Step up your stationery game with hand embroidered cards that go big on texture, pops of color, and charm. This simple project is easy to make, requires minimal materials, and adds a personalized touch to any correspondence. There’s a lot of room to experiment and get creative with bold graphic shapes, decorative borders, and monograms. Even simple designs, like rows of dashed stitches can add a lot of character and are so satisfying to stitch up.
- Scrap paper
- Blank Cards
- Cardboard sheets
- Awl (or push pin)
- Embroidery needle
- Embroidery thread
1. Draw a design on a piece of scrap paper that matches the size of your card. Experiment with graphic shapes and lettering to create border designs and monograms. Simple designs using straight lines work best, for example zigzags, asterisk stars, and boxy lettering.
2. Paperclip the design to the front your open card and place it on top of a few sheets of cardboard. Using an awl (or push pin) punch holes outlining the design. You just need a few holes where lines intersect, at corners and at the end of a line. For example, for a zigzag design you’d only need to punch holes at the points of the peaks and valleys. For a double zigzag add a second set of holes under the valleys.
3. Remove the paperclip and scrap paper. Cut a 14-18” length of thread, and tie a double knot at the end leaving a half inch tail. Thread your needle and start by coming up from the inside of the card, so the knot is hidden.
Tip: Use short lengths of thread for stitching paper, because paper is rough on thread. It strips the thread of it’s shine, can create knots, and even break threads. Try using a thread conditioner or bee’s wax to lightly coat and smooth the thread.
4. Stitch your design using a backstitch. Pull the thread up from the back and go forward dropping the needle down into the next hole. Pull through and drop the needle back down into the previously stitched hole to make a continuous line. Keep following this pattern to complete the design. Depending on your design you may need to jump around from point to point as you stitch. For the zig zag design with two rows of color stitch one color and then the second. The top points or “peaks” will be stitched twice.
5. To end a length of thread tuck the thread under a stitch on the inside of the card and tie a double knot. Cut with a ½” tail. Finish stitching your cards. Write a message and enjoy!