I'm In Stitches - The wonderful world of embroidery floss

Have you ever wondered what the heck to do with embroidery floss? Obviously, there's the traditional cross stitch, but in the papercrafting world, the possibilities are endless. In fact, that's how I felt today as I made the first project below. I kept thinking and dreaming up different ways to use it, and if time was limitless I would have certainly done a whole slew of things. For now, though, these are a few ideas.

This tag/card incorporates a lot of techniques (sanding, edge distressing, & LOTS of cutting), plus a simple straight stitch with a very homey feel. No straight lines, just quick stitching by hand to add to the blue jean effect achieved with Outdoor Denim textured cardstock and a sanding block.

Here's a little closer look, and you'll also notice that I hammered those Big Brads a little.

This next card demonstrates the blanket stitch. It's a nice, simple treatment to add a little something extra to a card. See it on the left edge next to the ribbon? Here's how it's done...

Once I've decided what is going to receive the stitching, I draw a light pencil line along the edge for a nice straight look. I lay a ruler down and pierce holes along that pencil line 1/8 inch apart. (You can see how much use my piercer mat gets!)

This is the desired effect. I'll show you how it's done, but I wanted you to first see it up close. It's not perfect, but it's cute!

First I start with three strands of the embroidery floss threaded on my needle. Each stitch begins from the back of my cardstock piece. (Eww, look at my dirty, wrinkly thumb!)

I pull the thread almost all the way tight, but stop a little early so I have this little loop. Now this is the important part: you need to come through the loop with the needle from the back side just like this photo. If you don't, you won't have the blanket stitch effect.

Once I've pulled the needle through that loop, I gently pull and tighten the stitch down, making sure that I have the desired effect.

This is how it should look. Like I said, it's not perfect, but when you add it to the card, it's really cute!

To finish it off and make sure it holds, I taped the strands to the back with scotch tape. Here's the finished card once again...

Finally, here's a scrapbook layout I did this past summer...
I entered a contest with CTMH at our Leadership 2009 Conference with the theme "Own It." Alas, I did not win the contest, but I did learn a lot and had tons of fun, plus I got to keep my layout which makes me really happy each time I look at it. Below are a couple of close-ups so you can see the details...

I'm not sure, but I think this straight connected stitch is called a back stitch(?) Anyway, you achieve this by stitching one stitch ahead of where you are going, then stitching back one stitch to connect them. I start this stitch by coming up through the back of the page with my needle. I drew a light pencil line of the path I wanted the stitch to follow, then I just hopped the stitches over the chipboard number. (Fun, eh?) I added those little leaves from CTMH's "Just Blooms" Summer Posies.

Here's some more of those Posies. I added the brads for a clean finish to the stitching. I hope you give embroidery floss a try. It may be a little time-consuming, but I think worth the effort!


  1. Great cards! Thanks for the tutorial pictures, you make it look really easy. I have some of the floss, but have been 'scared' to try using it. lol

  2. I am really enjoying your blog....did I mention I have the BEST upline in the world?

  3. Wonderful post, Annette! Nice close ups too!

  4. Wow I have just found your blog. You are the most creative person that I have found. Keep giving your instructions. They are great for people like me that are not creative but have to see things other people create. Lyla


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