Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Machine Embroidery on Paper

We're going to a few Halloween parties tomorrow, and I wanted to create some unique cards to add to my hostess gifts. One of the best ways to create a quick card is to embroider your greeting on paper using your embroidery machine.

The trick to embroidering on paper is picking the right design, the right paper, and the right stabilizer.
Thin papers don't embroider well. Cardstock is best. Although, if you want to embroider on a thinner paper, you can always adhere it to your cardstock with a temporary spray adhesive.

Redwork, cross-stitch, and outlined designs embroider best on paper. Designs with a fill or satin stitching rip up the paper and don't work very well. I decided to create my card using my trick-or-treat fill design, although I only stitched the outline and not the fill.

I used a very soft, tear-away stabilizer, and hooped it in my 4x4 hoop.

Then, I carefully marked the center of my card in pencil

Using the marks I'd made, I centered the card on the hoop using a temporary spray adhesive.
After that was done, I stitched the design. The design I used is typically a fill design, but I only stitched the outline. Stitching the fill would have torn the paper to pieces. I also used a regular embroidery needle, which works just fine on paper.
After I was done, I colored in the outline stitches with my Copic markers.
I also layered paper on the inside of the card to cover the bobbin threads, adding a rectangle of white paper to write my greeting.
This was a very quick and easy way to make cards. If you have a larger hoop, you can also embroider scrapbooking embellishments and book covers.


  1. Hi I was just wondering if I could do this with a very basic sewing machine? I just want to make the holes - no thread - embroider it by hand :) after that. Design my own patterns but would have to know what kind of file these new sewing machines need?? SVG- GST or ???
    I want to teach a class -but do not want to Prick 40 cards - so thought this may work ?? Any help or info would be greatly appreciated -Looking at thies card may explain what I mean.http://www.handcraftedgreetings.com/embrinst.php
    Silvia Griffin

    1. I think you could do this. I have two embroidery machines and a basic sewing machine that does not embroider. If I was working with the basic machine, I'd probably transfer the file onto the paper and use the lines as a guide to stitch out holes before hand embroidering the design. There's a good tutorial here:

      Thanks for your interest in the blog!