Paper embroidery has been around for thousands of years; however it has found a new resurgence with the popularity of scrapbooking. While most of us think of embroidery as a thread or yarn embellishment on fabric, embroidery can also be done on paper. To embroider on paper you use the same threads as you would on fabric. By punching small holes in your paper you can easily pull your threads through to make wonderful designs.
Embroidery on paper can allow you to be creative in many different ways. Paper embroidery can allow you to personalize your scrapbooks or other items in an entirely new and exciting way. You can make your own hand-sewn holiday cards with paper embroidery. You can also make a masterpiece to frame with paper embroidery as well. The options are literally only as endless as your imagination is.
Paper embroidery can be a very easy and inexpensive hobby. All you will need to get started is a sheet of stiff or fibrous paper, some embroidery threads, a needle, and a pair of sharp scissors. You can find all of these items at your local craft or drugstore. If you choose to work with very stiff or thick papers, you will also need to purchase a paper piercing tool.
Choosing Your Paper
The best option for paper is to use a heavy cardstock. This will allow your design to be worked easily and also help to keep the shape of the paper you are using. To make pulling your threads through the paper a snap, you will want to pierce the paper in your design first, and then thread the various threads through the holes to make up your pattern.
Choosing Your Needles
The best needles for paper embroidery are those which are very fine and sharp. Because they will pierce your paper the best, they make the cleanest and most professional looking results. If you are having problems piercing the paper, then your needles are not sharp enough.
Choosing Your Threads
In the case of paper embroidery, the threads you choose have a very direct effect on your end results. Because paper is coarse, it will rub on your threads as you insert them through the paper. For this reason, you want to select threads which are smooth and not bulky. By choosing smooth threads they will not fray as you pull them through the paper, and your final design will look much crisper and cleaner.
Metallic embroidery threads are now readily available almost everywhere. You can use the metallic threads to add some shimmer and elegance to your designs.
You can purchase books and individual patterns online if you need a guide for your embroidery projects. However, if you are a bit more adventurous, you can make your own patterns or use a rubber stamp design as your guide. Simply stamp your paper in a complementary color and start sticking it.
One of the most fun things you can do with paper embroidery is to add beads onto your threads. With the popularity of jewelry making these days, beads can be found in a wide array of styles and colors. By adding some beads to your designs you can give them a three dimensional look.
Finishing Off Your Projects
When working with embroidery threads on paper, you do not ever want to knot your threads. If you do, it will leave bumps on your project. The best way to deal with thread ends on the back of your projects is to use a small amount of clear tape to tape them in place. This will make your thread ends flat with the back of the paper and will allow your finished project to be nice and smooth.
If you are looking for a new craft, give paper embroidery a try. It is inexpensive to do, can be done with items available just about anywhere, and produces beautiful results in very little time.