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So here is a question for you...Have you ever tried sewing or embroidering something other than fabric?
My creative adventures have seen me stitching milk & juice cartons, paper, painted canvas, amongst other things..... (not half as adventurous as the bread, car bonnet and wellingtong boots I've seen stitched!)
While I was creating some floral designs for the March Newsletter, I wanted to show one of the designs all stitched up....and it came to me (what with Mothers Day coming up), that I could make a sweet card with the design stitched on the front.
I thought you may like to see how I did this ...and get inspired to try something new yourself.....
Embroidering on card
Gather your things together! You will also need a piece of corrugated cardboard, somescissors, a needle and selection of embroidery threads (of course!).
Step 1: paper prep
Fold the paper to make the greeting card, and cut the card to the size you want if necessary(this will be determined by the size of your embroidery design).
Then trim the paper that the embroidery design is on, so that it is the same size as the front of the greeting card.
I started off with an A4 sized piece of paper pulled from my sketch book. It's a nice thickness of paper, strong enough to stand as a folded card and not "sag" , but not too thick that it's hard to pierce a hole through. (you may find you want to try out a few types of card/paper till you've got the perfect formula) I've trimmed the size to make more of a square shape that will suit the design.
Step 2 : Positioning is key
Clip the design into position using your mini pegs or paper clips. If you use something to hold the design in place that is too bulky, it'll crease your paper when it comes to the next step. *Notice the greeting card is lying fully open.
Step 3: Get Pricking! Yes, clearly I am still a juvenile!
The aim here is to TRANSFER the design AND create the HOLES where the stitches are to go. (this is by far the easiest way to stitch using card/ paper , it means the paper doesn't get creased during stitching and is WAY kinder to your fingers!)
Place the corrugated cardboard under the front of the greeting card (which remains fully open ,as in above photo). Taking your pin or sharp ended tool, start piercing holes along the design line, taking care to make the distance between the holes approximately the same, as this dictates the size of your stitches.
Next trim the fabric edges. Once you have completed this you are ready for printing!
It is always best to have a practise run printing out your image onto normal paper first.... this will remind you which way to lie the "fabric paper" so the image prints on the fabric side. It will also ensure the image is sitting where you wish.
The pin should be getting pushed all the way through to the corrugated card, which acts as a lovely soft cushion ,and makes the piercing easy and comfortable. (If you use a sharp ended tool without a rounded end you are likely to find your fingers become shredded unless you have a thimble to hand. I've learned this the hard way!)
Consider where you are piercing the holes and how this will effect the shapes you create with your thread when stitching...as you can see below, one little hole can make all the difference.
Below you can see the hole piercing complete!
* Do NOT remove all the position pegs/paperclips until you have the full design pierced!!*
Step 3:The Stitching Part
It may currently just look like a mass of holes swirling before your eyes, so keep the embroidery design at hand to refer back to when stitching!
For ease of sewing and gentleness on paper , my intention is to just use a mix of running stitch and back stitch. It is worth experimenting with other stitches though..however using a rigid material can make some stitches tricky to do.
To begin the stitching, as much as I'm an advocate for a good granny knot, we want to avoid any excess lumps and bumps so as to keep the card/paper flat.
With this in mind:
I split my embroidery thread into 3 strands, and use an embroidery needle size 7. Just take care not to use a really thick needle that leaves a hole bigger than the thread.
The rest is just a case of filling in the design with the thread using the pre-pierced holes ...a reminder of those lacing cards once done as a kid.
You can see below I started off using back stitch for the outline, then wanting to see more of the outline filled in (I like instant gratification!) I changed to running stitch.I'll simply return to fill in the gaps using running stitch again.Easy!
Ending threads or adding threads is simple once the stitching has begun...simply weave the thread into the pre-existing stitches.(shown below)
Work in progress....
Et voila...a finished embroidery and a very pretty card!
If you want to cover up the back where you have the thread ends simply glue a thin piece of card or paper over the top. I quite like the rustic approach so am just leaving it!