Paper sewing is easy once you know our top five tips to get you started. Once you realise that it’s just a process of punching holes and joining the papers together with thread, just like sewing fabric, it becomes very simple. So take a look at our guide to this creative technique that can be applied across a whole host of crafts, from card making to embroidery!
Paper Sewing: Our top tips
1. The first thing you need to do is get your sewing machine ready to sew paper. Begin by changing your machine needle to one that has seen better days. Paper sewing blunts your needle so it makes sense to start off with one that’s already a little worn.
2. Next you’ll need to set the stitch length and, if you’re using a zig-zag stitch, the stitch width too. The further apart your stitches, the less likely the paper is to tear and rip whilst you’re sewing. So when it comes to paper sewing, the bigger the stitch the better.
3. The type of paper is important too. A very thin and flimsy paper will be fragile to work with, so opt for a slightly thicker paper or card stock to ensure your design turns out the way you want it to.
4. Pinning and tacking fabric together is essential to making sure your stitches stay on track. When it comes to paper, you’ll need to be even more accurate as once you’ve punched a whole in the paper it can’t be undone. A good alternative is paperclips or bull dog grips. Just make sure to put something protective underneath the bulldog grip so it doesn’t mark your paper.
5. Remember, you won’t be able to turn the paper the right side out afterwards, so always sew on the right side. This means the wrong side of the stitches will show the paper punches underneath, so you might want to disguise this with a piece of paper glued on as backing.
6. When sewing curves on your paper, stop sewing at the beginning of the curve and, with the needle positioned down, lift up the presser foot, rotate the paper and drop the presser foot down before beginning to stitch again.
This is a great technique to try out with children if you’re trying to teach them some sewing basics – after all, it’s far cheaper to experiment on paper rather than fabric!