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How to Thread a Needle & Tie a Knot

Have you ever struggled to thread a needle? Clipping ends off fraying threads until you thought you’d lose your mind?

spool of red thread with a large silver needle stuck in the center with text overlay The easiest way to thread a needle

I used to be like you. If you want we can sit back with a cup of coffee and talk about it. However, I’m sure you’re more interested in the semi-clickbait title.

I promise I can change your life with one simple tip!

One of the most annoying things about sewing is threading a needle the other most annoying thing is your thread getting tangled because you left it super long so you don’t need to rethread very often.

How To Thread a Needle without a Struggle

This is so easy you’ll wonder why you never thought of it. Grab a needle and some thread and we’ll get started.

Pull off some thread, fold it over so you have a loop. Then pull it down until you have a small loop. Push that look through the eye of the needle. BAM. Needle threaded.

This works with regular sewing thread, it just doesn’t show up as well on the camera

It works really well for a few reasons. One, it doesn’t matter if the end is frayed because you’re not using the end. It also gives extra stiffness to the thread so it goes through the needle and doesn’t squish back on itself.

I’ve done this with embroidery floss, machine embroidery thread, heavy industrial cotton thread, bakers twine, etc. and it always works. As a bonus, you don’t need to keep a needle threader handy or constantly shove thread in your mouth and get spit all over your sewing projects.

How to Tie a Knot in Thread Quickly

As an embroidery queen, I used to do most of my sewing with high-tech 16-needle embroidery machines that tie knots themselves. But occasionally I’d get pulled in to help sew on buttons.

When your boss hands you a pile of chef jackets needing 12 buttons each and says you can go home early when you finish you don’t have time to mess with slow knots (or threading a needle) EVERY SECOND COUNTS!

Wrap all the strands of thread around your index finger in a loop. Pinch your index finger and thread together and roll your thumb down your finger, the thread will roll into a knot.

Pull it tight using your thumbnail against your finger.

It’s a little tricky to get the hang of it but once it clicks you’ll thank me. I have found it doesn’t work so well if you have very dry skin so lotion up if you’re having issues.

Double Up Your Thread

One final trick. If you’re sewing on a button (or fixing missing stitches in embroidery because the machine is dumb) use 4 strands. You’ll get much more bang for your buck and you won’t need to do nearly as many passes with the needle.

I swear these methods will make your life so much easier, after a few tries you won’t even have to think about what you’re doing. Hopefully, these tips will help you with your own sewing projects (especially now that Halloween is coming up!)

Check out my Crafting & DIY page for more ideas or start here:

how to sew on a button quickly
Turn scraps into pretty fabric ornaments combining prairie points, yo-yos and fancy buttons

Becky wilburn

Thursday 15th of February 2024

EVery one of your tricks works

Granny G.

Tuesday 27th of August 2019

Many years ago, my mother taught me the "right" way to sew on a button and I hated doing it. So I slip the button sewing attachment on my machine and use that. My machine is only a few years old and the button (and buttonhole) process works very well, plus I can use stronger thread if I wish. It takes barely a moment to do each button and they turn out very secure. I can use heavy thread if I wish and it will even knot it and cut the thread. (Yeah, I know, not everyone has a machine that will do this) So call me lazy! But I love shortcuts wherever I can find them. Obviously this won't work for shank buttons so I avoid them like poison. Your tip for threading a needle is brilliant and so simple! I've been sewing for 60 years, so why can't I figure out things like that?? (rhetorical)

Debra Martin

Tuesday 11th of June 2019

Thank you for your tutorial. My concern is i do sometimes have a hard time tying the knot cause I have very short thum what know? Anymore suggestions?


Tuesday 11th of June 2019

You should be able to pull the knot down with just your finger pads, I use my middle finger to pull the thread down my thumb. I'm working on a video for this and I hope to have it up shortly!


Thursday 13th of September 2012

Great tutorial for threading a needle and tying a knot. Speaking of "tying the knot", you are getting married on my birthday! Congratulations to you!


Wednesday 12th of September 2012

Hi! Welcome to Wordpress! I'm still a baby blogger compared to most of y'all, since I've only been blogging about 2.5 months, now. I've been contemplating switching from to' so that I can run ads and so forth. Which Wordpress are you using, the .com or .org? Thoughts? Your new blog improvements look great! And, I see that you're already truncating, too! I need to Start doing that soon, I hear. :) ~Amber of WhatAmberLoves