Wednesday, August 8

sewing on paper--an artful blogger tutorial


how wonderful to join kari at ArtsyMama today for her artful blogger party! congratulations kari on your wonderful article and such a lovely post today.

to celebrate with everyone in blogland today i am posting a tutorial on sewing on paper. i started out as a young girl sewing with fabric and as i moved more to creating with paper and all things mixed media i continued sewing. . . .
i use sewing instead of glue to attach papers, fabrics, flowers, buttons, beads, photos, and anything else i want to hold in place. the stitches become decorative as well as functional in each piece of art. i will show you step by step sewing on paper by hand and with a sewing machine, give some of my best tips, and then show some examples of how sewing can be incorporated as a design element. i loaded all the pictures really big so you can click on them for a close-up view!

when sewing by hand first mark your holes with a pencil for placement.

place your artwork over a piece of cardboard box to support it then with a large head pin poke through each hole. thread a large eyed needle with some embroidery floss or vintage string. tie a knot at the end and begin stitching by poking the needle up through the first hole in the back then down through the next hole. continue stitching to the last hole then tie off the thread on the back.


if you don't want a large knot in the back (especially if you are using heavy string) cut a small rectangle of book paper and with a glue stick glue the paper in place over the thread to hold it down.


when sewing by machine decide where you want your stitches to begin and insert your needle there. leave a long tail of thread so you can tie a knot at the back. stitch around your design.

i leave the needle down in the paper then lift up the presser foot to turn corners. when you are at the end of your stitching back stitch two or three stitches to hold in place or leave strings to tie in back. here is the back of the heart after stitching with both the top-red and bottom-blue threads pulled to the back.


tip* i use double-stick tape to hold papers in place for stitching or a paper clip on the edge.

here i have used red thread on top and blue thread in my bobbin to add contrast. lots of times i force myself to use whatever thread is already in my machine just to keep the colors interesting.



any kind of embroidery stitch can be worked on paper, like this daisy chain i used to outline a flower. notice a zig zag stitch and a straight stitch are used in the same photo with different colored threads. i look for a tall not wide eyed embroidery needle that is not too fat. that way the holes from the needle are not larger than the thread you are using. Piecemakers size 8 is a good in-between needle for floss.


a crossed stitch with beads.



here the stitching outlines the cut out stencil number and holds the photo in place.


i was so happy with the stitching around this photo! the trick is just keep going back and forth around the photo. like a one line drawing that is made without lifting your pencil.


large striped string holds down this button and crepe paper flower.


and sometimes the stitching is just for decoration.


have fun stitching on all your creations and send any sewing questions my way!
back to the party, xo julie

29 comments:

Laurie G. said...

I think this is the best blog entry I've ever had the pleasure to view!

Thank you for all the ideas, instructions and gorgeous project pics. It's an honor to know you!
--L.

liz elayne said...

such a great tutorial!! i do a lot of sewing with paper, but usually use my machine. i love this tip of using a pin to make the holes when you want to sew by hand...

Erin Neiner said...

Your work is beautiful! I will certainly use your post for further attempts at sewing with paper! You have some great tips, esp. for "beginners" like myself! Thanks for detailing!!!

*heidi* said...

Fabulous pictures of sewing on paper! I sew on paper with an old sewing machine I bought for $9 at thrift store! It's one of the funest things I do! Love your blog! Come by mine, if you have time, I'm having a giveway today in honor of the world-wide "Artful Blogger" party!

Barbara H. said...

What lovely touches the sewing adds! Thanks so much!

linda said...

i love this piece! everything about it is perfect! tfs!

tamy said...

Thank you for your help and all the info...??? How do you prevent the foot leaving and indent in the paper you are sewing into? And I always seem to create uneven stitiches when using the machine - maybe not enought tension or I am not using strong enough paper/cardstock? fab photos and very concise instructions...just what I need!!

Lina said...

I usually sew by hand also, love your cards...i SO need to get a sewing machine...the things i could sew!

KagedFish said...

Wonderful!!! I've always loved sewing on paper!! Great blog, I look forward to visiting again soon!!

Miss*Laurence said...

Just made some recycled paper it's crying out for some stitching. I've never tried it before with a machine though- I have visions of torn paper! Do you have to adjust the tension ?

Michelle said...

This is the last blog till I' get home from a MNO, yours is so wonderful! It's so my style! Thank you for existing!

kimberlykwan said...

oh julie!
so beautiful!
thanks for the inspiration!

ArtsyMama said...

THANK YOU for this fabulous tutorial! I love your paper stitching and it's so fun to see how you do it. Hope you're enjoying the party!
Cheers
Kari

Sid Simpson said...

Thank you for inspiring me!

Amanda Elton said...

Julie, you make me want to break out the sewing machine! Great ideas! Everything you touch turns to art!
Amanda

charlotte said...

excellent tutorial and images...always love sewing- on anything. nicely done, Julie!

LivingTheLife said...

Found you through artsy-mama...I am so-oooo glad I stopped by...I have often wanted to sew on paper...even if it's just to decorate plain gift wrap paper...I must say...you're work is genius! I love it...and I can't wait to check back in...thanks for the easy to follow tutorial...

blessings your way...
"T"
LivingTheLife
aka
http://www.tpmom4ever.blogspot.com

m i c h e l l e said...

What an absolutely GORGEOUS tutorial! Thank you SO much and your work is SO beautiful!!! TFS!

Babsarella said...

Love all the interesting effects this has with the paper!!! I must remember to do more sewing on my projects!!!

Amy P said...

Still trying to get around to all the parties! This is a great technique, thanks for sharing!

Gallery Juana said...

Hi Julie,
You have a lovely site and are so talented. I have included a link to your site on my blog: http://galleryjuana.blogspot.com.

Juana

jennifer Paganellli said...

love the fine stitchery sooo pretty....

art-creations said...

have seen your great artwork on flickr! Love all what you create, its so inspiring!

Lindsay P. said...

Hi,

I am designing a book for the photographers I work for, and we want to sew the binding with a sewing machine. The book is around 30 pages, and there is card stock on the front and back. Any tips for this project, such as a sewing machine you would recommend, and if you think it is even possible to sew through that much paper.

Thanks for any tips...
Lindsay Preston
lindsay-preston.blogspot.com
lindsay-preston.com
preston.lindsay@gmail.com

Crafty Green Poet said...

I found this post from a link on Crafting a Greener World, what an inspiring post, I'll need to experiment with thread and paper now...

artscraftsnstamping said...

hanks for this awesome tutorial. I always wanted to sew my paper, but I never knew how to do that.
I feel way more confident now. Surely gonna try it tomorrow.

xx Yvonne.

Anonymous said...

Super helpful. I'm trying to stitch paper for my wedding invitations, but I wasn't sure it was possible. Thanks for the tips!

Verona said...

Awesome work.

What would happen if I sew on paper without a bottom thread?

Anonymous said...

hello:) sry but for is satin stich possible to use on paper when it is done by hand? wont the holes enlarge and tear open?

Btw this was a really helpful tutorial:)

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