How to Thread a Needle (4 Easy Ways!)

Whether you are a beginner or an expert sewer, we all need to know how to easily thread a needle!

There are several hacks to get the job done, and I’ve outlined (step-by-step) the four easiest ways to thread a needle so you can get to your sewing project within moments of starting. And they all work on large and small needles.

Some of these hacks suggest helpful tools to make the job easier, but some you can do without a needle threader or aid if you don’t have one nearby.

Threaded needle with different colored threads

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threaded needle

Option 1.) Wet the end of your thread: This is how I’ve threaded my needle since I was a kid, and it’s nice that you don’t need any extra tools to do it.

Since frayed thread ends make threading a needle a bit of a nightmare, cut the end of your thread so you have a fresh end that’s still woven pretty tight.

Then, either wet your fingertips with water (or a bit of spit) and get the end of the thread damp, which helps it stay together and be a little stiffer. You can also put the end in your mouth for a second and that will do the trick, too.

Once the thread is damp, push the damp end of the thread through the needle and pull it through until you have the length you want and knot it at the end.

Option 2.) Use a needle threader: While I understand that having another tool around to do a specific job may not be ideal, needle threaders are so small and take up such little space that they really are worth it.

You can also use these to thread sewing machines as well so they work double duty in addition to hand sewing (and they make really cute ones like these daisy shapes).

Just stick the thin diamond-shaped wire through the eye of your needle until it’s sticking through the other side. Thread your thread through the larger diamond shape and then pull the wire back through the eye of the needle so that your thread comes with it to the other side.

Pull it through until you have the length you want and knot it at the end.

threaded needle
thread through a needle

Option 3.) Use the fold and pinch method:

Fold your thread over the top of your needle and pinch it tight on the bottom with your thumb and forefinger. Pull your needle out so that you have a tiny loop pinched between your fingers.

Position the eye of the needle over the loop with your free hand and push it down onto the loop so that the loop goes through the eye of the needle. Once it’s pushed down far enough, you can grab the loop and pull it through.

Pull it through until you have the length you want and knot it at the end.

self threading needles next to different colors thread
threaded needle with fabric and thread

Option 4.) Use a self-threading needle:

If you find yourself doing a bit of sewing here and there, you may want to spend a few bucks on a pack of self-threading needles to make the job easy.

These needles have a V-shaped opening on the top of the needle, so all you have to do is hold the thread over the V shape and pull down to pull it into the opening and your needle is threaded!

rainbow of threads with a threaded needle

Learning to sew? Try these easy sewing projects!

Whether you are gearing up to do some hardcore sewing projects or just starting out on a beginner project, these easy ways to thread a needle will get you started off right! xo. Laura

P.S. Click here to learn how to quickly sew a flat or shank button!

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5 from 1 vote

How to Thread a Needle (4 Easy Ways!)

4 Easy Ways to Thread a Needle
Keyword crafts, sewing
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 3 minutes
Author Laura Gummerman

Equipment

  • sewing needle
  • self-threading sewing needle optional
  • needle threader optional
  • 1 Pair of scissors

Ingredients

  • sewing thread

Instructions

Option 1.) Wet the end of your thread

  • This is how I’ve threaded my needle since I was a kid and it’s nice that you don’t need any extra tools to do it.
    Since frayed thread ends make threading a needle a bit of a nightmare, cut the end of your thread so you have a fresh end that’s still woven pretty tight.
    Then, either wet your fingertips with water (or a bit of spit) and get the end of the thread damp, which helps it stay together and be a little stiffer. You can also put the end in your mouth for a second and that will do the trick, too.
    Once the thread is damp, push the damp end of the thread through the needle and pull it through until you have the length you want and knot it at the end. 

Option 2.) Use a needle threader

  • While I understand that having another tool around to do a specific job may not be ideal, needle threaders are so small and take up such little space that they really are worth it. You can also use these to thread sewing machines as well so they work double duty in addition to hand sewing (and they make really cute ones like these daisy shapes).
    Just stick the thin diamond-shaped wire through the eye of your needle until it’s sticking through the other side. Thread your thread through the larger diamond shape and then pull the wire back through the eye of the needle so that your thread comes with it to the other side.
    Pull it through until you have the length you want and knot it at the end.

Option 3.) Use the pinch and fold method

  • Fold your thread over the top of your needle and pinch it tight on the bottom with your thumb and forefinger. Pull your needle out so that you have a tiny loop pinched between your fingers.
    Position the eye of the needle over the loop with your free hand and push it down onto the loop so that the loop goes through the eye of the needle. Once it’s pushed down far enough you can grab the loop and pull it through.
    Pull it through until you have the length you want and knot it at the end.

Option 4.) Use a self threading needle

  • If you find yourself doing a bit of sewing here and there, you may want to spend a few bucks on a pack of self-threading needles to make the job easy.
    These needles have a V-shaped opening on the top of the needle, so all you have to do is hold the thread over the V shape and pull down to pull it into the opening and your needle is threaded!
  • hi in a sewing class I did many years ago the teacher referred to spit as sewing moisture which I think is perfect

  • Thank you for this! I really need to get some needle threaders or the self threading needles – I’ve been wanting to do embroidery but I get so frustrated with threading the needle that I always give up. I hope the needle threader could work with thicker thread too!

  • 5 stars
    You forgot to mention that needles being metal are manufactured by machine and the hole is punched so there is one side that is rouch and one smooth. Turn the needle around!

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