Tutorial: Greeting cards with fabric

I’ve been using tiny scraps to make greeting cards. I came up with the idea when I wanted to send a pretty card but didn’t really have anything suitable left and didn’t want to visit a shop to buy one. It’s a super quick method and I thought some of you might be interested in a tutorial so you can use up some of your own scraps in a fun way!

What do you need?

  • Blank (coloured) greeting cards
  • White or coloured card stock (I use 160 gms)
  • Fabric scraps
  • Ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • Sewline glue pen (or another basting glue that doesn’t leach through the fabric)
  • Thread
  • Old sewing machine needle to sew through paper
  • Sewing machine
  • Double sided sticky tape

Method

1. Use the rotary cutter and ruler to cut a piece of card stock slightly smaller than the front of the greeting card.

2. Cut fabric scraps and arrange on piece of card stock until you are happy with the layout.

3. Use the glue pen to stick the fabric to the card stock. Only use a small amount of glue, it’s just to make sure the fabric doesn’t shift around when you’re sewing.

4. Put an old needle in your sewing machine.

5. Make sure the ends of top and bobbin threads are pulled out a bit before starting to sew. Sew through the fabric scraps and make sure to also leave a thread tail at the end.

6. Pull on the thread at the back of the cardstock to pull the thread that’s on the front through to the back as well.

7. Tie a knot in the threads and either trim short or weave the ends into the stitching.


8. Put a couple of pieces of double sided sticky tape on the back of the card stock.

9. Use a ruler as a guide to make sure that you stick the piece of card stock centered on the greeting card.


10. Write message on the inside and put in the mail!

Alternatives

For an even quicker make you can also stitch the fabric directly onto the front of a double greeting card. The stitching and thread ends will show on the inside of the card but that’s part of the charm of a handmade card right? Do make sure to open the card before you start sewing though or it may be very difficult to write your message afterwards. I probably don’t need to spell out how I came up with that last piece of advice…

I also like to make fabric postcards using the method described in this tutorial that I made years ago, but those postcards take a lot longer to make so it’s not something I’ll do when I only have a little bit of time to sew. Have you ever used fabric to make greeting cards? 

Inspiration: Portuguese tiles

Last week I was on holiday in Portugal and photographed tiles. Many Portuguese houses are decorated with tiles. Sometimes they cover the whole building, but more often it is just the lower floor or the upper floors or just one band across the building. I thought it was brilliant. My boyfriend started to go a little crazy because I wanted to take a picture of almost every tile we came across, but hey, can you blame me? Just look at them! I think they’re very inspirational and I can see some of these turning into a quilt block or two.

Portoguese tiles 1I just love the variety in these tiles.

portuguese tiles 4Some are multi-coloured,  some have borders.

portuguese tiles 5

Some have a very simple design, others have a design that only really works when you put multiple tiles together to create the pattern.

portuguese tiles 3 They can be well maintained, faded or cracked. Most are only painted but sometimes you come across one that has texture.

Some of you might be wondering whether I bought any fabrics during our holiday and I didn’t because 1) We tried to travel light and buying yards of fabric didn’t really fit in with that, 2) I sort of already have a lot of fabric that maybe I should use first and 3) I was on holiday with my boyfriend so I thought it would be nicer to do things that both of us enjoy doing, which sadly excludes fabric shopping. I did spot some fabric and yarn stores though, so for those of you planning to visit Portugal in the future that do want to spend some time fabric or yarn shopping I can give you some advice! Tecidos means fabrics, so stores selling fabric will usually display this word on the outside.

Lisbon: While waiting downstairs of the Elevador de Santa Justa (simply brilliant, it is a public transport elevator from 1902!) I spotted a fabric store across the street on the left side. Another fabric store is located on the left side in the street that the 373 (to Castelo) and 714 (to Outurela) busses leave Praca da Figueira from (I tried to find the street name on the map but I am not sure which one it is). We did enter this fabric store but I thought it didn’t have very interesting fabrics so we left quickly. A bit more down this road there is also a yarn store.

Coimbra: There is a yarn store in the R. Joaquim Antonio de Aguiar. When you come from the Largo Da Sé Velha it will be located on your left side.

Viseu: Simply walk down the R. Dr. Luis Ferreira and you’ll encounter at least 3 stores selling fabric (two of these also sell other things but they clearly had fabric displayed in their windows) and 1 store selling yarn.

And I’ll leave you with some more tiles to ogle. These are probably my favourites. I found them in the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velho in Coimbra. They are at least several centuries old. In the early sixteen hundreds the part of the monastery where these tiles are located flooded every year. They even built another floor in the church and turned one of the upper story windows into a new door so they could continue using the church for a couple more decades until they build a new monastery a bit higher up a hill. Considering all that, I think these tiles are still in pretty good shape!

Portuguese tiles 2