The first step to success in sewing is threading a needle, which is not as simple as it sounds. Getting a thread end through the eye of a needle can be tricky. We show you easy tricks, so you can begin sewing.

Needles come in a number of sizes: the larger the number, the shorter or finer the needle. Purchase a packet of assorted-size needles to ensure you'll have one for every need. For best results and to prevent frustration, switch to a new needle after several hours of sewing.

Here are 5 tips to help you thread a needle:

1. Trim the thread end at a 45-degree angle with sharp scissors.


2. Stiffen thread end by running it through beeswax.


3. Moisten the needle's eye instead of the thread. The capillary action of the saliva draws the thread into the needle's eye.

4. If it's hard to see the needle's eye, create a background by placing a piece of contrasting paper or fabric behind the needle.


5. Use a needle threader when you need extra help. Many types of threaders are available. The least expensive type has a wire loop that helps pull the thread through the needle's eye. Try several models to see which works best for your vision and eye-hand coordination.


Fun fact: It's easier to push the eye of the needle onto the thread than to push the thread through the needle's eye.

Thread needle, knot the thread end that just came through the needle's eye (see below), then cut the thread at spool. A 24-inch length of thread is a good working length to work with. Knotting the end that is threaded through the needle prevents the thread from tangling and knotting while you are stitching.

How to Knot Thread

1. Once the needle is threaded, extend the thread tail about 1/2".


2. Holding the thread tail against the needle with one hand, use your other hand to wrap the thread around the needle clockwise three times.


3. Pinch the thread tail and thread wraps with your thumb and forefinger, then grasp the needle near its point and gently pull it through the thread wraps.


4. Continue pinching the thread wraps until the thread is pulled completely through and a small, firm knot has formed near the end of the thread tail.