by Carolyn Dzoba
Embroidering on card stock was something I was reluctant to try. I saw it as an application that could be useful for scrapbooking, but I wasn’t sure it was a good idea to sew on something other than fabric.
As usual, curiosity got the better of me and I tried it, but I had many questions. What type of card stock to use, what type of designs to use, how to stabilize? It seemed a bit overwhelming. I’ve also learned that in addition to embellishing scrapbook pages, there are numerous ways to use card stock in your embroidery, and it’s not as difficult as you might think.
Cards stock itself won’t ‘give’ or stretch, so it doesn’t require stabilization so much as just to be held in place within the hoop. For this I like to use sticky stabilizer that tears away after you stitch. When you’ve stitched your first card, tear it away very carefully and leave the remaining stabilizer in the hoop. Subsequent cards can then be stitched on that same stabilizer as long as it remains sticky enough to hold the card stock in place.
Need a last minute card for a birthday, holiday or other special occasion? Embroider one! Inexpensive sets of note cards and envelopes can be purchased at any craft store and kept on hand for just such situations.
In selecting an appropriate embroidery design for stitching on card stock, I choose designs with large stitches and a relatively low stitch count. There must be space between the stitches so that the card stock (65#) will not tear. Cross stitch designs are a good choice and really give a handmade appearance to the finished card. Red work or color work designs are another good choice for stitching on regular card stock. Both of these stitch very quickly, but the finished cards have the look of something truly special. Experiment with variegated threads as well as ‘tone on tone’ cards for a lovely variety. A set of 4 of these cards with envelopes makes a great little gift for a shower or other occasion.
Bookmarks are another good use of card stock. They can be stitched several at a time and cut afterward for unique gifts that are finished in no time. These airy designs lend themselves especially well to suncatchers because the tiny holes made in the card stock by the needle allow light to pass through in interesting patterns.
Special paper is also made specifically for embroidering (note: I am referring to Kiwi Embroidable Paper, which is available both online and off). This is useful for stitching more dense designs. For example, satin stitched monograms would perforate regular card stock, but stitch well on embroidable paper.
A good application for embroiderable paper is to insert it in acrylic embroidery blanks. It stands up well and holds its shape in travel mugs, water bottles, etc., where fabric or felt might be too soft to stand well or too thick to be inserted.
These are just a few ideas to get you started exploring the possibilities of embroidering on card stock. It’s worth giving it a try. You’ll be pleased with the results!