Prick and stitch for beginners – a guide to making stitching cards

Tuesday 2 September 2008

Nike posted a message on my Form-A-Lines forum saying “I’m in love with stitching cards, but here, in Italy, there is nothing about it. Can you tell me what I need?” So for Nike and any other beginners here is my guide to making prick and stitch cards.

Assemble your materials and equipment. You will need:

  • A pricking mat – this could be a rectangle of foam, polystyrene or even a folded towel.
  • A pricking tool – this could be a hat pin or some other sharp pricking implement.
  • A pricking pattern – we are using the free flower pattern for this guide.
  • A blank greetings card – or sheet of card. It should be the size of the pricking pattern or larger.
  • A needle – small enough to go through your pricked holes easily but large enough to not fall through.
  • Thread – I normally use metallic thread but for this exercise use whatever you already have.
  • Self-adhesive tape.
  • Scissors.

pricking matPut your pricking mat on a firm surface. Place your card on the mat front side up. Place your pricking pattern over the card.

I usually hold the pricking pattern in place by putting two small pieces of self-adhesive tape on the back of the card before putting it on the mat. I put one piece at the top and one at the bottom, overlapping the edges. I leave the pricking pattern larger than the card so when I place it on the card the tape grips it. I find that the white card on the dark mat shows through the printed pattern sufficiently well to line up the edges of the pattern with the card.

Pricking toolUse your pricking tool to prick through the pattern and through the card. When I have completed the pricking I hold my pattern and card up to the light to check that all of the holes have been pricked. If all holes have been pricked remove the pattern.

Tape the threadCut a length of thread of about 40 centimetres (16 inches). Thread your needle and pass it from the back of the card, through the first hole to the front of the card. Leave a short length of thread on the back of the card and fix this in place with a piece of self-adhesive tape.

Out at A in at BTurn the card over. Look at the instructions to determine which hole to go in to. In this case it is hole B. Pass your needle through hole B from the front of the card to the back of the card.

The first stitchPull the thread through so that it is tight enough to be straight without putting too much stress on the card which may cause it to bend.

Out at C in at DLook at the instructions to determine the next hole. In this case it is hole C which is next to hole B. Come out of hole C from the back of the card to the front. Take your needle across the pattern and in to hole D from the front to the back.

Continue in this way, following the instructions and looking at the finished diagram that comes with your pattern. The design soon starts to take shape.

When you finish a length of thread secure it to the back of the card with adhesive tape.

When your design is complete you can mount a piece of card on the back to hide the tape and ends of thread. Or if you are using a double fold card, fold the third leaf in to cover the back of the work and fix it in place.

If you have any tips to offer beginners please let us know by adding a comment to this article.

Related Posts

Prick and stitch flower pattern. Download it free
Improvising a pricking mat for stitching cards
Finding a substitute pricking tool

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4 thoughts on “Prick and stitch for beginners – a guide to making stitching cards

  1. Marion Morris

    Hello, I have lots of stitching cards and I love doing them. they are very ‘moreish’. I like the variety. Some I have made for cards to send to family and friends. I have made bookmarks with others and also framed some of the beaded cards that I have made. I am not an accomplished needlewoman but anyone can do these and they are lovely when completed.

  2. sheila

    i make my pricking tool out of air dried clay and a fine needle as any of the pricking tools i have seen leave the hole far too big this way i can use a fine needle and i have comfort while i am pricking

  3. Karen

    I am wondering where I can buy blank cards/envelopes. I have purchased them at a local craft store in Rochester NY but the quality of the paper stock has declined over the past three years – this years being really flimsy. I also see cards made on stock with cutouts. Can they be purchased or do they need to be hand cut?

    1. DJ Post author

      Cards with cutouts can be purchased in the UK, Karen. Unfortunately I do not have knowedge of the USA craft market.

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