Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Hand Embroidered Greetings: Embroidery on Paper is FUN!


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This week, my Auntie turns 90! Many family members are convening in Alabama with her to celebrate, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it. So I decided to send her card – I wanted to make her something fancy-schmancy, but time wasn’t on my side. I needed something quick but pretty, and Made By Me. So I set about embroidering some cards today.

Admittedly, I did it the “lazy” way. I let Stitching Cards do the design work for me. They have a nice selection of pretty little designs, and you can pay per design or you can buy a value pack of several designs. Once you pay, you can download your patterns and print them (PDF), which is great if you’re behind the gun on time.

I probably overdid it on buying several designs, but I didn’t know what I wanted, and I didn’t know what I had in my stash to create the cards, and I was going about the whole thing in a rather unorganized way!! (This is what happens when I procrastinate!) But I like the designs I got (some bead medallions and some bead flowers)… and I found that I liked poking the little holes in the paper… and so I ended up setting up about 15 cards(!!!!). Well, it’s neat – I found out that you can easily stack 3 pieces of card stock and prick them all at the same time.

I had on hand some small pre-cut pieces of parchment card stock, in soft natural colors. So I picked out a pale green for the first card, and I worked a beaded flower on it.

Hand Embroidered Greeting Card

I didn’t put any lettering on the outside – I’ll save the writing for the inside. The directions call for a fine Kreinik cord, but I used DMC metallics, and it worked just fine.

I added a little back stitch around the leaves (didn’t call for it in the instructions) because the leaves looked a little too light and airy compared to the heavier flower.

I love these blue bugle beads. This isn’t actually my favorite pattern, though – it was just the first one I happened to put together today. The whole card took me about an hour and twenty minutes from start to finish (with a couple brief interruptions).

Hand Embroidered Greeting Card

I would classify this type of stitching as embroidery “craft” rather than art. It’s super simple, you just follow the directions – it doesn’t take any real level of embroidery skill – and it’s a lot of fun! It was a relaxing project, perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

Nordic Needle has several good books on hand embroidered cards. I’ve got two or three of them in storage…. I could have saved myself the cost of these patterns if I had only planned ahead!!

If you know of any other resources for embroidery patterns for cards, do share!


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(14) Comments

  1. I am new to your email list. I have one question.
    are the email articles for hand embroidery or machine embroidery. are the threads discussed for hand embroidery or machine? I only do hand embroidery

    mary jane

  2. Thanks for the link, Val!

    Yep, Megan, it’s rather fun – very relaxing, nothing complicated…

    Mary Jane,

    Hi! I don’t do machine embroidery, just hand embroidery. I’m sure there are some threads that could be used for machine embroidery, but whenever I’m talking about threads and so forth, I’m talking about hand embroidery applications!

    Thanks for asking!

  3. Thanks for the link to the stitching cards, Mary. I’ve saved it to possibly do something similar for a kids’ class this year. Some of them are just learning to stitch and get very frustrated when they can’t quite stitch perfectly. This seems like a great way to introduce them to the idea of going in and out of the material without turning the work over, causing tangles. Remember the old lacing /stitching cards we used to learn on as kids, or aren’t you as ancient as me, LOL?


  4. Hi Mary! I love your site. I feel like I know you because, I too, have an Auntie having a 90th birthday this week-end in AL! I wish I had time to make one of your card suggestions, but I am having a house full of company coming for Auntie’s party, so I don’t have time now. But I want you to know that your work is outstanding! It is very much like what a special relative of mine, named Teresa, makes….she is very gifted in hand embroidery, as well. Sometimes it is a small world, after all! 🙂
    Have a great day!
    A fan of yours,

  5. Christine! I, too, am planning on doing something similar for children’s embroidery classes this coming summer! I think they would really enjoy it, and, in my experience, kids LOVE making things that they can give away!

  6. This is great! Grannies (like me) love to receive things the kids have made. I’ll see what I can find for the two grand daughters who are my apprentices and bestest buddies. They will take the technique and design their own, I’m sure – and I will be proud.

  7. Very lovely work. I do something similar with cardstock by drawing an image,then punching tiny holes around the outline and the stitching it. They’re great as bookmarks. Thanks for sharing your art!

  8. I Love your beautiful stiched flower. The colours are just so beautiful pls let me know where did you get the patron.
    thanking you

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