Using Hand Stitching on Your Scrapbook Pages

A How To Guide

denim stitching Hand Stitching Scrapbook Pages

Serious scrapbook enthusiast are always looking for ways to spruce up scrapbook pages. We want a touch of elegance. We seek things that may be just a little different.

Consider adding some hand stitching to your work. Stitching not only can add that special look, but can work in a functional way to attach elements to scrapbook pages.


  • Use simple stitching layout patterns.
    • The Kiss (“Keep It Simple Stitchers”)
  • Use a heavy paper or card stock when stitching . . . they hold up better from the stitching process.
  • Select appropriate stitching fibers for the project–consider the size of the layout being stitched and the size of the fiber (floss vs yarn or raffia).
  • Pre-punch your stitching holes.
    • make the holes only as big as the fiber you are using to stitch with
    • you need an odd number of holes to begin and finish the stitching on the same side.


  • Scrapbook Paper – preferably card stock
  • Stitching Fibers:
    • Thread, waxy flax, ribbon, jute, embroidery thread, yarn and raffia work well.
    • We recommend you pick fiber colors that best accent your design and page.
  • Needle – the size required for the fiber being used. We recommend using needles with large eyes to allow easy threading of your preferred fiber.
    • Needles can dull when used to pierce paper — don’t using them for sewing fabric after punching paper.

Piercing tools:  (Select those needles needed for your particular project)

    • Use a piercing tool appropriate for the size of the fiber you are using for your stitching:
    • Use a backer that is stiff enough, yet will allow piercing such as a sheet of Styrofoam, cork board, a pillow or cushion or, if you have one, a Coluzzle, or a Bazzill In Stitch’z Piercing Mat.
  • Small holes (pin sized) – Use a straight pin, small needle or a bent safety pin.
  • Medium holes – Use a larger needle, push pin or a paper piercing tool.
  • Large holes – Use a paper piercing tool or a piercing bee.
  • X-Tra large holes – Use a 1/8 inch hole punch.
  • Ruler
  • Stencils – an option if you plan to do a lot of stitching and want an array of designs to use.


Once you decide how much stitching, and where on your page layout you want the stitching, you can begin.

Your first step will be to create a design free hand where you want your stitching. A light pencil design will allow you to erase your unwanted lines later in the process. You can trace around a design that is simple. Cut-outs and die cuts make good tracing designs. Straight lined designs can be done using your ruler.

If you don’t want to “free-hand” a design then we suggest you use a paper piercing stencil. You could also use dotted border stamps that have uniform spaced dots to follow.

You need to mark your free hand design where you want your piercing. 1/8 inch spacing works well. Make dots where you want a piercing.

Piercing tools like the CutterBee will give you uniform piercings.

With your design lightly sketched and piercing dots noted, you can begin the piercing process.
(NOTE: Once a piercing has taken place it’s hard to replace or fill the punched hole–so “think twice and pierce once.”)

Once your design is pierced you need to erase your pencil marks. Erase the pencil marks before stitching.

With all of your prep work and layout done you can begin the stitching . . . the fun part!

Start from the back of our page. DO NOT put a knot in your thread or fiber, but fasten it with a dob of glue or a piece of tape. You’ll want to do the same on your finish or last stitch. End your stitching on the same side of your card stock as you started.

backstitch illustration 150x60 Hand Stitching Scrapbook PagesWe recommend using the “back stitch” to complete your work. The back stitch most closely resembles the straight line machine stitch. You work from right to left. Starting with a hole (piercing) from the back of your page insert your needle up through the hole bring your needle back up through the second hole to the left of the first hole, and back down through the hole to the right. (See illustration insert.) Remember to finish off your stitching by gluing or taping your thread or fiber to the back of your page.

Finish your layout by adding the other element and photographs to your page.

You may also want to try your hand at “Machine Stitching.”

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Ron on January 1st, 2009 | File Under Ideas | No Comments -