Counted Cross Stitch Shadow Box

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The completed cross stitch.For those who have never done counted cross stitch, here is a simple counted cross stitch picture which uses a shadow box and is three dimensional. Because counted cross stitch is so time consuming, I added the little figurine in the corner so I would have a lot less of the counted cross stitch pattern to fill up the space! The wording is fairly quick but the floral part is more time consuming. This would be a good beginner project.


I would suggest a beginner do wording only for their first project.

Total Time: 12 hours

Yield: 1



  1. First, I chose what wording I wanted to cross stitch onto my sampler. I was able to find a website ( for a computer-generated pattern of wording. This part of the pattern went fairly quick. You'll notice I did a word count to make sure how to space my wording to fit on the fabric without running out of space. I needed to divide my wording into three lines.
  2. Printing out the wording for the cross stitch.
  3. Because I am experienced with cross stitch, I chose to add some floral patterns--although quite time consuming--to my sampler. There are many free patterns available on the internet. I only did part of the pattern pictured below.
  4. A sample of a cross stitched border.

  5. Decide the perimeter of your design by placing the back of the picture frame on top of the cross stitch fabric and using a pencil, draw a light line around the perimeter to ensure that your design will show once the pattern is completed.

    To do a basic cross stitch, thread your embroidery floss (using two strands of floss) through the eye of the needle. Do not make a knot in the end. Use an embroidery hoop if desired to keep the fabric taut. Coming up from the underneath side of the cross stitch fabric, come up through a hole, pulling the thread up through the hole and leaving a tail on the underneath side. Poke the needle through the opposite corner of the "square" of cross stitch fabric and then come up through either the top or bottom of the other two corners. Complete the stitch by pulling the needle down through the last hole of the square, making an X. Continue this stitch following the word pattern you have chosen, counting the stitches along the way. When you have used up most of the thread, leave an inch or two and on the underneath of the cross stitch fabric, insert the needle of thread through the loops on the underneath side. Cut the thread, rethread with a new piece of floss, and continue the pattern. A short cut is pictured below. I do a series of the stitches going from the left corner of the square to the right corner of the square and then go "backward" going from the top right corner of the square to the left corner of the square.
  6. The blank cross stitch fabric.
    Starting the border in green thread.
    Starting the border in green thread.

  7. When the design is complete, glue the fabric to the back of the shadow box. Glue a figurine to the inside using hot glue. Insert the backing on the back of the shadow box.
  8. The wording cross stitched in black.
    The back of the frame.
    A small figurine in the shadow box frame.

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Crafts Needlework Cross StitchApril 27, 2023
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