Machine stitching adds a delightful, handcrafted look to
scrapbook pages. It also gives layouts a lovely finishing touch. I'll walk you
through a basic technique and provide helpful tips and ideas for ways you can use
your sewing machine to stitch on your scrapbook layouts. Gather your materials
and follow along!
Supplies you need:
* Sewing machine
* Paper or cardstock
"Splash Pad" by Greta Hammond, as seen in Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks: Tools &
Greta Hammond stitched the large star accent on her scrapbook
page with contrasting red thread to draw attention to it.
Outline a shaped
paper accent with a straight stitch. Here's how:
1. Cut out a large star from patterned paper.
2. Stitch around the outside edge of the star with a
3. Leave the sewing needle down in its lowest position in the
paper at the corner of the star. Lift the foot peddle of the sewing machine,
turn the paper to line up along the next edge of the star, and continue
Tips for Success
* Experiment with various colors of thread to create
different looks on your scrapbook page.
* Use matching thread colors to give your layout subtle dimension
and definition without being distracting--like Greta did on the borders of this
* Select coordinating or contrasting thread colors to draw
attention to key elements or to add color and texture to your layout.
* If you're nervous about stitching, don't sew directly onto
your scrapbook layout. Stitch a border, an accent, or a photo mat, and then
adhere it to your layout.
Stitching on Scrapbook Layouts
Q. Will stitching on
paper ruin my sewing machine?
A. No. If you're concerned about the paper dulling your
needle, consider using a separate needle for stitching on paper.
Q. Can I stitch on
cardstock and patterned paper? How about specialty papers like vellum or tissue
paper? What about transparencies?
A. Yes, you can stitch on any of the above-mentioned papers.
Stitch slowly for best results. If you're nervous about getting started, try
stitching on a couple of scraps to get a feel for it.
Q. Can I stitch on
chipboard, cardboard, or acrylic?
A. No, we would not recommend it. Check the manufacturer
recommendations for your machine before attempting this.
Q. Can I stitch fabric
A. Yes. Because the fabric will have more "give" than the
paper will, work slowly and check to make sure the fabric isn't pulling or isn't
Q. I stitched through
adhesive and now my needle is gummy. Help!
A. Be advised that stitching over strong adhesive can cause
damage to your sewing machine.
Try to position the adhesive so you won't stitch over it.
But if you do, clean the needle with an adhesive remover, like Un-du, and a soft cloth.
Circles on Scrapbook Pages
Q. How can I stitch a
circle on my scrapbook page without cutting the circle out first?
A. Lightly draw a circle in pencil using a compass, cup, or
dinner plate, and then gently erase the line after stitching.
Q. How do you get an
even circle when you stitch? Is it a matter of cutting out the shape and then
trying to keep an even margin as you go?
A. It's definitely easier to stitch a cutout circle. To get
even stitching, you must have a guide to regulate the distance from your needle
to the edge of the paper circle. Use your presser foot as your guide.
Q. Is there a size
range of circles that are easiest to stitch?
A. The space between the presser foot and the body of your
sewing machine determines the size of the project that can be stitched. Most
machines can easily accommodate 12" x 12"or smaller projects, because
these projects can easily be maneuvered within this space.
Q. Is there a trick
for stitching small circles?
A. Smaller circles can prove challenging to maneuver while
stitching. For best results, cut out small circles, stitch them, and then
adhere them to your layout.
Q. Are large circles,
like 12" x 12" circle papers, easier or more difficult to stitch on than
A. Stitching on a 12" x 12" circle paper is super
quick and easy because you have more time to maneuver the piece through the
machine before your needle has to change directions.
For additional machine-stitching techniques, check out our "Faux-Quilting
Technique" article on CreatingKeepsakes.com.
More Stitching Ideas
If you want more information and ideas for stitching on
scrapbook pages, join
Club Creating Keepsakes today as a premium member for only $19.95 a year, and you'll receive instant access to the
e-version of Scrapbooking Tips &
Tricks: Tools & Techniques special issue; look for the "CK Shows You
How" article. When you join, you'll also receive a yearly subscription to Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks magazine delivered
directly to your door--each issue is packed with great ideas and techniques.
--Lori Fairbanks, Creating
Wednesday, 14 July 2010, 9:23 AM
Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks Editors
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