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 tips section 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.
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 for embellishing scrapbooks or greeting cards. The Fish Sewing Cards pattern has sewing cards in easy to cut shapes with colorful backgrounds. For simplicity and the most creativity, the Blank Sewing Cards can be colored with markers or modified in a graphics program to add photos or clip-art. Just open the blank pattern's PDF file in Inkscape (a free drawing program) to make your changes.
Download and print your chosen pattern on white or colored cardstock. Print black and white (B&W) patterns on white cardstock and then color them as you like, or simply print on colored cardstock.
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 the sewing cards on the dark outlines. Follow the cut line accurately.
Cut out two pieces of clear contact paper in the shape of the sewing card and at least ½" (1 cm) larger all around.
Remove the backing from one piece of contact paper and carefully center the sewing card on the sticky side. Press down. Remove the backing from the other piece of contact paper and carefully place it on the other side of the sewing card with the sticky side down, making a sandwich. Be sure that the top and bottom layers of contact paper lineup and press them together around the edges of the sewing card. Trim the contact paper leaving about a ¼" border around the sewing card.
Punch out the holes around the edges of the sewing cards using a ¼" paper hole punch. (For the small heart sewing cards, use a 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.
Cut a 3- to 4-foot (1 meter) length 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).
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" to 3" (5 to 8 cm) tail. Tie the two yarn tails together, or tuck them under a yarn strand on the back.
Cut a 3- to 4-foot (1 meter) length 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 the 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.
Cut a 4- to 5-foot (1.5 meter) length 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 the numbering schemes below to sew stitched designs across the other three Fun Sewing Cards. What other designs can you create?
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.
That's it! Your sewing cards are done!
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".
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.