How To Create Embroidered Note Cards

I made a set of ten of these cards this week for some friends. I found myself saying ‘just one more’ when I was working on these, and what started as five cards quickly turned into ten, and two or three rows of stitching quickly turned into fifty. Break out your favorite threads, turn on some good music, and have fun layering machine stitches and hand embroidery.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve used your sewing machine, or if there are some stitches you’ve been meaning to try out, this is a great way to jump back in since the paper is so stiff and easy to work with. Plus- spring is a great time to send a handwritten note! I can also imagine this technique getting applied to artist trading cards. Organize a swap meet or find a pen pal…


Brand Ambassador Rebecca Ringquist

These pretty and unique note cards are made with a combination of hand-embroidery and machine-sewing techniques. Paper is a great material on which to practice stitching with your sewing machine. Unlike fabric, it doesn’t shift while you’re sewing it; instead, it stays flat and stiff, which makes it especially easy to work on. For these cards, I used an extra-heavy-duty (size 16/100) machine needle to create holes big enough for my hand stitching. You may find that the needle is dull after you’ve used it on paper, so be sure to test it on a piece of scrap fabric before moving on to a delicate project. Once you’ve gotten the hang of making these cards as instructed, try incorporating your own ideas. For example, you might want to try adding extra layers by collaging paper onto your cardstock with a fast-drying glue stick and then stitching through the extra layer(s). I used this technique to add the photo of an office building to one of my note cards above.


Tin with Fabric Spools



  • Note cards and coordinating envelopes in the color(s) and size(s) of your choice
  • Cardstock or index cards in the color(s) of your choice; I used 8 x 5″ (20 x 13cm) index cards to make foldover cards
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing thread
  • Sewing-machine needle, size 16/100
  • Embroidery (crewel and/or chenille) needles
  • Embroidery floss in one or more colors
  • Sewing-machine twin needle (optional)
  • Cone thread stand (optional)


Embroidery Thread


1 ) Before starting this project, spend some time practicing using the machine to make perforated lines on extra cardstock or index cards. With no thread in either the needle or the bobbin, “stitch” a set of straight lines. Try this a few times until you can confidently make straight parallel lines.


2) Now try the same thing on your good cardstock or blank cards. I suggest spacing your lines 1/4″ (5mm) apart to begin with. Then, using a needle and thread, hand sew running stitches into each of those lines. Alternate the colors or make them all the same color. Experiment!

Embroidered Notecards


3) If desired, add some machine-stitching. Try alternating colors, or adding a new color of thread with each new line. To make perfectly parallel lines, use a twin needle and two threads. If your machine does not accommodate two spools, you’ll need to use a cone thread stand for one of your threads; or use two cone stands if you’re using cone thread for both colors. (See the illustration below for help with loading the stand.) Make an accompanying envelope by sewing the same stripes on the flap. Since rethreading your machine with a new color each time is time-consuming, you may want to work on more than one card at once. Combine hand-stitching and machine-stitching for a varied design.

cone stand

 4) To add a stem-and-leaf motif, first use the sewing machine to stitch a thick stem from top to bottom by stitching forward and backward. Next, slowly begin to build up the leaf shapes on a diagonal.


embroidered leafe notecard


Who would you like to send a spring greeting to? An old friend, a cousin, or a former classmate you’ve lost touch with? Reply in the comments and tell us who might like to receive one of these note cards, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a copy of my new book, Rebecca Ringquist’s Embroidery Workshops, out this week!


Rebecca Ringquist's Embroidery Workshop


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington D.C. who are over 18 years of age as of date of entry. To enter, reply to the blog post question on the BERNINA blog ( Limit one (1) entry per person. Contest begins at 9:00 AM CST on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, and ends at 12:00 AM CST on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. 1 grand prize winner shall be selected in a random drawing to receive a copy of Rebecca Ringquist’s Embroidery Workshops (ARV $29.95). For full official rules click here. Void where prohibited.

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38 comments on “How To Create Embroidered Note Cards”

  • I’d like to send a spring greeting to my sister. We always send cards for any occasion and I think that she would like a handmade card. I think I’d try a cute elephant or swirls.

  • this sounds like so much fun! in answer to your question, I think i’ll send one to my sister, my cousin who is living this year in Jerusalem, and to my mom. thanks!

  • What a brilliant idea – especially the blank pieces with just the needle holes left in them. I would love to send one of these cards to a friend who has just lost her husband and needs a bit of inspiration and a whole lot of TLC at the moment. It would be just right to give her something which she could then use as a starting point and then make some herself to occupy her time and fill the void left by the empty chair and the silence around the home.

  • I woud like to make a few of these cards and send to my grand daughters. I am always trying to get them interested in learning to sew. Once they see these cute cards I’m sure they will want make some to send to t heir friends!

  • I would love to send a Spring greeting to a beautiful, perfect, longtime friend who I have not been able to see for many years. I miss her dearly, and I would send her one to let her know I still love her and am thinking of her always!

  • What a lovely idea. People really value “hand-made” things like this. I can think of many people in my life who would love to receive a card like this, like my sisters-in-law, my daughter, and my friends.

  • I think I’ll make a card for my husband’s upcoming birthday. It’s so difficult to find a masculine card without ducks or fish or something that doesn’t appeal to him.

  • I would choose one of my double-cousins as my first recipient. She’s currently over-whelmed w/sewing her daughter’s wedding dress, as well as the garments for the entire bridle party, for a June wedding. Next week, I’ll begin going weekly to assist her in this HUGE project.

  • I’d love to send one of these cards to my Mum for Mother’s day…she has been a sewer all of her life and I know she would appreciate one of these unique cards.

  • These are so cute..I am going to make them for guests that are coming to my home, with a note showing my appreciation of their friendship..Also I am making them in Kraft-Tex..thank you..abner

  • My sister…her husband has been sending personalized cards using his graphic talents. I will love to send one back showing off my sewing skills. Can’t wait to do interesting ones for the family for the holidays too.

  • My son is in prison and I would like to make this for him. I don’t know if they let them have cards like this but he is very artistic and would appreciate something hand made

  • How clever and cute. Love them. I will send a card to my grand-nieces Paige and Taylor. They are just learning to sew. What better way to show how cool and unique sewing can be!

  • Love the idea. Will stitch some up and send to several friends that are going thru a rough time and they will cheer them up. I have granddaughter birthday’s coming up, a college graduation, a high school graduation, a wedding shower and a wedding in July. So I’ll be busy. I have stitched cards using software, but I like the idea of being challenged to be creative on my own. Thank you for the great ideas.

  • I would love to send one of these lovely cards to my very best friend, Pat, for her birthday on April 23rd. Since today is my birthday, this giveaway would make a great Happy Birthday gift for me, as well. 🙂

  • I’m making one tomorrow morning before I go to the hospital to see my dad, who just had a stroke. I think I will use fuzzy yarn as he seems to like to stroke soft items.

  • My best friend from high school has a birthday in May. I would love to visit, but we live coasts apart. With her background in textiles and sewing, I know she’d love a handmade card like this. Thanks for the post. It’s great.

  • How beautiful! I’d love to make a card for a dear friend who has been very sick recently and could use a nice pick-me-up. She is the one who got me started quilting and life has never been the same since. ☺ I’d be beyond thrilled to win your book! Thanks a bunch for the chance!

    my nana maree @ yahoo . com

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