1. What is Card Embroidery

Wonder Woman Card Embroidery

Wonder Woman Card Embroidery

Short answer is: Following a pre-determined pattern, holes are pricked through cardboard, threads are then stitched through the cardboard to create a design.

Long answer: It is a style of embroidery that has been around for many years and has been known under many names. I originally came across in the 90s via some kits by Madeira known as Pickpoints. I’ve also seen it referred to as Stitching Cards, Embroidery on Paper, Paper Embroidery, Stitch & Do, Prick & Stitch Art, Japanese Card Embroidery and many more.

Many designs are very similar to ‘String Art’ or ‘Nail Art’ that was around in the 70’s and 80’s, however the good thing with this craft is that you don’t have to try and put a bunch of nails in a straight line, it’s a lot lighter and easy to carry, and it doesn’t collect anywhere near as much dust (speaking from experience since my parents still have the one I made in 5th grade.. which my father hammered all the nails in for me, since I wasn’t very good at putting nails in straight).

 

2. What do you need to start?

You don’t need any specialised tools or supplies to get started with Card Embroidery. Most of the basic items you may already have at home, however if you get heavily into this craft, there are some tools available that may make life easier, especially if you are using patterns that require you to prick the holes yourself.

All of our GIFT/GREETING CARD PATTERNS are made up of a base pricking template along with detailed instructions that step you through where to stitch - the colour and final design decisions are all up to you! What this also means though, is that you will need to prick all the holes yourself - with the larger and more complex designs this can be quite time consuming and tiring.

To complete one of our PATTERNS, you will need the following:

  • Pricking Mat - this can be a thick piece of dense foam or felt. It should allow for easy entry of the Pricking Tool whilst keeping the card flat

  • A Fine Needle - this should be no larger than a Number 10 Embroidery Needle, the larger the needle the larger the pricked holes will be from stitching through them. (If comfortable using sharp needles I recommend a Fine Beading Needle)

  • Adhesive Tape - Matte-finish, invisible tape such as Scotch Magic Tape is recommended

  • Scissors

  • A selection of Threads - eg. Embroidery Floss, Metallic Threads, etc

  • Tri-Fold Greeting Card Blank (ie. single piece of card folded in three, is also sometimes referred to as a Bi-Fold card)

    OR

  • Greeting Card Blank (ie. single piece of card folded in two) with extra card for insets

    OR

  • Greeting Card Blank (ie single piece of card folded in two) with extra paper to hide stitching.

    NB. Card should be 180-300gsm. When folded it should fit into a standard Greeting Card Envelope (eg. C6 - 114 x 162cm or A6 - 4 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches)

OPTIONAL ITEMS:

  • Double-sided Tape or Glue - to seal back of card/attach insert etc

  • Beads, Sequins and other embellishments - if wanted/required

  • Beading Needle - if using bead embellishments

  • Corner Punches - for Inset Card Designs

  • Ruler - to help prick holes in a straight line where necessary

The GIFT/GREETING CARD PATTERNS include the pricking template in 2 different sizes:

  • The smaller pricking template is for Inset Cards. This is where you cut out the pattern and stick it to the front of a Standard Greeting Card Black.

  • The larger pricking template is for a Standard Greeting Card (approx 10.5 x 14.8cm or approx 4.2 x 6 inches when folded). These are ideal for use with Tri- Fold Greeting Cards. If using the larger diagram on a Standard Greeting Card Blank, you will need to stick something over the back of (inside of) the card to hide the stitches.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to invest in all of the above and/or don’t want to prick all the holes yourself, then one of our CARD EMBROIDERY KITS may be more suitable for you.

Each of our KITS include

  • Pre-cut Card (ie all the relevant holes are already in the card)

  • Fine Beading Needle

  • Sufficient Thread to complete the design (with plenty of extra thread in case you make any mistakes)

  • Detailed instructions

Start Trek Kit in Black - also available in Red, Blue & Yellow, or as a Multi-Card Set including all 4 colours.

Start Trek Kit in Black - also available in Red, Blue & Yellow, or as a Multi-Card Set including all 4 colours.

OPTIONAL ITEMS:

  • Double-sided Tape or Glue - to seal back of card/attach insert etc

  • Beads, Sequins and other embellishments - if wanted/required

  • Beading Needle - if using bead embellishments

  • Corner Punches - for Inset Card Designs

All you need to complete one of our KITS is Adhesive Tape (Matte-finish, invisible tape such as Scotch Magic Tape), Scissors and Time.

3. How to prick the card for your Card Embroidery Design3.

Card Embroidery Pattern Placement

Card Embroidery Pattern Placement

Fold the card open and place it face up on the Pricking Mat. Place the desired pricking pattern over the card in the desired position.

If using a Tri-Fold Card, remember that this will be on the middle panel.

Attaching the Pattern to the Card (showing back of the card)

Attaching the Pattern to the Card (showing back of the card)

Secure the pricking pattern along the top and bottom of your card using a small piece of adhesive tape.

Pricked Card (from the back, Card Embroidery pattern still attached)

Pricked Card (from the back, Card Embroidery pattern still attached)

Carefully prick all the holes using a Pricking Tool. Your Pricking Tool can be a Ball Headed Pin or a specialised Single Needle Perforating Tool.

Whatever you use, try to keep the Pricking Tool vertical to make clear holes. If your design has a straight line of holes, use a ruler when pricking holes to help keep the line of holes straight.

If you make a mistake while pricking, turn the card over, and place a small piece of adhesive tape over the back of the card and continue.

Pricked Card Embroidery Card (Front)

Pricked Card Embroidery Card (Front)

When you have finished pricking the card, hold it up to the light with the pattern still in place to check for any missed holes.

When you are confident all holes have been pricked, carefully remove the pricking pattern.

4. Card Embroidery - Stitching the design

Work step by step following the instructions. Each pattern has specific instructions supplied that should be done in order, however some patterns may include threading variations for you to consider before starting.

Attaching the Thread

Take a single strand of thread approx 50-60cm/20-25inches long and thread your needle. When using metallic threads, use shorter lengths as thread may separate whilst stitching. If using stranded thread (e.g. embroidery floss), separate the strands to use a single strand (unless the instructions suggest using multiple threads).

Stitching the card.jpg

Identify the starting hole on the pattern. Turn the card over and secure the end of the thread to the back of the card with adhesive tape (ensuring that you don’t cover any of the holes that you will be stitching through). Insert the needle from the back of the card through the starting hole to the front of the card. Now follow the instructions for the pattern you are working with.

Sewing 6 finished back.jpg

When you near the end of the thread, or the end of the stitch path for the section, fasten off the end of the thread with another small piece of adhesive tape on the back of the pricked card.


5. Card Embroidery - Finishing off your Stitched Work

For Gift/Greeting Cards

If you are using a Tri-Fold Card then place the completed card on your work surface with the stitched design facing downwards. Fold the left side over the back of the stitched pattern and secure with double-sided tape or blue to hide the stitching on the back of the card.

Sewing 6 finished front.jpg

If you are using a Standard Greeting Card Blank, then place the completed card on your work surface with the stitched design facing downwards. Secure additional paper to the inside of the card with double-sided tape or glue to hide the stitching on the back of the card.

cropped Card.jpg

If you are using an Inset Card with a Standard Greeting Card Blank, cut the card to the desired size (I usually go 1cm in on each side from the size of the Card Blank to be used.

Cropped Corner with Punch.jpg

Use a Corner Punch to make or more detailed edging if wanted.

Back of Stitched Card using Double Sided tape.jpg

Use Double-sided tape or glue to attach the stitched Inset Card to the front of the Greeting Card Blank.

Completed Card.jpg

For A4 Artwork

With the A4 Artwork Kits, as this is artwork that is more likely to be hung in a frame than used for a gift card, you don’t need to ‘finish off’ the back of the card unless you want to hide your stitching.

If you do want to hide your stitching, secure your stitched artwork to another piece of blank card by using double-sided tape or glue (as per the example above)

Finish off your Artwork by having it matted and framed.

Wonder Woman Blue close.jpg

6. Card Embroidery - General Hints and Tips

When using the Inset Sized Pattern for Greeting Cards, using Corner Punches on the finished card before attaching it to the backing card can give a more interesting finish.

  • Avoid yanking or pulling the thread too quickly as this can tear the card. In most cases you may be able to repair the card by applying a small piece of adhesive tape over the back of the torn area to provide extra stability, and then carefully stitching through the tape and card where required.

  • Practically any thread can be used, however the finer the thread, the more delicate the finished picture appears.

  • Card Embroidery is an ideal way to use up leftover floss from Cross Stitch etc.

  • Experiment using a double thread to give more ‘fill’ to the design.

  • Experiment using two different colour threads together (eg. Pink & Blue etc)

  • When stitching through holes that already have a thread through them, try to avoid stitching through the other thread.

  • Stitching will be neater if you are consistent regarding which side of the hole/other threads you put the needle.

  • Some patterns use beads/sequins that will be held in place through stitching. If the bead holes are very fine, you may need to use a beading needle.

  • To make the pricked holes less noticeable after you have finished stitching, place the card face down on a hard surface. Rub gently across the back of the work with the back of a spook as this will flatten the raised edges created when the card is pricked and sewn. Take care not to stretch or catch the threads. Do not do this process for designs that have had beads included.

  • Where a hole will have lots of threads going through it, widen the hole so that it can take more threads through it more easily. Also, stitching should appear neater if you tread the ‘multi-thread’ hole as the ‘go down at’ hole.