Alphabet 17
Christmas Holly

Who can look at holly and not think of Christmas! That is what Alphabet 17 celebrates, Christmas and all that goes with it. Snowflakes, divinity, nutcrackers and the scent of evergreen.

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Click here or on the picture above for a printable PDF pattern for Alphabet Design 17. A new window (or tab) will open so you can keep your place here.

Here's Christmas Holly in action!

Christmas Holly
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Alphabet 17 brings to mind a "holly, jolly Christmas!"

Alphabet 17 as stitched

Sometimes even alphabets need to be stitched to work out the kinks. Here's a portion of my finished cross stitch of this alphabet.

In the Design Example

"Alphabet 17 - Christmas Holly" features bright, bold two-tone red letters accented with spiked, green holly branches. Kreinik metallic gold floss outlines the white holly berries. When stitched on 14-count Aida, with DMC floss:

  • 2 strands for cross stitches
  • 1 strand for backstitches

Use Kreinik Metallic floss for the holly outlines:

  • 2 strands for backstitches

Description: Block letters, standard/straight

Characters Included

  • Upper Case Letters
  • Lower Case letters
  • Numbers
  • Punctuation


  • The upper case letters are 12 stitches high
  • The lower case letters without ascenders or descenders (ex: a, c, o) are 7 stitches high
  • The lower case letters with only ascenders (ex: b, d, h) or only descenders, (ex: g, p, y) are 12 stitches high
  • The lower case "j", with descender and a dot above, is 12 stitches high


These letters have varying widths, but most upper case letters are 6 or 7 stitches wide.

Stitch Complexity

This easy-to-stitch alphabet uses only full cross stitches and backstitches. The green holly branches maintain a spiked appearance specifically because they are not outlined with backstitches.

Learn any unfamiliar stitches by clicking on the "How To..." button on the left menu, then select tutorial links at the bottom of the page.


Use the same colors as reflected in the design, or substitute ones of your own.

If using fabric with a different thread count, you may need to adjust the number of strands of floss you'll use. To help you decide, click the "How To..." button on the left menu. At the bottom of the page, you'll find a "Floss Coverage and Why it Matters" link.

This page shows cross stitch examples using from one to six strands on fabric with different thread counts. Still uncertain? Work a few sample stitches in the corner of your fabric.

Follow these tips when using the Kreinik Metallic gold floss, or any other brand of metallic floss or blending filiment:

  • Cut floss into strands 15" or shorter. These types of specialty floss break, separate and shred more easily with prolonged stitching. I've found that it will do so long before I'm able to use the full 18 inches (testing both the thread and my patience!). I usually stick with 12-inch strands or shorter instead.
  • Do not use the sewing method with metallic floss.
  • switch to using a slightly larger needle. This makes a bigger hole for the metallic floss to slip through. Because there is less friction as the floss passes through the hole, it will separate and break less often.

How to Fit Text into a Design

Learn how to select and adapt cross stitch alphabets by clicking on the "Alphabet 123s" button on the left menu, or click here.

Click here for a printable cross stitch pattern for this design.

Learn how to select and adapt cross stitch alphabets by clicking on the "Alphabet 123s" button on the left menu.

› Christmas Holly Alphabet

› Christmas Holly Alphabet