I’m all about making things for people for holidays. For Mother’s Day I tried machine embroidering on paper for the first time and made cards. I had a lot of fun with it. Since Father’s Day is coming up, I thought I would share with you guys how to make your own cards.

If you don’t have a machine for embroidery, there are lots of designs available for hand embroidery. I love, love, love Urban Threads. Almost all of their designs are available for machine or hand embroidery. For this tutorial, I am using one of the curious kitty designs.

The best designs to use for this project are ones that don’t have a lot of dense stitching. Check out the category for light stitching on Urban Threads.

This is just how I have been making mine and I am no expert. I think they have been coming out well. There’s lots of other information online, including youtube videos on how to make embroidered cards.

I’ve made cards where I embroidered on fabric and then attached the fabric to the card stock, but for this project I will be embroidering directly onto the paper. I like quick and easy. You can’t get much easier then doing the embroidery directly onto the card.

You can buy blank notecards with envelopes from craft stores for pretty cheap, but since I already have a stack of card stock, I am using it. This is 110 lb paper.

For hand written notes, you can skip right into embroidering. If you want a typed message inside, I suggest you start by printing that message on your card stock.

Use a basic template in any word processor to split the page into four squares. I want my message to print on the right hand side and to be somewhat centered, so I use the template to help me make sure it will look ok.

An example of how your template might look.

Once I’ve typed my message and printed it out, I cut the page in half vertically. It’s good to have a straight edge to help you. I used a paper cutter.

With a light colored pencil, I then measure and mark the center of the cut halves at the bottom, to show where the fold should be.

Now it’s time to embroider! The first step is to hoop the stabilizer.

I use a tear-away stabilizer for this project. A lot of people also use an adhesive to attach the paper to the stabilizer, but like I said, I like quick and easy. I haven’t had any problem with just laying the paper on top.

I’m not too much of a perfectionist about making sure everything is exactly center. I know some people are, which is part of why the adhesive would be used. For me, I eyeball the mark I made for the fold and center the paper over the hoop as best as I can.

Attach the hoop to the machine and do your embroidery magic!


Embroidery machine doin’ its thing.

Keep in mind what I mentioned earlier about light stitched designs- the paper will just get ripped to shreds if you’re using a dense design. You’ll also just have wads of embroidery thread stuck to stabilizer. Nobody likes to see their hard work wasted like that.

A great example of what happens when you use a design that is too dense.

I embroider both the front and backs of my cards. So both sides of the fold will get embroidered on. Once my first side is done, I cut away the excess stabilizer. Don’t tear it, because you’ll be sure to rip the stitches or the paper away.

Using my handy-dandy eyeballing skills, I center the other side on the hoop over a new sheet of stabilizer and embroider my other pattern onto the paper.

Now you have your front, back and inside of the card done! Cut away the stabilizer from the second side.

A view of what the backside looks like after the stabilizer has been cut away.

At this point, I fold both cut pieces of paper at the mark I made earlier. For quick assembly, I line the two sheets of paper up and then paste them together.

Make sure there’s no excess glue coming out from between the sheets. To get the cards to lay flat, I like to put them under a heavy book or object overnight as the glue dries. Be careful of what glue you use, as it may dry poorly and show through. I am using Elmer’s no-wrinkle rubber cement. It has a great brush applicator.

There you have it. An easy and fun way to make some hand crafted cards for your loved ones!

I enjoy making them and people seem to like getting these cards. I hope you find some inspiration for your own projects in this!

A few of the finished cards I’ve made.