Introduction: Christmas Card Sewing

For one or two thousand reasons, sewing on paper does not come immediately to people's minds when they think of lugging out the sewing machine, or strangely enough, even when they think of making Christmas cards. What can I say - it's one of life's great mysteries - BUT this Instructable is going to change all that. From now on you will think paper.... sewing.... Christmas cards... sewing... you are getting very sleepy... your eyelids feel very heavy... when I snap my (virtual) fingers you will awake and think 'I want to sew a Christmas card'. *snap!*

Step 1: What You Will Need

1. Blank cards and envelopes (I used 7" x 5 1/4" cards with an indented panel on the front that acts like a frame)
2. A sewing machine
3. Scraps of fabric
4. Really sharp scissors (because really sharp scissors are one of life's great pleasures and besides that you deserve them.
5. Colorful thread
6. Stabilizer paper or tissue paper to place underneath your fabric while sewing
7. An iron

Step 2: Getting Started

Decide how big you want your fabric design to be and cut or rip fabric accordingly. I find the ripped edge to be an added design element. It's also why I don't bother cutting the ends of threads much, the frayed and thread-y look is what I am going for but be as tight or loose about this as you want.

I like the production aspect to sewing the cards, so I ripped 30 backgrounds, cut out 15 trees (the negative of the cut out tree is used also) and had them all stacked up with the stabilizer paper ready to sew.

Step 3: Sewing

It is really important to put some stabilizer paper (found at fabric stores) underneath the fabric (tissue paper works great too) before you sew or else the fabric gets all bunched up. I drop the feed dogs on the machine and use a darning foot to be able to "free motion" sew. 

Afterwards tear off the paper that sticks out from the edges but it is not important to spend the time to tear away the rest as it won't show and adds no bulk.

Step 4: More Sewing

 The thread is doing more than holding the fabrics together, it's part of the design so use lots of it.

Step 5: Sew Directly Onto the Card After Ironing Flat

Everything looks better after it has been ironed and this is no exception, free motion sewing on something so thin tends to get a bit bunched up and messy looking, press flat with an iron and everything straightens out and looks great. Don't skip this step.

It is fun to sew onto paper, it just has a positive feel, again there are no need for pins, just center and sew. As for sewing the greeting I was able to sew Merry Christmas on my first try but after 30 cards I got faster and better, if in doubt practice on some card stock until you are comfortable. I sewed the greeting before I sewed on the fabric design in case I made a mistake it was no big deal to throw out a card. It would have been another story to have to throw out a card with the fabric on it.

Step 6: Finished Cards

 

Step 7: You Are Getting Very Sleepy....

You will vote for this Instructable..... for the contest..... you will make Christmas Cards on your sewing machine... you will remember to floss...

Comments

author
mrsmerwin (author)2017-02-10

these are great. And I have a pile of little scraps of fabric. Guess what I am going to make!

author
luvit (author)2009-12-17

 in kindergarten we did this by hand. and used yarn. and i didn't like it.
i liked song-time better. when it was milk-time i always drank chocolate.

author
tqwerty (author)luvit2010-12-07

how exactly do you drink chocolate?

author
scoochmaroo (author)2009-12-16

Beautiful!
I make all of my beginning sewing students sew on paper the first time they use a machine.  Totally blows their mind.

author

Where do you teach sewing schochmaroo?

author
zieak (author)scoochmaroo2009-12-16

Sign me up for your class!

author
Ninzerbean (author)scoochmaroo2009-12-16

I ended up with my 96 year old grand mother's recipe book and she had many recipes that had been cut from the newspaper sewn onto the pages, it was what gave me the idea, though I wish I could take your class! 

author
zieak (author)2009-12-16

I love it.  I might experiment with this for wedding invitations...

Oh - and i hope the subliminal flossing thing from the Instructable works on me.

author
porcupinemamma (author)zieak2009-12-22

those would be cool invites.  could they be for you per chance??? lol ;0)

author

 Ha! No they are for you to come visit when you get tired of the snow.

author
porcupinemamma (author)2009-12-18

Well done!!! I've always wanted to try something like this but wasn't sure how to go about it.  Thanks so much for sharing your ideas.  Wayyyyyyyyyyyy groovy baby. (big bold letters so I can read new glasses should be in in a week.) 5/5

author
Creativeman (author)2009-12-17

Great instructable, Ninzer: I'm not into sewing, but would like to learn. Tell you what...you teach me sewing, I teach you paper/felt roses! Oh, 3000 miles, duh! Virtually impossible, eh?  Cman

author
Ninzerbean (author)Creativeman2009-12-18

Sewing is very "instant gratification", that's why I like it, it's like glue for fabric in that it glues the pieces together. I still want to try those roses in felt. Thanks Cman.

author
Creativeman (author)Ninzerbean2009-12-18

I think of things to make all the time if I only knew how to sew...maybe. I thought about your felt suggestion, and as it turned out, I had a piece of red material and decided to 'make a rose' with that. Then I discovered I did have a piece of red felt...so...I glued the felt to a piece of paper then cut out the pedals. I wonder how it would work to sew them to paper?  You could use contrasting thread for a special effect. What do you think? Cman

NRose.jpg100_0798.jpg
author
Ninzerbean (author)Creativeman2009-12-18

Wow! Those look gorgeous Cman, I like the message too. I don't think you would need to sew them to paper though as they don't need anything else. Put a pinback or safety pin on the back and you have a pin.

author
ChrysN (author)2009-12-16

Great cards,sewing Merry Christmas on paper looks really cool.

author
Very Interesting (author)2009-12-16

Must - sew - Christmas Cards - with - floss - while - voting - for - contest * Snap! What?

Nice instuctable, looks like fun:)

author
Toaster Muffin (author)2009-12-16

 I may not be into sewing but this is a great idea, 5 stars. I am tired o those boring old Hallmark cards.

author
domestic_engineer (author)2009-12-16

good job sewing merry christmas. how did you do it? did you use a quilting setting or something without the feed dogs. (that's what those teeth on the bottom of the machine that push the fabric through are called, right?)

author

Yup, I love that word. I just went slowly and pretended I was writing. It was really easy and every one was a keeper, uh, I mean sender.

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Bio: I love to stay home as much as as I love to travel, I've been to 49 states (missing Alaska) and 31 countries. I ... More »
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