How to Sew on Cardstock with a Sewing Machine

By Ainsley Patterson

Combine your love of sewing with your passion for paper crafting by embellishing your homemade cards and scrapbook pages with stitches sewn on your sewing machine. Use your sewing machine's straight, zig-zag and decorative stitches to not only decorate your cards and scrapbook pages, but also to help hold together layers of card stock and paper for these projects. Once you master sewing together layers of card stock and paper, you can go on to experiment with attaching embellishments such as ribbon, chipboard shapes and even buttons onto your projects.

Layer scrap pieces of card stock that are the same weight as the card stock that makes up your project and the same number of layers. Change the stitch on your machine to the stitch you want to use.

Sew through the layers of scrap card stock. Examine the stitches to determine if the tension on the machine needs to be adjusted. Loops of bobbin thread showing on the top of the paper means the tension needs to be turned down. Loops of top thread showing on the bottom of the paper means the tension needs to be turned up. Keep adjusting the tension and sewing test stitches until the top thread only shows on the top of the paper and the bobbin thread only shows on the bottom of the paper.

Sew through your paper project once the tension is right. Pull the thread at the start and the thread at the end of the stitching to pull both the top and bobbin threads to the back at both ends. Tie the threads in a knot at the beginning and end of the stitching so it doesn't unravel. Trim the threads.

Tip

Avoid putting any adhesive where you will be stitching if attaching layers together with an adhesive before sewing so your machine's needle doesn't get gummed up. Decorative stitches that have clusters of stitches in the design don't work well on card stock as they cause the card stock to shred.

About the Author

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ainsley Patterson has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles appear on various websites. She especially enjoys utilizing her more than 10 years of craft and sewing experience to write tutorials. Patterson is working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Michigan.