Hand sewing {on paper}

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a few days, I had a pretty crazy weekend of hosting a bridal shower, celebrating my sister’s 30th birthday, and having a Chinese New Year get together with the family.  I was so exhausted today at work, I am already anticipating this upcoming weekend big.time!

I thought I’d start the week with a tutorial on a little hobby I’ve picked up recently-hand sewing.  I found some tutorials on Pinterest, but honestly they were a bit confusing.  I eventually figured it out, and decided to write a tutorial of my own.  This one makes sense to me, and hopefully it will makes sense to you too. (Oh, and get excited for my video tutorial debut at the bottom of the post!)

Hand sewing is so fun and the possibilities of design, words, fonts are endless.



Here’s what you’ll need:

-Embroidery floss (colors of your choice)

-Embroidery needle

-Self-healing mat

-Push pin (or safety pin)




Make a template of the word/words/image that you want to sew.  I chose to use my own handwriting, but you could choose a font you like and print something from your computer.


Since it’s Valentine’s Day season I thought I’d make something lovey dovey.  I like very simple designs and wording, so I simply went with “forever.”


Cut your word out to make the template then tape it to a piece of cardstock



Use a push pin and punch holes along the lines of your letters (or an image).  Space them out about an 1/8 inch.  Follow along the natural pattern of how you would write the letter. The holes are going to be your guide to show you exactly where to put your needle when stitching.



If you get to a point where lines intersect push the pin right in the middle of where all lines intersect and continue to follow the lines of the letters



When you’re finished  take the template off the cardstock and you are ready to sew!



Hand sewing how-to:

Cut an arm’s length of embroidery floss.  The floss is made of up 6 individual strands of thread.


Separate the floss down the middle so you have two pieces with 3 strands in each.  To separate hold three strands in each hand and slowly begin pulling the floss apart.


Take one of your new 3-strand flosses and set aside.  Take the other 3-strand floss and fold it in half.  Now you should have 6 strands again on the end!


Thread the 6 strands through an embroidery needle.

  Now we’re going to secure the floss to the paper.  Using the holes you punched in your template as guide, find the first hole at the end of the letter (or image).  Push the needle, from the back of the paper to the front, through the first hole.


Your needle should now be on the front side of the paper.  Pull the floss through, but not all the way.  There should be a loop left on the back side of the paper.


Sorry for the blurry picture.

Now that the needle is on the front side of your paper, push it back down through your paper from front to back using the next hole in your punched guide.  There should now be a stitch in the front of your paper.

With your needle now in the back of your paper, thread it through the loop that you left. Pull tight.  Your thread is now secure on your paper!


For this hand sewing we’re going to use a backstitch. 

Going from the back of your paper to the front push the needle through the next hole in the guide. Pull the thread through to the front.

Now, you’re going to stitch backward (hence the name “backstitch”) into the previous hole. Pull the thread through to the back to create another stitch.



With your needle now in the back of the paper, proceed to the next hole in your guide and push the needle towards the front.


Keep following the guide of the holes your created with the push pin using the same steps (stitch back to front, back stitch).

The back should look like this:


The front should look like normal, continuous stitching.

In case these directions aren’t clear enough for ya I even made a little video! 

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Yikes! Please excuse the dirty nails, eww.

When you’re finished, or when the floss is almost gone, here’s how to tie off your stitch.


With your needle on the back side of your paper take 3 of the 6 strands out of the needle eye.

Thread the needle (with only 3 strands in it!) under any stitch and pull through.


Now the two sets of 3-strands should be on the same side of the stitch.  Tie them and make several knots.



Trim the excess, and you’re now secure!  Oh, and because I have nothing better to do I made a video on how to tie off your thread too!

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If you are not finished stitching your letters/image then follow the same steps from above to start and secure your new thread.  Start in the next hole on your guide with the new thread and push the needle to the front.


Remember not to pull the thread completely through, and to leave a loop in the back!

With your needle and thread in the front backstitch back into the last stitch from your old thread.


Pull your needle through the loop in the back to secure the thread and continue with the backstitch pattern until you are finished!


My finished “forever” turned out quite cute I think.


I framed it and put it on the mantle next to the mini pom-poms I made about a month ago.



I also made this one to remind me of the perfect love I experience with the Lord.


See the crinkling in the paper? That’s what using flimsy card stock will do.


Oh, and just because I’m completely crazy and think that I have all this time on my hands, I’m also going to get started on this:



That is if I ever finish this


I’m linking up to these fabulous parties:

Mondays: Between Naps on the Porch, Keeping It Simple, Homemaker On A Dime, The Tattered Tag, The DIY Showoff, Home Savvy, Be Colorful, The DIY Home Sweet Home, Mad In Crafts, The Girl Creative, Polly Want A Crafter, Sumos Sweet Stuff, Making The World Cuter, Skip To my Lou, Debbiedoos, Get Outta My Head Please, My 1929 Charmer

Tuesdays: Coastal Charm, Cherished Bliss, Confessions, My Uncommon Slice Of Suburbia, Tip Junkie, Topsy Turvy, Sassy Sites!, A Bowl Full Of Lemons, Sugar Bee Crafts, Not Just A Housewife, Homework, Today’s Creative Blog, A Sort of Fairytale

Wednesdays: Blue Cricket Design, Sew Much Ado, Eisy Morgan, My Girlish Whims, Savvy Southern Style, Someday Crafts, Handy Man Crafty Woman, The Thrifty Home, Lil Luna, Organize and Decorate Everything, Southern Lovely, Primp Your Stuff

Thursdays: Saved By Love, Fireflies & Jellybeans, Somewhat Simple, Yesterday on Tuesday, House of Hepworths, Beyond the Picketfence, Rhinestone Beagle

Fridays: Remodelaholic, Serenity Now, delicateCONSTRUCTION, Chic On A Shoestring, 504 Main, Miss Mustard Seed, Happy Hour Projects, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Fun To Craft, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Freckled Laundry, Common Ground

Weekends: Be Different Act Normal, Tatertots and Jello, Nifty Thrifty Things, I Heart Nap Time, Lolly Jane, Too Much Time On My Hands, Lady Bird Ln, Embellishing Life Everyday, Homemaker in Heels


  1. SO adorable!!!

  2. Cute! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Very cute!

  4. Love this tutorial- you have done am amazing job of making poject seem do-able, bc without it, I would never think I could do this!

    • Thanks! I’m glad that it makes sense to someone besides myself. This hand sewing is a great creative outlet since there are endless possibilities!

  5. That was a great tutorial. Thank you I really want to try this!!

  6. All right sis, I think I can do it and even think I’d like to! Let me know when you are having your in person tutorial :-)

  7. That looks to pretty.
    I think I would tear the paper…
    Maybe someday, I’ll try, though.

  8. Great tutorial! I pinned. The video was great … I think I may need to make this for my daughter’s room.

    See you in an hour-and-a-half!


  9. Such a great project Sarah!!!! The tutorial is great!!

    • Thanks, Christine!

      I just stopped by your site and love the jewelry box stand. I could definitely use one to help organize all the jewelry I have laying on my desk, across the top of my lamp, on the floor, etc. It’s generally a hot mess over here and your little jewelry stand would

  10. So cute, I’ve embroider quite a bit but never on paper. You tutorial and videos are really good. You put a lot of effort in to this, and it shows. Both are just adorable and I will doing one myself. Thanks for giving me back my inspiration to do some more embroidery. My fingers are crossed that you will consider sharing this at Sunday’s Best party going on right now.

  11. absolutely beautiful x

  12. That is so very sweet. Great tutorial too. Thanks for sharing with my newbie party.

    • Thanks, Debbie. I’m so honored that you stopped by to take a look. It’s so gracious for you to hold this newbie party. I really makes us newbies feel appreciated and able to share what we have to say in this big ‘ol blogosphere.

      Have a wonderful weekend. I look forward to linking up the quiet book I’ve just finished, next week.


  13. Thank you so much for this tutorial…I’ve wondered about this. Visiting via More the Merrier Monday

    • So glad you stopped by! I think this is such a fun idea and I especially love that I can use my own handwriting in projects now. I’m actually having a craft night Friday with some girlfriends and I’m going to teach them how to do this.


  14. Wow that is really neat!

  15. such a wonderful tutorial, complete with video…thank you! i have been wanting to do this and your tutorial will be a BIG help!!
    i’m having a link party at my blog tomorrow if you would like to link this up…just stop by tomorrow sometime!

    • Hey Stacey,
      I’d love to link up. I’m glad the tutorial made sense to you. I think when you create a tutorial there’s always a fear that it will only make sense to you and no one else. Hearing all the positive comments from readers about how this will help them create beautiful sewing projects definitely gives me a burst of confidence!


  16. Absolutely good jobs – perfect tutorial! pinning this now!

  17. This is a darling project and your instructions and video are amazing! You took a lot of time to do not just the project but the instructions and I thank you. I have embroidered for years but never on card stock. I definitely want to try this. I am now a “follower”! Thank you so much!

    • Hi Sam I am!

      First of all, welcome to the Fami-Ly!! I’m so glad you’re now a member! I’m so happy to have inspired you to try this on card stock. I’d love for you to send me a pic when you’re all done. It’s so fun to see other people’s originality and creativity on a project.


  18. Still inspired to do this, I wanted to stop back and let you know now much I appreciated you linking up to Sunday’s Best and sharing you great post. Hope to see you next week. PS – now following you, #78

    • Hi Cathy,
      It was my pleasure to link up. And thank YOU so much for becoming #78. Welcome to the Fami-Ly!

      Can’t wait to see what embroidery you come up with.


  19. This is great, I haven’t done much embroidery, I’ll be coming back to this when I do though!

    • Hey Christie,
      I’m so happy to hear that this inspired you to try some embroidery. the tutorial will be available in the “sew easy” page in my menu bar whenever you’re ready to come back and give it a try!


  20. I love hand-stitching things but I’d never thought to do it on cardstock! So cute I love the idea. Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Thanks for the sweet comment! The hand-stitching on card stock is suuuper fun and simple. A limitless amount of possibilities and décor!


  21. awesome tutorial. This actually looks easy I might try it. I am having a Valentine’s Day Linky Carnival and would love for you to link this up.


    • Hey Danielle,
      It is so easy! I think the trickiest part of trying to learn, for me, was just trying to understand the tutorial’s themselves. Once you figure out that part the actual stitching is super simple! So glad that my tutorial was easy for you understand. I’d be happy to link up!


  22. Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday – you were featured today!!
    –Mandy, http://www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

    • Hey Mandy,
      Thanks sooo much again for the feature! I so appreciate it. Your parties always have such great ideas/tips/inspiration I would have a hard time deciding on my “favorites” too!

      Have a wonderful night,


  23. Oh thank you! One of the things I want to do this year is hand embroidery and this tutorial could give me a good start! thank you so much!

    Also, I am going to feature you as my blog of the week tomorrow. I hope that is ok! I will also be posting this on my FACEBOOK page tomorrow as well.

  24. Very cool idea to sew on paper for a unique look! I just bought some supplies to try stitching letters on fabric. Hope I can do it!

  25. What a great tutorial–very thorough and a great way to make a word or phrase special! Thanks for linking up at Beyond the Picket Fence.

  26. Ooh, I never thought of hand sewing on paper. It looks so cool!

  27. This is a really great tutorial! THANKS! I hope you will link up with me here:

  28. I used to do embroidery and cross stitch about twenty years ago. It was very therapeutic and you have me wondering why I ever stopped doing this. Your project is so timely and what a wonderful and easy to follow tutorial. Thank you for sharing on Motivated Monday at BeColorful

  29. How awesome is this, I have been seeing this everywhere. You definitely have a winner with this tutorial!

  30. Great job. I love it! Please consider sharing this with my readers over at http://sassafrassalvation.blogspot.com/2012/02/sasss-sunday-salvation-show-10.html
    Hugs, Kathy

  31. Great job. I love it! Please consider sharing this with my readers over at http://sassafrassalvation.blogspot.com/2012/02/sasss-sunday-salvation-show-10.html
    Hugs, Kathy

  32. Thanks so much for linking up to Your Whims Wednesday, I featured you on my blog tonight! Come check it out and grab a featured button: http://www.mygirlishwhims.blogspot.com/2012/02/your-whims-wednesday-45-and-features.html

  33. What a great tutorial! I need a refresher on this – thanks! Featuring it on Tickled Pink!

  34. I really love this, and I hope you don’t mind, but I am sharing it on my blog tomorrow. Thanks so much, Laura

  35. This is a great tutorial. I love the endless possibilities of sayings and pictures you can sew. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for the awesome tutorial.

  36. Thank you so much for sharing this! I was just thinking about how I wanted to do this!

  37. Thank you for work well done ;)

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