Fern Stitch Embroidery Tutorial

hooped fabric with fern stitch designs

Say Hello to the Cute & Easy Fern Stitch

Hey there, I hope everyone had a really wonderful holiday and that this new year has started off on a good foot! The last couple of years have been ‘interesting’ to say the least.

I’ve decided to begin 2022 by adding two new freebies in my Creative Resource Library and adding a couple of new embroidery tutorials to my Embroidery Stitch Library, starting with the super cute and easy fern stitch. I also have a handful of new embroidery designs in the works for my Etsy shop so they should be available in a couple of months!

The fern stitch as the name suggests looks like a fern leaf. It reminds me a lot of the long tail fly stitch stacked on top of each other, but the technique is different and the differences are subtle as with many other stitches.

It can be used to create design elements, plants like hanging vines, the fletching of an arrow, borders, & even open fills. You can also add little beads to your fern stitch to add a bit of bling which can be pretty fun!

Fern Stitch: Method 1

There are two methods to creating the fern stitch that I’ll cover & I encourage you to follow along because it’s always easier to remember something when you do them. 🙂

Here’s the first technique. Add guide lines to make things a bit easier to see. Draw 3 parallel lines, like this:

3 parallel guide lines on hooped fabric

Start at the beginning of the middle line and add a straight stitch from A to B.

Straight stitch from A to B at the top of center guide line

Come up at C. It should be about a 45° angle from B.

Return to the back at B.

It’s time to do the same to the other side. Come up at D at a 45° angle from B. Then return to the back at B.

Create another stitch in the center… Come up at E then return to the back at B.

Now repeat the steps down your guide lines until you’re happy with the length.

complete row of fern stitches

Fern Stitch: Method 2

The second method starts with a back stitch down the center guideline.

pink back stitch along the center guideline

All you have to do from here is add your 45° angles on each side.

Continue this all the way down your guide line.

complete row of fern stitches

Using the Fern Stitch

The embroidery tutorials above are created along straight lines but it’s easy to make it more organic so it looks like it’s flowing. Try creating circles, ovals, and vines.

Create arrows using the fern stitch… just add a back stitch between the arrow point and the fletching.

The fern stitch can also be used to create a border, accents, and even fills.

They’re also perfect for creating bits of foliage.

And don’t forget that you can combine it with other stitches, like the french knot or lazy daisy stitch for example. You can really go nuts with creativity here!

foliage created from a combination of stitches including the fern stitch, lazy daisy stitch, and the french knot

Adding Beads to Your Fern Stitch

If you want to add a little sparkle to your stitch just add a few beads as you go. Use whatever beads you like. I found a few copper beads from my stash and added them to mine.

Add then to the center, sides, or wherever your heart desires. You can be playful about where you place them.

beaded fern stitches

Pin Me!

Yow now have a new embroidery stitch in your tool box so you’ll be able to create some beautiful pieces of embroidery art and include this adorable stitch in your work!

If you want to save this post for reference be sure to pin it!

Fern Stitch Tutorial with fern stitches in different combinations on hooped fabric

Embroidery Video Tutorial

Enjoy the video tutorial below for the fern stitch which includes both methods covered above.