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a stitch there!

Aunt Annie's Crafts

Sewing Cards
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Sewing Cards

What you will make:

For generations children have been playing with sewing cards. In this project, see how easy it is to make your own sewing cards out of cardstock then sew on them with colorful yarn. Kids will have great fun sewing various patterns while developing coordination and learning basic sewing stitches.

Adults can take the concepts behind sewing cards a step further to make scrapbook and greeting card embellishments. See the sidebar for ideas and an example.

As an added bonus at the end of the project, Aunt Annie tells you how to make sewing cards using clip art.

Here's what you need:
  • Cardstock—white or colored
  • Scissors
  • ¼" paper hole punch
  • Yarn—knitting worsted weight
  • Yarn needle—blunt on end
  • Optional: Long shoestring, masking tape, 1/8" paper hole punch

This project is rated VERY EASY to do.

How to Make and Use Sewing Cards

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It

Choose the sewing cards you want to make. The Fun Sewing Cards pattern includes four different sewing card designs on the pattern sheet: a star, a bear, a sailboat and a butterfly. The Hearts Sewing Card pattern includes four options for heart sewing cards, including two small designs perfect as embellishments for scrapbooks or greeting cards. Download and print the pattern on white or colored cardstock.

Fun Sewing Cards

Printable pattern for bear, butterfly, start and sailboat sewing cards

Heart Sewing Cards

Printable pattern for heart sewing cards

Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The Adobe Reader is available for free.

All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter size paper (8.5"x11" or A4). When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.

Cut out sewing cards and punch holes Step 2: Cut and Punch

Cut out the sewing cards on the dark outlines. Punch out the holes around the edges of the sewing cards using a ¼" paper hole punch. (For the small heart sewing cards use an 1/8" hole punch.)

Now your cards are ready to sew. Try each of the following ways to sew the cards or come up with your own ideas.

Step 3: Straight Stitch

Cut a 3 to 4 foot length (1 meter) of yarn and thread the needle with it. Tip: For very young children, a long shoestring can be used in place of the yarn and needle, or you can tightly wrap one end of the yarn with masking tape (about 2" or 4 cm).

Sew the card using a straight stitch

Start at any hole and push the needle up through it from the back. Pull the yarn through until there is a tail of 2 or 3 inches (5 to 8 cm.) To keep from pulling the yarn all the way out, hold the tail until you have sewn through several holes.

From the front of the card, go down through the next hole along the edge, then go up through the next hole along the edge. Continue around to the last hole. Cut the yarn leaving another 2 or 3 inch (5 to 8 cm) tail. Tie the two yarn tails together or tuck them under a yarn strand on the back.

Sew the card with an overcast stitch Step 4: Overcast Stitch

Cut a 3 or 4 foot length (1 meter) of yarn and thread the needle. Sew up through any hole from the back and hold the short yarn tail. Go under the edge of the card and sew up through the next hole along the edge. Continue to next hole, going from back to front with each stitch. The yarn will be wrapped around the card edge at each stitch. After the last hole, tuck under the yarn ends on the back.

Sew the card following the hole numbering sequence Step 5: Stitch Designs

Cut a 4 or 5 foot length (1.5 meter) of yarn and thread the needle. Following the numbers in the butterfly illustration, sew up through hole one and down through hole two. Continue around the card's edge, going up from the back on the odd numbers and down from the front on the even numbers. After the last hole, tuck under the yarn ends on the back.

Refer to numbering schemes below to sew stitch designs across the other three Fun Sewing Cards. What other designs can you create?

Sewing card numbering schemes
Step 6: Sew Again and Again

Carefully unthread the yarn to sew the card again using a different stitch or some other color of yarn. Tip: If one of the holes tears, use tape or a notebook reinforcing ring to repair it.

How to Use Clip Art to Make Sewing Cards

It's very simple to make sewing cards using clip art or even photos. You will need a source of clip art—perhaps some that came with a graphics program, a CD or DVD clip art collection, or favorite images downloaded from a website. You could even scan pages from picture books. Tip: There are many sources of free online clip art. Just search for the picture you want and include "clip art" or "illustration" at the end—like "giraffe clip art" or "giraffe illustration".

  1. Come up with a theme for your set of sewing cards. Some favorite themes for kids are animals, vehicles, alphabets and cartoon characters. Select clip art images with simple, easily cut shapes.
  2. Print your clip art or photos onto white cardstock in the size range of 4 inches to 7 inches (10 cm to 18 cm). Tip: Most graphics and word processing programs make it easy to enlarge or shrink images and/or size an image when printing.
  3. Cut out the clip art to create your sewing card. For a finished look, leave a small white border as you cut.
  4. Punch an even number of holes around the edge of the sewing card. Space the holes evenly and no more than one inch apart.

That's it! Make as many sewing cards as you want. A well thought-out set, packaged in a pretty box with yarn or shoelaces, makes a nice gift.

Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Heart sewing card embellishment on greeting card

Tip: The smaller heart sewing cards can be used as embellishments in scrapbooks and on greeting cards.

Sewing cards with shoelace

Tip: The black & white patterns can be printed to colored cardstock to make a set of sewing cards.

Clip art sewing cards

Tip: Clip art can be enlarged and printed on cardstock to make sewing cards—see how.

Thanks to...

Thanks to Janet LaFara for creating the original Sewing Cards project and patterns for Aunt Annie's Craft Page in 1997.

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