or tape so I can refer to it again if I need to at a later date. The spiral bound style of the book means that the swatches comfortably sit in there without wrecking the spine of the journal.

I always find it fun to go back through your swatches and see how your colour palette/embroidery skills have developed over time.

I hope this blog has given you some confidence in choosing your own colours for a bargello embroidery project.

Remember that my current Bargello Kits (Glasses Case and Pot Holder) give you the option of buying  the components of the kit where you can then be your own mini-designer and choose your own colours. Check them out in the Bargello Kit Section of the shop.

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