I've been looking over some tutorials on how to decorate homemade Christmas cards (for next year... this year I'm making my own photo cards.) I've seen some really beautiful hand-stitched ideas, and thought I'd share a quick how-to article.
Hand stitching is a great way to add texture and design to a handmade card. Hand stitching is a good alternative to machine stitching. A few simple stitches can make all the difference to a handmade card and add a lovely hand crafted finishing touch. This is the ideal way to dress up a simple rubber stamped image on a card. Stitches can be used to add a frame to the edges of a handmade card, to add text or a design or simply as a decorative element. Hand stitching can be purely decorative or can be used, as seen in this photograph, to attach elements to the card. In this case, stitching was used to hold a hand stamped image onto the card.
Types of Hand Stitching on Cards
There are many ways to add stitching to cards. Precise and formal designs can be achieved by using a template or following a pre-drawn design. Rubber stamps could also be used as a template for stitching. More informal designs, such as the one above, can be created by simply making stitches of differing lengths to form an interesting pattern. Many different types of hand stitches can be used, however more simple stitches are both easier to make and are less likely to tear the paper. Paper does not have the same give as fabric and therefore a certain amount of care needs to be given to ensure that the paper does not tear. Good stitches to use are running stitch, back stitch and chain stitch. Stitches used in cross stitch designs are also ideal for using on cards.
Types of Threads and Floss for Stitching on Cards
Sewing thread, embroidery floss or even yarn can be used to stitch on cards. The type of thread or yarn chosen will alter the finished effect of the project. For instance, metallic threads used on a dark background can give a dramatic finish to a card. It is important not to use a thread that is too thick for the weight of the card.
How to Add Hand Stitching to Cards
The best way to add hand stitching to cards is to pierce the holes first using a paper piercing tool. If you don't have a paper piercing tool then you can use an embroidery needle or make a paper piercing tool. The stitches can then be formed with ease by stitching into these holes. As hand stitching can be relatively time consuming, it is best to add any other elements to the card first if appropriate. For instance it would be best to add a rubber stamped image first and the stitching second so if the image was stamped incorrectly then no time would be wasted on having to redo the stitching.
For more ideas take a look at some of these hand stitched greeting card projects.
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