Finding a substitute pricking tool

You want to try the prick and stitch technique but do not want to spend out on a purpose made pricking tool until you are sure you will enjoy this card making technique. The solution is to look for a sharp pointed object that you already own. Here are some suggestions:

A drawing pin (thumb tack). Some drawing pins have a large head that will enable you to hold them firmly enough to repeatedly prick the holes in your card.

A hat pin. These are between 2 and 4 inches long and have a small ball at the blunt end.

A safety pin. These are best pulled open so that they form a reasonably straight pricking pin. You might want to wrap some self-adhesive tape around the clasp to make it more comfortable to use.

If you are going to make a lot of stitching cards then a purpose made pricking tool is a good investment. There are several designs available. I like the single needle tool made by Pergamano (illustrated above). Its primary use is for parchment craft so has a fine metal pricking pin. This is mounted in a triangular shaped plastic handle which make it easy to grip.

I would be interested to hear what you use as a pricking pin. Let me know by adding a comment to this post.

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13 thoughts on “Finding a substitute pricking tool

  1. Ruth Larson

    My husband made a tool for me using a dowel with a hat pin in the center of one end. He made a small hole in the dowel and glued the hat pin in it after cutting it down to a manageable size. Works great!

  2. mitch

    Hi David
    It is wonderful to see that you are shareing the diffrent types of pricking tool with us I have to be honest I used to do pergamano but since finding out about stitching cards have been hooked ever since, I have used my pricking tools to prick out my cards ever since I started and since I often do more than one card at a time the pergamano tool is the best and it can be used it a pencil grip if your hand gets tired and is great to use the other tools I tend to use to emboss from the back of the card to make some of the elements stand out

  3. JoAnne Atherton

    I am enjoying your site as I learned how to do card stitch in Florida last winter and have continued with a few ladies here in Canada. We use foam swim boards or garden kneeling pads for pricking and were very excited to find our local dollar store selling pricking pens for $1.00 canadian. The patterns from form-a-line and stitching cards are inspiring. Thanks so much for the great hobby. I love that I can create something in an afternoon. Keep up the great work.

  4. DJ Post author

    Thank you for this great feedback Jenny, Ruth, Mitch and JoAnne. It is very interesting to hear about the equipment you are using. I particularly like the idea of foam swim boards or garden kneeling pads, which is really thinking outside of the box.

  5. Linda

    I have just started looking into doing stitching cards. I am having a terrible time trying to find patterns in the USA. I would like to be able to make Christmas cards for my relative this year. Any suggestions on websites?
    Thanks,
    Linda

  6. DJ Post author

    Hi Linda. My Stitching Cards web site has a huge selection of stitching patterns, both free and for purchase. Please see the advertisement in the right hand column of this blog for a link. My Form-A-Lines web site also has some free patterns and details of where you can purchase printed pattern booklets.

  7. Kiri

    Hi All,
    Could you people that are experienced please tell me the correct size needle to use. I have been told to use beading needles but find them very bending, and I broke my needle threader trying to thread it, and some needles make the holes too big. Many thanks.

  8. DJ Post author

    Hi Kiri,

    I use a Number 10 embroidery needle for stitching without beads.

    I use a size 10 English beading needle for small seed beads and bugle beads.

  9. cathy

    I staarted this craft with a Tpin that you use in upholstery. Then I had the suggestion from myhubby to use a timy scredriver that had changleable tiny ends. I liked the long handle but not the tiiip. Then Making Memories came out with a pricking tool–a long handle with a fixed sharp tip. THey now have a heavieeeer version that I even like better. They sell for $3 each.
    I teach this craft to others and I start them with the t-pin and then show them the other. I tell them to start with a cheaper verssion just incaase you dont like the craft.
    For the size needle–I love using the 24 and 26 cross stitching blunt needles. cathy

  10. Nora

    For a pricking tool I use a mechanical pencil with the lead removed. Replacing the lead with a straight pin that I have nipped the head off.
    This makes it “retractable” if I want to take it with me.

  11. Yvonne may

    I have made a pricking tool using a fine sharp needle and a cork from a wine bottle. Push the eye of the needle into the cork [using a hard surface] to the length that you need. I also use another cork to protect myself and the needle. his makes nice fine holes and you end up with a nicer looking card.Also the size of the cork is better for my arthritic fingers.

  12. Vera

    I use Pergamano perforating single needle tool – the only one I found to be thin enough for perforating cards as I want the holes to be as small as possible. Downside I find though is that the needle is not equal in thickness throughout, leading to (slightly) differently sized holes. Since my last pergamano tool tip broke, I’ve reverted back to hat pins which are less comfortable to hold, but a pleasure to work with once you start embroidering with even holes!
    I like the cork tip but would ideally like a purpose-built tool in which I can stick a needle of the appropriate thickness. Retractable sounds great too. Good tip from Nora!

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