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I want to let you in on some of my favorite websites where you can download free machine embroidery designs!
When I bought my first embroidery machine, I was not ready to invest in software quite yet. Not only did I have to buy the machine, but I had to invest in all the necessary embroidery supplies. The costs kept adding up! I did want to have a nice little library of downloaded embroidery designs to choose from, though, especially since the designs that came with my machine weren’t stellar.
So, I started collecting free embroidery designs. And even though I later purchased my own embroidery software, I still keep stitching other artists’ designs, too. I learn from their finished products, and it has made me a better digitizer myself! And, it has saved me a LOT of time. Why redesign something myself when someone has already done it so perfectly?
While there are SO many places to buy embroidery designs online, it’s nice to find designers who give away some of their designs for free. Once I use their free designs and know they do good digitizing, then I love to support them and actually purchase their designs in the future. I rarely buy from designers who don’t at least give a free sample of their designs so I can determine quality first.
(As an aside, I’ve updated this list in the middle of 2020, so if things have changed or you have a recommendation of another site for where to find free embroidery designs, please let me know in the comments!
Free Embroidery Designs for Commercial Use
If you plan to sell items with these designs commercially, make sure to read the fine print from the designer before stitching items to sell. While rules differ from digitizer to digitizer, in general, most designers offer their free designs for you to stitch out and sell in limited quantities. Mass production is prohibited without prior written permission, and of course, distribution of the design file and its parts is prohibited.
Best Sites to Find Free Embroidery Designs for Download
So, without further ado, here are some of the best websites to find free embroidery designs online. I’ve linked to the freebies page of each website in the heading, so click there if you’re interested. Make sure to download in the file format that your machine requires. As I own a Brother embroidery machine, I always download free .pes files.
And, not sure how you work your machine yet? Check my using an embroidery machine for beginners tutorial!
I LOVE downloading from embroideres.com. You can download an unlimited amount of free embroidery designs at any time, and their selection is extensive. Furthermore, there’s no requirement to register for an account or give personal information. There are many, many completely free embroidery designs, and then there are also embroidery designs free with purchase. Most designs include a thread color chart, too.
If browsing for a specifically themed design, you can use the search function or browse within categories of the free designs. Popular designs will have several reviews, so you can verify that other users have stitched the designs before you, thus giving you an idea of quality. Because different digitizers have submitted designs, just make sure you check reviews or do a test stitch-out before you make your project.
I’ve purchased, downloaded, and stitched out a lot of designs from EmbroideryDesigns.com. Each week, you can download 3 new free designs from their large selection and can manage a wishlist of designs to download in future weeks. If you make a $35 purchase, you can download 6 free designs per week. A $75 purchase earns you 9 free downloads.
To download a design, you do have to create an account. Once you download your file, you can also download and print out a thread color chart.
Designs have a review system, denoted by a number of butterflies, where you can see how other embroidery artists have rated the design. There’s also a section for user comments. Many of the designs come in multiple, popular sizes such as for a 4″x4″ hoop or 5″x7″ hoop. Most of the designs I’ve gotten here have been great, but there have been a few that weren’t my favorite due to high stitch density.
In addition to free embroidery downloads, there are paid designs and the option to buy embroidery supplies such as software, stabilizers, threads, and more.
3. Ann the Gran
I see designs from Ann the Gran all over, and this is her dedicated website. I’m guessing she must be associated with EmbroideryDesigns.com because her website is very similar to theirs. The same rules apply. You get 3 free designs per week, but this increases to 6 per week with a $35 purchase and 9 per week with a $75 purchase.
Also, you have to create an account to access the free designs, but upon registration, you get a free week of her club membership, which gives you access to another free 100 designs. If you pay to join the club after your trial, you get unlimited access to all her club free designs as well as other goodies and discounts.
You can sell a limited number of items stitched with most of the designs, but obviously distribution of the design itself is prohibited.
Ironically, there’s also another website titled grandslamdesigns.com that has similar designs to these last two and the same rules. I’ve never actually downloaded anything from there, though. Let me know if you have!
This is a new website that I just found that also has free embroidery designs. Many of the designers (whose personal websites I’ve listed here (Bunnycup Embroidery and Oma’s Place, for example) also sell their designs through Oregon Patchworks. The free designs are samplers from each designer so you can get an idea of work quality. If you click around the website, you’ll find a lot of great stuff!
If you purchase designs from them, this unlocks even more free machine embroidery patterns! If you download the free samplers, you do have a 10 download limit every 24 hours.
To download designs, you have to create an account that requires a decent amount of personal information. There is also a members-only area with more free designs, but you can only access these after subscribing to their newsletter. Subscribing to their newsletter gets you access to their Free Friday embroidery download, though!
This is one of my favorite websites to purchase embroidery designs. Why? Their embroidery patterns are some of the absolute CUTEST if you’re looking to design for a child. I make all sorts of baby gifts using their designs to much appreciation from parents-to-be. And as a mom of two girls, I also love personalizing their outfits, backpacks, blankets, and so on. Every time I log on, I see the cute designs and start dreaming of projects-to-be. It’s very dangerous for my bank account!
There is a very generous number of free design packs available, too, and if you sign up for their email, they send you a weekly freebie. They’re also constantly adding new paid designs. I love how they have so many options for cute appliques, fonts, and even redwork. Their selection of free machine embroidery appliques is one of the most extensive amongst my list of favorite websites. However, while there are a lot of great designs, some of their earlier free designs are a little malformed, for lack of a better word. It’s obvious they have gotten WAY better with digitizing over time.
If you take precautions with anonymity online, you don’t have to create an account or give any personal information to download designs. You do have to give personal information to create an account when purchasing, though.
Free Embroidery Design is one of my more recent discoveries of sites to download free designs. You do have to create a free account to access designs, but then you’re good to go! So far, I’ve only stitched their appliques and a few other designs, but they’ve been perfect! I’m looking forward to stitching some of the other patterns soon.
I love how they have free Disney, superhero, Harry Potter, and other popular character-themed designs! My daughters got newly embroidered items as soon as I found the free Paw Patrol and Minnie Mouse embroidery files! The character-themed designs are listed under “Cartoons” and “Movies” in their catalog.
And while a little questionable from a trademark or copyright standpoint, they even have digitized Nike, Adidas, and other brand logos.
The copyright license is the usual: make and sell for commercial use, but do not sell or distribute the designs. Also, if you do decide to use their trademarked logos, just be careful that you’re not selling those embroidered items!
While browsing, each design will have a star rating, and color charts and additional information for applique stitching will be in the .zip file you download. Premium designs have a ribbon medal in the top left corner. Their paid premium embroidery club membership gets you free access to all their designs, ad-free. It’s $80/year, which is a little pricey, in my opinion.
7. Oma’s Place
Oma’s Place has many, many incredible embroidery designs for purchase and a good, seasonally-updated section of free designs also. Her mug rugs are so cute!
To download, you have to give an email address and first and last name for each download. Signing up for her newsletter is optional. I’ve found the newsletter to have really good recommendations, though, and it sometimes convinces me I can’t live without designs I never even knew I needed until I saw them in my inbox!
Files are zipped, which means you will need to extract them. Each download has copyright information, which is fairly similar to that of most of these other embroidery websites.
Kreative Kiwi has both really cute embroidery designs as well as free projects that you can make. They don’t necessarily specialize in embroidery files but rather in in-the-hoop embroidery designs. Basically, sewing projects that you can create within your embroidery hoop such as coasters, bookmarks, potholders, and more. There are a few free designs, but mostly free patterns. I think this makes this site very unique. And very awesome!
To “purchase” these free designs, you do have to give your email, name, and phone number. Don’t tell them, but I didn’t give them my real phone number, ha!
If you are looking to grow your embroidery design library but aren’t necessarily searching for a specific design that very moment, consider Daily Embroidery. Every day, you will get the option to download a free embroidery design; they’ll remind you by email. If you want to join their paid club membership, you get access to all the designs. Or, you can purchase just one design, if you prefer that route. To actually download the free design, you have to create an account and give personal information.
Their sister website, which is embroiderysuperdeal.com, has great paid deals. You can get a HUGE package of 200 free fonts for a very affordable price! These fonts are much cuter than what came with my Brother embroidery machine and my embroidery software.
10. Embroider This!
Embroider This! is a great website to purchase affordable embroidery blanks and also download free designs. They have almost every type of blank you could imagine from kids’ blanks to even acrylic blanks with compartments for embroidery fabric!
While most of the free embroidery designs are for hoop sizes 4″x4,” there are several designs that fit larger hoops also. I haven’t noticed their free design selection rotate much, but many of their designs are well-digitized and very useful for my projects! And unless you plan to purchase, you do not have to provide any personal information.
Each zipped downloaded file includes the design in numerous machine formats, a color chart, and a picture file. This is SO helpful when trying to organize your embroidery files on your computer to be able to see a .jpg thumbnail.
I discovered this embroidery website recently and spent hours downloading all the really awesome free designs. I haven’t stitched any yet but will update once I do. The designs are very unique and artsy and things I wouldn’t have even thought I needed! Plus, if you sign up for their email newsletter, they’ll remind you each day to return back and download the free design of the day.
The Honorable Mentions
Creative Fabrica has an expanding collection of design freebies. If you subscribe to their email, they’ll send you a new free design each week. Sometimes designs come and go, so make sure to download as soon as you find the design! Designs all come with a commercial license, which is great if you’re wanting to sell items. Also, you can set up an Unlimited account with them, and for a monthly $29 subscription, you get access to all 5000+ of their great designs!
SWAK embroidery has a lot of free embroidery files, but most are not as “cute” and perfected as some of the other designers. As a mom of two girls and a friend of many mommies with kids, I’m usually embroidering for young people. As such, having those cutesy designs is important for me! The designs are digitized well, though, and will appeal more to users looking to embroider for adults or boys.
Freebies are regularly updated. Commercial use of stitched designs in allowed, in limited quantities.
As a plus, SWAK embroidery offers MANY options of blackwork embroidery files. This is awesome if you’re looking for a simple, not dense stitching design for a lightweight fabric. Blackwork or redwork embroidery files are my favorites to use when embroidering cardstock cards.
This is one of my favorite places to actually BUY embroidery designs though. Their paid designs are AWESOME.
Embroidery Online has a limited number of free embroidery designs, usually between 5-10 that change out every once in a while. They give you these free samples to allow you to stitch their designs and see the quality so you will purchase their paid designs. I’ve only used a few of their designs, but I have never been displeased with them!
If you do like their designs, they have tens of thousands of designs for just a dollar or two.
If you own a Singer sewing and embroidery machine, you can download free embroidery files directly from their website. There are around 50 files, some of which are very cute! The files are only available in Singer machine file formats, so if you don’t have a Singer machine and want to use the designs with your machine, you will need to convert them using software or an online converter.
When you sign up for Brother’s emails, you get access to their library of free sewing and embroidery designs. While I’m writing this, there are 338 free pes files and designs, but they are constantly adding new designs at least monthly in their “Free Design of the Month” section. The patterns are mostly free .pes embroidery designs, so you will need to convert them to a compatible format if you use another machine type. There are also “projects” that you can download the embroidery files for as well as custom stitches if your machine allows stitch programming.
As a major detractor, though, there is no way I can find to download a color chart. This is a bit annoying to me!
There are several free designs available here as well! If you like Bible verse designs (perfect to put on a kitchen towel, for instance!) there is a whole collection of digitized verses for your use! There are also a few cute appliques and other kid-friendly designs.
Other Free Themed Embroidery Designs
I’ve written several spinoff post compilations if you’re looking for specific embroidery machine designs. Feel free to click around and see if there’s anything new you want to download!
- 20+ free machine embroidery fonts
- Where to download free ITH designs (and some great paid ones too)
- Free applique designs for your embroidery machine
- Free Christmas embroidery machine design websites
- Halloween embroidery design freebies
- Thanksgiving, Fall, and autumn embroidery designs for free
What Makes a Good Embroidery Design
When you first go to download free machine embroidery patterns, take note of the size of the design and compare it to the maximum hoop size on your machine. When I still had my Brother SE625 sewing and embroidery machine, my maximum hoop size was 4″x4,” which meant many larger designs would not work. Now, I can stitch up to 5″x7″ with my new SE1900, and I have an embroidery software I use to split even larger designs into smaller pieces. Thus, I can download and use larger designs.
If you plan to stitch a design on an expensive garment or other material, always give any designs you purchase or download for free a test stitch on a cheaper fabric. That, or make sure to evaluate it within your embroidery program to see if it’s digitized well. A poorly digitized design, such as one that was auto-digitized, will have a lot of jump threads, may have a crazy stitch density, or might not stitch how it looks in the picture on the website.
Also, this might be a personal preference, but I like having a thread chart and printout with information about each embroidery design I have downloaded. This sheet usually contains the stitch count, digitized size, and the list of thread changes. I keep these sheets in a binder and flip through the binder when I’m looking for project inspiration. Patterns that I download that don’t have a printed color chart often get lost to be never seen again on my computer!
How to Download Free Machine Embroidery Designs
Each of these embroidery design websites will offer their downloads in a .zip format, or you may be able to directly download the exact format for your machine. For me, this means downloading the free .pes file for my Brother SE1900.
If you download in a .zip format, you will have to extract this file before you transfer it to your machine. As far as I’m aware, there are no embroidery machines that can unzip files. You will thus need a computer to unzip these files.
Depending on your machine, you will then transfer the design to your machine via USB, WiFi, or you may have to plug in your computer. Make sure you have the design in the right file format for your machine, or you will get an error when you go to load the design.
And that’s a wrap for my list of free machine embroidery patterns to download. I hope you’ve found some cute designs to stitch out! And if you like these designers, make sure to go back to them first when you decide to purchase patterns, thus supporting them as they continue to design rocking awesome patterns.