embroidery · sewing with kids · tutorial

Stitched cards tutorial 

If you want to try stitching cards, start with a simple shape.  Once you get started, there is no end to how complex your designs can be.  It is a quick project – you could make a bunch in an evening. It is also a great project for kids.  This is not an exact pattern, but guidelines to play with. Try different combinations and see what you come up with. 

Draw your design on scrap paper or card stock, and then mark your stitch holes.  I did a circle and divided it into sections to make my holes equally spaced. You could just eyeball it if you want.  Line up the design on the card. If you have trouble holding it in place with your hands, you could use paper clips to hold it.  

   

Punch holes through the pattern into the card. I used an open safety pin for this, since it gave me a handle to hold onto. I also found it easier to do with a piece of cork underneath.   

Before removing the pattern, hold it to a light to make sure you didn’t miss any holes. Here it is, ready to go. 

  

Thread a blunt needle, like those used for cross stitch. It doesn’t need to be sharp because you don’t have to poke a hole in fabric. You can use any thread or embroidery floss you want. I liked the weight of three strands of floss, but thicker and thinner get different looks. You can also play with colour and variegated threads. This would be a good project if you have an old box of floss sitting around somewhere.

When the needle is threaded, come up in a random spot. You don’t need a knot; catch the end of the thread and hold it down with tape. From the front, go across the circle and into a random hole. The closer your two points are, the more open your finished design will be. 

 

On the back (see the tail taped down?), go back to the front in the spot right beside where you came out. 
  

On the front, go across the circle to the spot right beside your last stitch. Keep going around the circle, moving over one spot at a time, remembering to go in the same direction. 
  

From the back you cand see you are not going across the circle, just over one space. 
  

When you get to the end of a thread, just tape it down and start a new one. 
  

When you are finished, each hole will have two stitches coming out of it. It reminds me of my old Spirograph (which I loved). 
  

Have fun playing with this. It’s a great way to try hand work without getting bogged down in a long term project.

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