Paper Embroidered Journal

Paper embroidery is a beautiful way to embellish all sorts of paper goods, from bookmarks to notecards to journals. It’s not difficult to learn, and once you get the hang of the technique you can create any design you like. If you can sew, you can do paper embroidery!

Step-by-Step Tutorial

Go to the instructions summary »
Paper Embroidered Journal Template PDF
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    Sketch out the design you want to create on graph paper. To translate your sketch into a template, imagine the stitches going between the intersections on the graph paper (similar to the heart pattern in the photo). You can create a similar pattern by turning the graph paper 45 degrees and building the shape out of diamonds and triangles. For a freeform design such as a name, sketch out the letters in pencil first. Then mark evenly spaced dots along the letters. The dots are where you’ll make your stitches.
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    Tape the completed design to the journal cover with masking tape or washi tape. Place a hand towel underneath the front cover to protect the pages underneath.
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    Following your pattern, use the needle pick tool to poke holes for the stitches. For a graph paper design, poke a hole for each intersection in the design. For a freeform design, poke a hole for each dot.
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    Peel off the template and double-check that you haven’t missed any of the holes you’ll need for your design. Keep the template handy for reference while you embroider.
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    Thread a 20 inch piece of thread through the needle and knot the end. Leave 4-5 inches on the end so you’re stitching with a single thickness of thread.
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    Stitch through the holes you made, following your design. When you run out or need to start a new color, tie the thread off on the back side. Then start a new thread.
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    Once you are finished stitching your design, paste an envelope to the inside cover to hide the back side of the stitches. This also creates a little pocket where you can slip receipts, business cards, or other small items.
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    These journals make great personalized gifts. And of course the same technique can be used to decorate notecards or bookmarks.

Instructions Summary

  1. Sketch a design on graph paper.
  2. Tape the design to the journal cover. Slip a hand towel under the cover to protect the pages underneath.
  3. Following the pattern, use the needle pick tool to poke holes in the journal cover.
  4. Peel off the template, but keep it handy for reference.
  5. Thread your needle and tie a knot in the end. Stitch through the holes, following your design.
  6. Paste an envelope to the inside front cover to hide the back side of the stitches.