I love paper crafts and I love elaborate embroidered designs on fabric. I started to wonder about mixing embroidery and paper. My embroidery skills are lacking, but I thought a simple embroidery design on paper would stand out. Blackwork embroidery uses simple geometric designs. You know what? It works perfect for paper embroidery.
What do you do with embroidered paper? You can frame it. You can make greeting cards with the embroidery on the cover. Use embroidered paper for book binding covers. How about bookmarks and gift boxes?
The process of embroidering paper takes time. Larger pieces, using 12-inch cardstock, take several hours.
What You Need:
Printable graph paper (optional)
Choosing a Blackwork Embroidery Pattern
1) Do a web search for “blackwork embroidery patterns.” Several websites offer them free to get you started. Do not choose a pattern with too much detail, because the paper won’t handle it.
2) Print the pattern at a size large enough for you to see the stitch placement clearly.
3) Count how many squares you need for the pattern.
Preparing the Cardstock
1) Go to Incompetech Graph Paper Generator. The generator creates graph paper to any size you need. This particular generator turns the squares into dots, one dot for each corner. You can use square graph paper, if you wish.
2) Choose your paper size. Keep the border at 1/2 inch so you have plenty of space. Three is a good number for dot point. It is the dot spacing that you’ll need to mess around with some. Two dots per inch makes about 15 squares, per row, on a regular piece of paper. If your pattern needs more squares, then up the dots per inch. It’s OK to go over the number of squares. Remember that the more squares shoved into 8.5 inches the smaller the squares. You don’t want the squares so small that the paper rips easy. If necessary, print more than one page of graph paper.
3) Print the graph paper on regular paper or directly to the cardstock.
4) Tack the corners of the cardstock to the corkboard. If you printed the graph on regular paper, tack the paper to the cardstock. If you used more than one paper, tack them to the cardstock side-by-side so the squares are even.
5) Use a tack to poke holes in the cardstock for each dot. The alternative is to poke only the dots you need for the pattern. Either way, poking is tiring.
Embroidering the Cardstock
1) Thread the needle with the embroidery floss. Color choices are completely up to you.
2) Don’t forget to knot the end of the string.
3) Start by bringing the needle up from the back and through the first dot on the pattern so the knot is in the back. Bring the needle back down the next hole in the pattern. Keep following the pattern, completing all of one color before starting a new one.
4) Tie a knot as close to the cardstock as possible before cutting the string. Since you’re using paper, use a dab of glue on the knot.
1) Don’t worry about placement of the graph paper on the cardstock if you are only framing the finished product. Just trim one inch around the embroidered paper.
2) If making a greeting card, fold the cardstock in half and then unfold. Place the graph dots on the right side.
3) Use every strand of the embroidery floss for a bold look, or only use a few strands for a subtler look.