DIY Pen Pal Gifts: How to Make An Easy Embroidered Card

Making an embroidered card can be a fun way to personalize a card for anyone! Whether you make this for your pen pal or your other friends and family, this hand-embroidered card will make anyone’s day. This super simple technique is great to use for birthday cards, holiday cards, or fun pen pal gifts. It’s easily customizable and you can choose to mix and match your stitch types to create a beautifully unique card.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

flatlay of embroidery supplies, needles, thread, scissors, and a pencil

Supplies you will need for this DIY craft project are:

  • Card stock or the paper of your choice
  • Pencil & eraser
  • Embroidery thread
  • Needle

Your card stock can be any size you prefer, mine in this tutorial is approximately 5.25″ x 3.9″, which fits comfortably in an A4 envelope. I also have embroidery thread from previous projects, but any thread you have can work. If you are using paper that might be thicker than card stock, your needle may need to be thicker. I’ve seen some great designs on brown kraft paper, colored construction paper, and even paper notebook covers.

Step 2: Draw Out Your Image

a binder clip holding a card stock paper that says "you are soy awesome"

If you’re confident free-handing your design, then you can skip this step. However, I recommend drawing out your design with pencil to visualize what your finished piece will look like. (Using a pencil is better than a pen just in case you deviate from the guidelines later on when stitching.) Another option is to print out a design, lay it over your card stock, and poke holes through the printer paper with a pen to outline your image. This is a great technique to use if you don’t want to draw out your image. For the sake of this tutorial, I’ve chosen to only embroider the words, leaving the main image in a graphic style.

Step 3: Plan Your Embroidery Pattern & Colors

a flat lay of an embroidery box thread full of different colored threads

Next, you’ll want to think about the look of your card. There are tons of different stitching styles you can choose from to create your embroidery. While I’m no embroidery expert, here’s an extensive list of 15 great tutorials by Needle N’ Thread breaking down different stitches and the way they look when it’s done. You can really go all out and find what looks the best for your drawing! I’ve chosen to use black as my main color and light green as an accent color. The stitches I’ve chosen to use are the split stitch for the black letters and the stem stitch for the green letters.

Step 4: Stitch Away!

a completed colorful card stock card that has embroidered stitching in black and green

After you’ve picked your colors and stitches, it’s time to begin embroidering! Take your time with this section because the paper material can rip if it’s not sturdy enough or if you poke your stitches too close together. You’ll also want to try and keep the stitches even in length for an overall even look. Here are a few techniques that I’ve found helpful while stitching my card stock.

Some key tips to keep in mind:

  • The paper is stiffer than fabric, and can bend/crease under the pressure of your needle poking through. To prevent major creasing, use your fingers to hold close to the needle’s entry point. This will help stabilize the paper and keep it as straight as possible.
  • If you can’t see through the paper, place a light source behind the paper to illuminate the backside. This will help you see through the paper to make sure your stitches are following your guidelines. I’ve poked out of my guidelines so many times haha!
  • Watch your fingers when pushing the needle from the front through to the back!!! I’ve definitely poked myself multiple times!
  • Don’t worry about not following the drawing exactly as it is. You can adjust your stitches and see what looks best – that’s why using a pencil is better than a pen!

Step 5: Knot Your Work & Be Proud!

a flatlay image of an embroidery thread box, binder clips, and a card stock card

Once you’re finished stitching, you’ll want to make sure all of the threads are knotted properly in the back. You can also mount this piece onto a separate piece of paper to hide the stitching, but I personally like seeing the raw threads. Your DIY embroidered card is now finished and ready to be sent off to your pen pal or gifted to your friends!

With this technique, I know I’ll definitely be doing this more for birthday cards, holiday cards, etc! If you’re looking for more DIY pen pal gifts, take a look at this DIY jigsaw puzzle tutorial and wow your pen pals. I hope this was helpful and you learned something new. Can’t wait to see what you’ve all created~

x Leslie

Pin it & save this DIY for later!

flat lay of an embroidered card of soysauce, sushi, and chopsticks with the saying you are soy awesome

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