Embroidered cards make the loveliest handmade gifts – so unique and pretty, so simple to make, and best of all, you can frame them and display them as art. Even if you’ve never sewn a stitch in your life, embroidery is easy and intuitive, and you’ll find yourself stitching away happily in no time. Here’s how to get started!
A thick, blank card – watercolour cards work well.
A sheet of lighter-weight paper for lining
Pencil & eraser
Carbon paper (optional)
Sketch out your design lightly in pencil, or trace one of the free templates using carbon paper.
Download One of Our Free Templates Here:
Split your embroidery thread. This creates a thread weight that is much easier to work with. Most embroidery threads are made of six individual strands – if you split yours in half, you should have a thread that is three strands thick. Thread your needle.
Using your needle, poke holes along your design from the front side of your card. You poke holes from the front to prevent creating visible bumps – you’ll see what I mean if you take a peek at the back of your card. Your holes should be no closer together than ¼ inch apart to prevent your work from falling apart.
Poke your needle through your first hole, entering from the back of the card and emerging from the front. Pull your thread through, stopping when there is a 1 inch tail left. You can tape the tail down now, or wait until you’re finished. Taping the tails down rather than tying a knot prevents unsightly bumps in our finished work.
From the front, push the needle down into the second hole and pull through. You have your first embroidered stitch! Don’t pull too tight, but make sure that the stitch is taut.
Bring the needle up from the back through the next hole, and down through the previous hole in the front, connecting the line of the thread. This is called a backstitch, and is the only stitch you need to know to embroider a card. Continue to backstitch the design that you’d like, following your pencil lines. Don’t be afraid to stitch through holes you’ve already used in order to connect lines!
Continue this pattern until you complete your line or run out of thread. At this point, you can trim the remainder of your thread down to 1 inch, and tape it down. If you haven’t completed your design, repeat steps 4 – 6 until you’re done! Gently erase your pencil lines when you’ve completed your work.
Cut your inner paper to size – a half-inch smaller than your outer paper, creating an overhang of ¼ inch on each edge.
Dab a small amount of rubber cement across the top edge of the inner paper, and secure it in place overtop of the back of your stitching. Continue to glue along the edges of the paper until it is completely secure – make sure that it doesn’t buckle when you fold your card!
You’re ready to write! Stick to the bottom half of your inner paper to avoid bumps.