The essentials you'll need are:
Our charts are designed to be stitched on aida or evenweave. These fabrics are woven with an evenly-spaced grid of holes that you use to make your cross stitches. They come in various counts: 14-count aida is the most popular cross stitch fabric. It has 14 holes to the inch.
Most cross stitch designs are stitched with stranded embroidery cotton. This is a divisible thread made up of six strands. You can use all six or pull out as many strands as instructed in the key. Designs stitched on 14-count aida are usually worked in two strands.
A blunt tapestry needle is best for cross stitch. It is the most comfortable needle for passing back and forth through the holes in the aida. Use a size 24 for 14-count aida and a size 26 for 16- and 18-count aida or 28-count evenweave.
Use embroidery scissors to cut off the thread ends cleanly. These small scissors have very sharp points. You may also need a wooden hoop to hold your fabric taut while you stitch and a bag to keep the materials for a project together.