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ScrapBusters: Sewn Paper & Fabric Greeting Card

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Using your sewing machine to join paper and fabric is surprisingly easy. If you've never tried it yourself, this is a great first project that isn't too complicated, but is still a very pretty way to send a personal greeting. At the end of the article is a link to a coordinating fabric and paper envelope.

This is such a fun way to use up some of your favorite little scraps. As shown below, we recommend fussy cutting the heart motif for the most striking look. 

Before starting, make sure you have a clean work space and that you keep your hands clean so you don't get fingerprints or other markings on your card.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Click to Enlarge

  • Card stock; we used two 12" squares of Bazzil Basics card stock in Fussy and Pinkini, which we found locally at Michaels
    NOTE: The photo above shows white rather than Pinkini.
  • Several scraps of fabric; we pulled a couple classics from our Sew4Home Scrap Stash: Black Nosegay from the older Summer Soirée collection by Paula Prass, and Lime Ta Dot from Michael Miller Fabrics
  • Spray adhesive, such as Elmers Craft Bond
  • Thread; we used black on the top and white in the bobbin
  • Scissors
  • Pinking shears or paper edge cutters (optional)
  • X-Acto knife
  • Cutting mat
  • See-through ruler
  • Clear tape

Getting Started

  1. Download and print the CARD PATTERN template. If you plan to fussy cut your heart and leaf shapes from your fabric (as we did), print TWO copies. One will be used for pattern pieces, and one is used later to position your cut shapes onto your card.
  2. Download and print the CARD WORDS template if you want to print 'love grows' onto your card stock as we did, (this is optional, you could write on the finished card by hand).
    IMPORTANT: Each template is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
    If you are fussy cutting, follow the next 3 steps. If you are not fussy cutting, skip to Step 6.

  3. Using one CARD PATTERN printout, cut out the pattern heart and leaves. You cut line should be about a ¼" to ½" outside the actual printed line. Then, cut along the actual printed line to create a frame. This will provide a little window to use in choosing where to fussy cut. As you can see in the photo below, I've placed the window over the area of fabric I want to cut.
    Click to Enlarge
  4. When satisfied with your placement, fit your pattern piece back into the window, remove the little frame template, and pin the heart in place.
    Click to Enlarge
  5. Follow the same process to fussy cut the two leaves.
  6. Cut ONE heart and TWO leaf shapes from your fabrics.
  7. From card stock, cut one 10" x 7" rectangle (we used card stock color, Fussy ). This is your backing piece. Fold in half to form a 5" x 6½" card.
    NOTE: To make a neat fold, lightly, very LIGHTLY, score (DO NOT cut through your paper) the fold line using your see-through ruler and an X-Acto knife.
  8. If you want to print 'love grows' on the second piece of card stock (we used card stock color, Pinkini) , use an 8½" x 11" piece of printer paper as a guide and trim your card stock using your see-through ruler and an X-Acto knife. Insert this trimmed card stock into your printer tray. Use the CARD WORDS template to print onto your trimmed card stock sheet. When done printing, trim using the crop marks provided. This is your front piece. If you don't want to print your front piece as described above, simply cut a rectangle 5" x 6½" in size and hard letter your words (or leave off the words completely).
    NOTE: Not all home printers will feed even this fairly light-weight card stock, but most copy shops can easily handle it.
    Click to Enlarge
  9. Using pinking shears or paper edgers, trim all our edges of your front rectangle by about ¼".
    Click to Enlarge
  10. Now, we'll use a fresh CARD PATTERN template as a guide for positioning the heart and leaves onto your front rectangle.
  11. Trim your template to size by cutting around outer edge. Cut out the heart and leaf shapes about ⅛" larger than the actual cut lines, creating little frames as you did above.
  12. Position the template over your front rectangle as shown in the photo below.
    Click to Enlarge
  13. Lightly spray the back side of the fabric heart and leaf shapes with spray adhesive. Position the pieces into the template holes.
    Click to Enlarge
  14. Remove the template. Lay a clean piece of paper over the top and lightly press the fabric pieces into place using the palm of your hand. Let dry for a few minutes.
    Click to Enlarge

At Your Sewing Machine

    1. Use thread colors that work best with your fabric choices. We chose black on the top and white in the bobbin.
    2. Set a long stitch length, such as you might use for basting. 
    3. Sew all around your fabric heart shape, about ¼" from the edge.
      Click to Enlarge
    4. Next, sew the main stem starting at the base of the heart and sewing straight down to the edge of your front paper rectangle.
    5. Last, sew the leaf stems, starting at the tip of each leaf and sewing back to the main stem.
    6. Gently pull your black thread to the back side of the front piece. Trim to about ½". Tape to secure. 
      Click to Enlarge
    7. Lightly spray the back of your completed front piece with spray adhesive. Position on the right front side of your backing piece as shown below.
      Click to Enlarge
    8. Sew the front piece to the backing rectangle, running the seam about ¼" inside the edge as shown in the finished photo at the top of this page. Pull thread to the back side, and neatly hand knot and trim the thread tails very close to the knot.
    9. Write your personal message.
    10. If you're feeling extra creative, we have a tutorial for a coordinating envelope.

Contributors

Project Design and Sample Creation: Alicia Thommas

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Comments (4)

suzann said:
suzann's picture

I am always intrigued with sewing on paper... but have been hesitant to do it cuz I'm scared it will harm my sewing machine.  Am I worrying in vain?  Do you keep one needle aside for sewing through paper?  Or does that not matter?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ suzann - As with most projects, starting with a new, sharp needle is always your best plan. There's really nothing that would harm your machine. You could certainly check and clean out any paper dust when done, and insert a new needle before starting your next fabric project. But, you should be just fine. Below is our machine cleaning tutorial: 

http://www.sew4home.com/tips-resources/sewing-tips-tricks/how-clean-your...

kamea313@gmail.com said:
kamea313@gmail.com's picture

Thank you for this tutoria!  I have been searching for fabric greeting card ideas and all the instructions I've found have been so complicated.  Love this site and the new ideas that are being created this year.  Best wishes to you!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@kamea313 - Thank you so much for being a S4H fan! This is a super easy (and fun!) project. Let us know how yours turns out. 

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