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Enjoy making and giving embroidered paper Valentines

Nanette Webb embroidery gift Handstitching Needlework Paper embroidery valentine

Spent the better part of a day this week getting familiar with a new-to-us book  Japanese Paper Embroidery by Atsumi, Minako Chiba and Mari Kamio first published ten years ago in Tokyo.

Essentially I played like a kid making Valentines. It was fun. And dinner didn't get made til I was good and finished around 8pm.

If you like to embroider, you may enjoy this twist. If you've never embroidered, this book can serve as a great introduction: there are good stitch instructions/illustrations; you don't need a hoop; and card stock isn't floppy like fabric. Moreover, the holes you punch in the paper for the needle and thread to pass virtually ensure evenly spaced stitches. 

Japanese paper embroidery book
  • Card stock paper, cards, journal or even a nice box. I got my cards at Paper Source - they stock a phenomenal variety of colors and shapes in both packs and open stock.
  • Embroidery floss, pearl floss or fine yarn, a tapestry needle (blunt tip) with an eye that fits your thread. Grab some scissors or thread snips too.
  • An awl, kitchen skewer or even a sturdy toothpick with which to punch small holes in the paper. We usually have Clover brand awls as well as wooden-handled awls from Merchant & Mills in stock.
  • A pencil with a nice eraser that won't smudge the paper.

The book has darling template drawings to trace or copy onto your paper. 


Here’s how I executed the “A” from their cute alphabet:

 Japanese Paper Embroidery card

After practicing with this, I was inspired to try some of my own designs. This is a simple circle template I got at Michael's.
 Japanese Paper Embroidery card
I also traced some paper hearts that I cut using a Silhouette Cutter.
Play around with Wonder Under to iron fabric onto paper.
Iron the Wonder Under onto the wrong side of the fabric first, then cut out your shape, peel the backing off and iron it onto the card. 

Here is a card made using a fly stitch and french knots.
This last card is made with Studio Carta Italian cotton ribbon couched onto the card. I traced a heart and marked evenly spaced holes in pencil. The couching stitches come up from the back, cross over the ribbon and go back through the same hole. Simply lay the ribbon down as you
So fun to mix fabric, ribbon, paper, and embroidery together!
And this is what a good book does: teaches and inspires.
💕 Nan.





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  • Jan on

    Fabulous designs, could be used for any occasion. Intend to do lots like these, thank you

  • MJ on

    Live those Nan! Thanks for the inspiration and happy Valentine’s Day 💕

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