The completed cross-stitch of the giant squid showing it holding its two tentacles to circle around the squids body.

The completed cross-stitch design of the giant squid (Architeuthis dux)

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How to cross-stitch a giant squid

Cross-stitch yourself a giant of the deep.

You will need:

  • giant squid-coloured embroidery thread (we used DMC thread and the colours you need are on the pattern, but you can also choose your own colours)
  • cross-stitch fabric (we used Aida 14 count fabric)
  • an embroidery needle
  • an embroidery hoop (26.5 cm/10.5 inches)
  • scissors
A drawing of a giant squid in orange, with its eight arms hanging down and it's two tentacles held up to form a circle around the body.

Giant squid cross-stitch pattern to download and print

Giant squid pattern PDF (50.3 KB)


What to do

To cross-stitch your giant squid, you need to make a small cross of embroidery thread to match every coloured square on the pattern:

  • Choose a square roughly in the middle of the giant squid pattern and sew a cross of that colour in the centre of your fabric.
  • Keep following the pattern, making a cross in each square. Work outwards from the centre, changing colour when needed. 
  • A good way to know when to change colour is to count how many squares there are of the same colour on the pattern in a given direction.
  • To make a cross, sew two stitches of thread diagonally over each other.  
Archie the giant squid in her 8 metre-long-tank in the Museum's basement.

The Museum has a giant squid named Archie kept in an eight-metre-long tank in the basement


  • Use three strands of embroidery thread (standard DMC thread is six strands thick, so you'll need to separate it into two).
  • Always start from the back of the fabric when making a cross and always sew the two diagonal stitches of every cross in the same order, so that the same diagonal stitch is always on top.
  • When you have a line of squares of the same colour, you can save time by sewing them in one go. Start by sewing one diagonal stitch for each of the crosses in your line and then return with the other diagonal stitch. 
  • Don't worry if the back of the fabric becomes a little messy with thread, it will be hidden.

Did you know?

The giant squid (Architeuthis dux) can reach up to 12-metres-long and can be found in all of the world's oceans. They have eight arms and two tentacles, which are primarily used for feeding.