How to Make Sewing-Machine-Stitched Greeting Cards With Handmade Fabric

Updated July 20, 2017

Create handmade cards "wow" the recipient with your creative flair. Use found objects and fabric around the house to build your design; then sew it onto your greeting card for an artistic, layered effect. From incredibly simple with just a touch of fabric and stitching to elaborately detailed--the time you invest will be evident. One thing is certain: your little piece of card-art will be one the recipient isn't likely to throw away.

Find an assortment of fabrics in colours you like. On your paper, draw a design you wish to re-create--simple shapes work best. Cut the paper to use as a pattern. Pin the pieces to your fabrics and cut. Lay out the pieces patchwork style onto your card to create the image of your design; trim if necessary.

Pin your design to the card, being careful all the fabric is as flat as possible on the card stock and no fabric is bunching.

Use a wide-spaced stitch, like a zigzag, and sew through the layers of fabric and card around the edges of each fabric piece so it is secured to the card. It is best to sew fewer than three layers of paper or cloth together at a time.

Sketch out the greeting lightly onto your card using pencil. Cursive works best.

Sew the greeting following your outline, carefully turning the card to follow the curves of each letter. After you complete a word, snip the thread and move to the next word; and so on until the greeting is complete.


Cursive works best for your sewn greeting because you can run the machine continuously for each word. Add buttons, ribbons, yarn or embroidery thread to your design and sew, creating another layer of interest. Sew a border around your card if you wish to add further detail. Try using various colours of fabrics to piece together your design and create a homemade fabric effect. Use a variety of complimentary thread colours and layer your sewing onto the design in ways that add detail. For example, for a flower made of pink fabric, try sewing veins on each petal in a darker pink and sew a stem and leaves in green.


If using a bifold card, make sure the card is completely open and flat before you begin sewing so as to avoid sewing through both layers. When using your sewing machine on paper for the first time, run a test with a scrap of card stock or construction paper first.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabrics
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Greeting cards
  • Sewing pins
  • Threads
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About the Author

Anne Wilson is a writer and editor covering business and finance news, politics, issues affecting women and minorities, health, gardening, fashion and the environment. Most recently an associate editor for a nationally acclaimed magazine, Wilson also worked for The Associated Press and as a daily news reporter for several years. She has lived in California her entire life.