Crafty Cards

Getting ready for holidays and special occasions drives me crazy. I want to be thoughtful and unique, but I usually end up putting off planning until the last minute. That means wading through overcrowded malls, and (especially around Christmas) losing the spirit of the holiday ... and then a miraculous stroke of ingenuity.

It may be too late to “win” the holiday with the best gift, but my mother always told me it’s the thought that counts. Luckily, I work with embroidery—the source of my latest genius.

I decided the inspiring designs from Urban Threads, laid over a warmly written card, expressing my honest and heartfelt admiration should do the trick. Who hates being told how amazing they are? Not my family.

So to craft your unique and heartfelt embroidered card, here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Your favorite embroidery design(s) -- I'd recommend using 5" x 7" designs or smaller.
  • Thread for your embroidery
  • Fabric for your embroidery
  • Cardstock paper
  • Medium weight cutaway stabilizer
  • Temporary spray adhesive
  • Scissors and ruler
  • Air erase fabric marker


First things first: You want to make sure you use a medium weight cutaway stabilizer, adhered to the back of your fabric with temporary spray adhesive, to get the best stitchout. Make sure your fabric is smoothly placed, by spreading pressure evenly over the fabric with your palms onto the stabilizer.

When placing your fabric in the hoop; try to be conscious of how the design will sew out on your machine—leave enough extra fabric and stabilizer around all of the edges of your hoop.

When hooping the “all fabric” card, make sure your hoop is NOT centered on your fabric. Instead, hoop it on one side of the fabric, paying attention to the direction your embroidery will be stitching. This ensures you are leaving enough extra space to complete the back side of your card.



Get stitching! For this card, I chose the 5" x 7" size of It's The Most Wonderful Time.

Unhoop your design once it's done stitching. If you are covering your cardstock entirely with your fabric, you'll want to place your cardstock about 0.5" or so from the edge of my design. Lay your embroidery face down, then spray your cardstock evenly and draw a straight line along the border of your cardstock using a ruler.

Cut off the edges of fabric and stabilizer off (the stabilizer and cardstock make it easier to do this straight if you keep them stuck together).



Gently remove the cardstock for now, then trim away the cutaway stabilizer from around the design. You can also iron your embroidery to make sure it's nice and flat for when you place it on your cardstock.

Smooth your embroidered fabric back onto the cardstock, using your temporary spray adhesive if needed.

To make sure your card stays intact, stitch around the boarder, aligning the edge of the presser foot with the edge of the card. A straight stitch works well, though you may choose to do a different stitch for added flair.

Note: You can hide the needle holes on the inside of the card by adding a standard sheet of paper to the inside of your card. Just fold the sheet in half, then use your spray adhesive to adhere it against the inside of your card.



Another technique you can use is to leave a border of cardstock around the edges of your embroidery.

Here's how to do it: Pick out your fabric, at least two pieces of cardstock, and an embroidery design. For this example, we used the 4" x 4" size of Festive Flight.

Once your design is finished stitching, use your air erase pen to mark and cut a 0.5" border on your fabric around the embroidered design.



After you've cut the stabilizer off the back of the embroider, use temporary spray adhesive to place the embroidery square 0.25" from the bottom corner of your cardstock.

Mark a 0.25" border around the fabric with your ruler and air-erase pen, then sew a straight stich boarder from the edge of the fabric.



Next, mark a 0.125" border on the card stock, from the edge of the embroidery and cut it down into a simple square.

Finally, fold a new piece of cardstock (in this case, a white sheet) in half. Spray the back of the cardstock (containing your design) and place it in the center of the white card (leaving you a small boarder at the top and bottom of the design).

Use a ruler to draw a line straight, 0.125" from the either side of my design cardstock, and cut off the excess paper.

You're done!


There are so many ways to create a one-of-a-kind creation for friends and family. Experiment with cutting keyholes into your cardstock to let the embroidery "peek through," use different card shapes for fun occasions, mix patterned fabric with solid embroidery designs... the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

Now that your cards are made, get cozy and write a note to that special someone!

Want a printer-friendly PDF of this page? You got it, bud.
Suggested designs for this tutorial: 
Blooming Trio (Applique)_image
Blooming Trio (Applique) $1.99
2 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 5.04"w x 4.29"h | 3.74"w x 3.82"h | Hand Embroidery
Festive Flight_image
Festive Flight $3.99 - $4.99
3 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 6.22"w x 5.83"h | 5.16"w x 4.84"h | 3.86"w x 3.58"h | Hand Embroidery
Delicate Christmas Tree_image
Delicate Christmas Tree $2.99 - $4.99
4 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 6.89"w x 8.66"h | 5.87"w x 7.32"h | 4.84"w x 6.06"h | 3.07"w x 3.86"h | Hand Embroidery