Perfect Day Scrapbooking

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hand Stitching on your Layouts

Sometimes, our projects need that little touch.  That extra 'something' to make them pop.  I have a few go-to items that I reach for every time my layout or card looks 'blah'.

I'm going to share those ideas with you here on the blog over the next few weeks.

Hand Stitching is tutorial #1.

I recently got back from the February Just Crop Retreat in Fullerton.  If you haven't joined us, you need to plan on it.  Its a nice, relaxing weekend that Beth and Rachel run.

I have people come up to me all the time and ask how I do this.  So here is your 'how-to'.

I'm inspired by two women in the scrapbook world.  Kinsey Wilson and Sasha Farina.  Bookmark their blogs.  These two inspire me.  There is something hand stitching brings to the project that machine sewing just doesn't.  A lot of people say 'oh, you can do that with a machine.'  Yes, you can, but the detail I like can only be achieved by hand.

Lets get started.

First, you need to know the basic back stitch.  I learned from Kinseys Hand Stitch blog.  She has a lot of great information on there about products and how-to's.  She talks about the different kinds of threads you can use but I stick with DMC Embroidery floss.  It comes in hundreds of colors, its cheap and easy to work with.
You can make your own templates from a printable transparency and whatever font or shape you select.  These were printed and then pre-holed for equal stitching.
 I keep a selection of needles handy at all times to stitch with.  Just basic sewing needles with a decent size eye.  You don't want to go too large or else you end up with distorted holes.  I use a paper piercer, the larger needle or a push pin to create my holes.  The glossy accents is to make sure the thread stays put on the back side of the project.  You can use washi tape too.

After you practice the basic back stitch, you're ready to sew on your layout.

Step 2 - find a template, pattern or font you want to work with.

The word 'hello' and the star are both from a word program.  The speech bubble, chevron, '&' and starburst are all misting templates.

Templates can be anything from a purchased pattern or template that some manufacturers are releasing. They can also be something you download or print from the internet.  Fonts are the easiest because every computer comes with them.  Lets take a look at how to use each one.

You can resize these shapes to meet your needs.  Position the template over the area of your layout that you want to stitch on.  Poke holes with your paper piercer.  Make sure you're using a foam mat (like a mouse pad).  It makes poking holes easier.  You can use a self healing mat but you may find your hand cramps up because you have to push harder to make a decent hole.
 There is a black mat under the paper in this photo, just hard to see.
 Poke. Poke.  Poke.
 Poke some more.
 Lift up your template and you have your punched shape/word on your layout.
 Take your length of floss and separate into two pieces.  Three strands each.  I use no more than 18 inches because the floss tends to tangle.
 Your first stitch comes up from the back of the paper.
 And then down through the next hole.
 Come back up from the back into the third hole.
 And bring is back through the second hole.  This completes the first backstitch.
Hole spacing shouldn't be an issue once you begin stitching.

Here are samples of actual layouts that I've completed:
A stitched circle - LINK to original post

Stitched Geometry - LINK to original post

Zig Zag - link to original post

Text - link to original post

Anchor and woody- link to original post (heavy stitching post - be warned, this was a lot of stitching and I think it came out cool.  I don't normally go overboard like this but it was a sample for the store.  I wanted to bring out the details of that cool car.  I believe there is still some of this paper line in the store.)

You can a nice mix of fonts and templates.  One thing I tend to use a lot would be misting templates.  The sunburst layout uses the Studio Calico starburst 12x12 misting template.  This is something that can be created using any diecut machine.

Here is a layout that was completed at last weekend's crop.

 I cut out a heart shape and used that as my template.  The dog paw was free-hand and copied off the flair button.
(Papers are from Elle's Studio and are available in the Perfect Day store.)

Leave a comment here if you have any questions on this technique.  I will be posting a few more examples on my personal blog over the next week.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy New Year!

Let's blow the dust off this blog and start posting again!

Coming this week..... a tutorial to liven up your layouts!