Sewing Tips for Scrapbook Pages

Jazz up scrapbook layouts with creative stitches for the perfect finishing touch.

Experiment with Stitches

Design by Robyn Werlich

Chances are your sewing machine has a few tricks you haven't tried. Go beyond the straight, and play with zigzags and other types of stitches.

Test different stitches on scrap paper before sewing on your project. While you're at it, try varying stitch lengths and widths.

For machine-stitching letters and circles, drop the machine's feed dogs and do free-motion sewing. Or, with a regular pressure foot in place, slowly sew around curves. Stop, lift the foot, and rotate the paper as often as needed.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper (white, green, dark blue), Stampin' Up! (light blue). Patterned paper: Stampin' Up!. Font: Uncle Charles by Autumn Leaves. Brads: Doodlebug Design (white glitter), American Crafts (all other). Buttons: American Crafts (yellow), Jo-Ann Stores (green). Felt, string: Jo-Ann Stores. Punches: EK Success (button) Marvy Uchida (circle). Dies, die-cutting tool: Cuttlebug by Provo Craft ("brother"), Big Shot by Ellison (labels).

Stitch a Title

Design by Janna Wilson

With embroidery floss and a needle, a creative title is just stitches away. Janna Wilson hand-stitched letters using pretty floss and a simple backstitch.

As a guide for stitching, lightly pencil the letters or print a favorite font in light gray. Give stitched letters a nice weight by using three strands of embroidery floss.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper: Patterned paper, stickers: Bella Blvd. Ribbon: American Crafts. Buttons: Jo-Ann Stores. Floss: Making Memories. Thread: Coats & Clark.

Mix It Up

Design by Tanisha Long

Combine real and faux stitches. After machine-stitching around the die-cut paper, Tanisha Long added rub-on stitches to accent her large photo.

Cut two circles from patterned paper and adhere one to the page. Mount the second atop the first, using adhesive foam to create an accent that pops. Emphasize a shape with zigzag stitches around the edge.


SOURCES: Cardstock, patterned paper, stickers, ribbon, brad, buttons: BoBunny Press. Die cut: Colorbok. Rub-ons: Die-Cuts With a View. Ink: Clearsnap. Pens: Sharpie, Ranger Industries. Decorative-edge scissors: Provo Craft. Border punch: EK Success. Thread: Coats & Clark.

Come Full Circle

Design by Erin Clarkson

Hand-stitch a simple circle to call attention to a special part of your page. To emphasize a subject in your photo, print the pic in color and crop tightly on your subject. Layer the color photo on top of a black-and-white print of the original. Attach a cardstock circle to your page with removable adhesive, then use it as a template to stitch around.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Scenic Route Paper Co. (dot, blue on blue star), Fancy Pants Designs (blue-and-white star), Sassafras (plaid star). Font: SP Chi-Town off the Internet. Rub-ons: Kaisercraft ("100 meter"), American Crafts (dashed lines), Making Memories (all other). Chipboard letters: Heidi Swapp. Die cuts: October Afternoon. Floss: Making Memories.

Sew Around Felt Accents

Design by Leah Fung

For soft, playful embellishments, cut shapes out of felt and embellish them with machine stitching, buttons, and gems. Draw simple shapes on felt and cut them out with scissors. If drawing isn't your thing, die-cut a shape out of felt, or cut it out of cardstock and trace it onto felt. Use a contrasting thread to create a strong outline with machine stitching.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Font: Century Gothic. Stickers: Making Memories (puffy letters), Chatterbox (flat letters). Buttons, gem: Jo-Ann Stores. Border punch, pinking shears: Fiskars. Felt: The Kunin Group. Denim: Pinecone Press. Thread: Coats & Clark.

Use a Template on the Border

Design by Stacey Cohen

Nervous about sewing on your pages? Turn to a stitching template, as Stacey Cohen did, to create the intricate border around this page. Little hand-stitched X's make a fun border around the journaling circle. To frame the page with fringe, cut slits in cardstock and wrap the edges around a narrow pencil or paintbrush handle. Set the curls with a heat tool.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper (red), Core?dinations (white), Patterned paper: My Mind's Eye. Chipboard letters: BasicGrey. Gems: Darice. Stitching template: Bazzill Basics Paper. Felt: The Kunin Group. Floss: DMC Corp. Ink: Ranger Industries, ColorBox by Clearsnap. Paint: Shimmerz.

Simply Stitch

Design by Johanna Peterson

Try a basic, straight machine stitch to embellish your page. Inspired by the rock climbing cords in her photos, Johanna Peterson stitched lines that extend from the top of her photos to the top of the page. Create a border around your photo or page by machine-stitching right along the edges. Instead of stitching through multiple layers of paper, just sew through one and adhere it on top of the rest.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Die Cuts With A View. Chipboard letters: K&Company. Ribbon: Making Memories. Glitter: Martha Stewart Crafts. Hole punch: We R Memory Keepers. Index card, metal clip: Staples.

Start with a Pattern

Design by Michelle Rubin

Hand-stitch theme embellishments for your page using an embroidery pattern. You can find free patterns online. Make French Knots to create threaded dots on your page. If the embroidered layer is too lumpy to lie flat on your page, pop it up with adhesive foam.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Archiver's. Font: Rockwell. Chipboard accents: American Crafts. Marker: Sharpie. Floss: DMC Corp. Embroidery pattern: Sublime Stitching. Border punch: EK Success. Digital template: Quick Collage 114.

Run a Stitch

Design by Jennifer Perks

Dress up hand-cut cardstock and die cuts with a simple hand-sewn running stitch. To avoid tearing your paper, place the cardstock on a computer mouse pad and poke holes using a paper piercer or needle before stitching. To create snowy hills, cut waves in cardstock and layer the pieces. Make the layers stand out by stitching along the top edges. Adhere the layers using foam tape. Stitch small seed beads along the edge of an accent, such as the moon on this layout, to give it a bit of sparkle.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: BoBunny Press (red dot), BasicGrey (stripe), Autumn Leaves (aqua star). Font: Dominican off the Internet. Stickers: BasicGrey (house), K&Company (borders). Chipboard accents: K&Company. Dies, die-cutting tool: Cricut by Provo Craft. Gems: Kaisercraft (red, gray, black pearls), Queen & Co. (all other). Magnetic snap: BasicGrey. Beads: Queen & Co. Glitter: Ranger Industries (glitter glue), Martha Stewart Crafts (fine). Pen: Pigma Micron. Floss: DMC Corp. Thread: Coats & Clark. Punches: EK Success. Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.

Accent an Embellishment

Design by Pam Callaghan

Transform clip art into a custom accent with stitches. Print the design, such as the snowflakes on this page, on the back of cardstock. After hand-stitching over them, cut out the shapes and add them to your page. Frame a photo with typed journaling. To type in a shape, use a path in image-editing software or create word art using a word-processing program. Sewing along the flourishes in patterned paper gives the page a dimensional effect. Poke holes in the paper first with a paper piercer, then hand-stitch with floss.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Anna Griffin (dark cream), Bazzill Basics Paper (white, cream, blue). Patterned paper: Anna Griffin (cream flourish), CherryArte (diamond, circles). Font: Garamond. Stickers: Fiskars. Gems: Heidi Swapp. Paper piercer: Making Memories. Circle cutter: Coluzzle by Provo Craft. Floss: DMC Corp. Digital element: Follow the Path kit (circle, journaling) by Jen Lessinger. Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0.


Design by Leslie Lightfoot

Sew directly onto your images to create quick, distinct borders. Leslie used zigazag stitches for her focal photo and straight stitches for the supporting shots. By choosing white thread, she kept the focus on the photos.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: KI Memories. Vellum: Robin's Nest. Font: American Typewriter Condensed off the Internet. Stickers: Autumn Leaves. Metal-rim tags: Making Memories.

Friend or Food?

Design by Tracy Kyle

To decoratively attach her fish shapes, Tracy machine-stitched them using three colors of thread. She chose free-form stitching for her largest paper strip and alternated between zigzag and straight stitching for the others.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Prism Papers. Patterned paper: KI Memories (black-and-white), Doodlebug Design (all other). Sticker: Doodlebug Design. Brads: Queen & Co. Chipboard hearts: Heidi Swapp.

Thank You Card

Design by Cathy Blackstone

Cathy machine-stitched lines for the flower stem on this card and hand-stitched the grass as well. She also used hand-stitching to attach the ribbon and a metal-rim tag.


SOURCES: Rubber stamp: Hero Arts. Ribbon: American Crafts. Floss: DMC Corp. Chipboard heart: Making Memories. Photo corners: Canson.

Always Read

Design by Renee Camacho

Colorful hand-stitching provides the title for Renee's layout. She used multicolor thread for the first word and opted for a thicker strand for the second. Machine-stitching defines the boundaries of the cardstock blocks in the background.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Patterned paper: Autumn Leaves. Handmade paper: Mirayamu. Font: Modern No. 20 Off the Internet. Rubber stamp: Wordsworth. Decorative scissors: EK Success.

See What I Have to Work With

Design by Marilyn Healey

Marilyn turned to her needle and thread to creatively add graphics to her background. She poked the holes before stitching, occasionally adding beads for a special touch. For her title, she printed the words on tracing paper and used it as a guide to poke holes before stitching the letters.


SOURCES: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper. Wood tags, frames: Chatterbox. Beads: Blue Moon Beads. Embroidery floss: DMC Corp.


Design by Leslie Lightfoot

Leslie hand-cut her page title from patterned cardstock and then ran the letters through her sewing machine. She completed her stitching before adhering it to the layout because it's easier to manipulate turns while sewing if the piece isn't already attached.


SOURCES: Patterned paper: BasicGrey. Fonts: Bank Gothic (journaling) off the Internet, Arial Black (title). Brads: American Tag Co. Ribbon: SEI. Metal phrase: All My Memories.


Design by Cathy Blackstone

Machine stitching defines the snowflakes in Cathy's layout. She created the sequined border along the bottom by putting a touch of adhesive behind each sequin before running them through the machine.


SOURCES: Stickers: American Crafts. Metal letters: KI Memories. Brads: Making Memories. Sequins: Fibre-Craft Materials Corp.

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