Tips for Printing Free Cross Stitch Patterns

Tips and guidelines for printing free cross stitch patterns from the internet.

Free Cross Stitch Pattern
Cross Stitch Pattern. Design © Connie G. Barwick, licensed to About.com, Inc.

You have found the perfect pattern online and to make it even better, it is free. This is a dream come true! How do you save and print a free pattern from the internet so it is usable? Below are a few steps and tips on printing out your pattern for a project. While some of this may seem obvious, it never hurts to double check and make sure you are getting maximum results. 

 

Here are a few tips you should heed to ensure that you get good copies of free patterns from online sources.

  1. When you find a pattern, print or save it immediately. Websites may change so a bookmark will not direct you to a pattern that has been altered or removed. This is especially true for finds on Pinterest. If you pin it, print it out immediately. So many times pattern makers off a pattern for a short period of time. Pinning is great but printing it out is better. You can save it several ways. If you are using a PC, you simply can right click and save the image. Create a folder on your computer to put all your patterns in for future reference. Also, create subfolders in your main cross stitch folder so you can organize all of your free patterns. 
     
  2. Many patterns, including those at About Cross Stitch, are in the same format as pictures. Adjust print settings to get a larger, easy-to-read pattern.You can do this simply with a photo app. Picmonkey is a great way to resize photos.You can make it bigger, smaller, or change the layout.  Picmonkey is free but if you are comfortable using the paint features on your computer, go for it! 
     
  1. Using the same technique listed above, experiment to get the key and the pattern to print on the same page if they are separate. Additionally, using “cut and paste” may be an option. This will cut down on paper and ink used. It will also allow you to not go back and forth when changing floss in your project. You can see exactly what you need in one place. 
     
  1. To quickly print free patterns from About.com Cross Stitch, use the "Print this page" option or highlight the pattern and key and choose the "Print Selection" option.
     
  2. Another option may be to "cut and paste" the pattern and key into another file and print or save that file.
     
  3. If patterns do not print clearly, check your ink cartridge in your printer. Save patterns until you can get a fresh cartridge. You may also have to check the size of the pattern and how you downloaded or save it. It may be blurry because the size is off. Just resize it and try printing again. This is very easy to do with Picmonkey or with paint on your computer. You can play with the size and make sure you use your print preview function on computer to see what the pattern will look like when printed. This will save you from printing out pieces that you can not use. 
     
  4. Since the ink for most computer printers is not colorfast, protect patterns from moisture. Use report covers or sheet protectors. This is a great way to save your patterns for future use. You can write notes on the patterns and keep them safe with plastic protectors and keep in a notebook. A great idea is to have different notebooks for different themes. It will keep you more organized in the future. 
     
  1. When you take advantage of free Cross Stitch patterns, remember to respect the copyrights and terms of use for each pattern. Do not copy a pattern unless the site expresses permission to copy and share it. If a friend wants a copy of a pattern, pass the URL along so that he or she can get a legal copy.
  2. When you actually use the pattern and post it, remember to give kudos to the creator of the pattern.