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Embroidery on Cardstock

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Send lots of love to friends and family with embroidered cards! Whether you are sending birthday wishes, or season's greetings for Christmas and more, our step-by-step project instructions below will show you how to stitch onto cardstock.

Designs Used

To stitch onto cardstock, you'll need:

  • Embroidery File
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Heavy-weight cardstock, handmade paper, or watercolor paper
  • Accent paper
  • Medium-weight (2.5 ounce) cutaway stabilizer)
  • Temporary spray adhesive (such as Gunold KK 100)
  • 75/11 sharp sewing machine needle
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Bone folder

Cardstock embroidery designs have been specially digitized to be embroidered onto 65 lb. cardstock. Only use designs labeled as cardstock designs. Regular embroidery designs may cut the paper and punch out a shape rather than sew onto it.

When selecting cardstock, choose a heavy-weight cardstock (65lb or heavier), handmade paper, or watercolor paper. When using paper with shorter fibers (such as cardstock) the needle perforations will be more visible around the embroidery, but it will still work well. Paper with longer fibers (such as handmade or watercolor paper) will hide the needle perforations better as the fibers can move more. This makes the holes left by the needle less obvious on the long fiber paper. 

Before embroidering, you will need to make the card. First, draw a 7" tall by 10" wide rectangle on your chosen paper. This will make a standard sized card that fits into an A7 envelope. If desired, you can make your card any size you would like as long as it is big enough to fit the embroidery. 

Then cut the 7" x 10" rectangle out of your paper. 

Match up the short 7" sides and fold your paper in half so the card is now 7" tall and 5" wide. Press the fold with a bone folder to make a clean, crisp edge. 

A template, or printout, of a design is an excellent tool to help with placement. Print a template of the embroidery design using embroidery software. 

Arrange the template where you would like the design on the front of the card. Using a pencil, lightly mark the center point, plus the vertical and horizontal axis lines of the design. Make sure to mark the paper very lightly so it can be erased later. 

Hoop a piece of cutaway stabilizer. Make sure it is tight in the hoop (should be drum tight), and that there are no wrinkles.  

Locate the marked, front half of the folded card where the embroidery will be sewing. Then, spray the inside of that front half (from the edges of the paper to the fold) with temporary adhesive. Make sure not to spray the rest of the card with temporary spray adhesive, as it will make it sticky. Then, press the sprayed side of the card on to the hooped stabilizer, lining up the axis marks on the card with the marks on the hoop.

Attach the hoop onto the machine and load the embroidery design. Move the hoop until the needle is directly over the drawn center point.

Embroider the design. If the paper seems to be ripping or tearing while embroidering, try using a higher-quality paper with longer fibers, and make sure you are using a sharp 75/11 needle. Using a sharp 75/11 needle will make the perforations in the paper smaller, and will help prevent the embroidery from cutting up the paper. 

After the design is finished embroidering, unhoop the design and trim away the excess stabilizer. 

Erase any visible pencil marks that remain on the front of the card.

Finally, cut a piece of accent paper to the same size as one half of the folded card (here it is cut to 5" wide x 7" tall). Use a glue stick to glue the accent paper into place on the backside of the embroidery and the stabilizer. Doing this will hide the backside of your embroidery.

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