Embroidery on paper – a beginners guide to card making with stitching

Friday 23 January 2009

People who receive hand stitched greetings cards are usually amazed and delighted that someone has made it especially for them. Many have been so pleased that they frame the picture. As well as giving pleasure, embroidery on paper is also an enjoyable way of passing the time. Since only a small amount of equipment needed, it is very portable and can be done almost anywhere. Here are five easy steps to get you started.

Embroidery on paper flowering vine1. Choose an easy pattern.
A simple pattern such as my free embroidery on paper flower pattern is a good way to get started. It is worked in basic stitches that are easy for beginners to follow.

When you get more experienced you can tackle the free flowering vine pattern from the Stitching Cards web site (illustrated on the right).

2. Read the general instructions.
The steps in embroidery on paper are explained with simple diagrams in my Prick and stitch for beginners – a guide to making stitching cards article. It starts by listing the equipment you will need and then takes you through the process with clear diagrams.

3. Gather your tools.
For your first attempt you will want to get started without spending a lot of money. If you can use equipment that you already have to hand then all the better. A couple of articles to look at are Improvising a pricking mat for stitching cards and Finding a substitute pricking tool.

4. Choose your thread.
I like to work with metallic thread because it is strong enough to stand up to the abrasive nature of the holes in your card. It looks wonderful when it catches the light and glitters in a way that makes the design look sophisticated and expensive. You can read more about thread in the following article: What thread do I use for my stitching cards?

5. Follow the step-by-step instructions.
If the instructions look complicated don’t be put off. Follow them one step at a time. Occasionally people say to me that they can not see how a shape is going to work. It usually turns out that they have not actually tried it yet. Take the stitching one step at a time. Look at the finished diagram and compare it with what you have done. If you make a mistake it is easy to go back. I find the best way of undoing the work is to take the needle off the thread and use it to pull the thread through to the back of the card one stitch at a time.

Good luck with your first attempt at embroidery on paper. Use the comment facility below to let me know how you get on.

The illustration is the Free Flowering Vine Pattern from the Stitching Cards web site.

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