Guest Post: Stitching on Pages

Please welcome frequent contributor Lisa Truesdell as this week’s guest blogger!

Hi everyone! I’m excited to have a chance to visit the SBE blog and talk about one of my favorite techniques—stitching on my pages. I have a hard time considering a project done until it’s been run through my sewing machine. I get a lot of comments from people saying that they love the look, but are a bit intimidated by the thought of actually TRYING it. I’m hoping I can help put some of those fears to rest.

When I bought my first sewing machine five years ago, the last time I had touched one was in seventh grade home ec class. To be honest, I had no clue what I was doing! I quickly learned that I had nothing to worry about. Here are a few tips that will have you sewing on your pages like a pro in no time:

  • Practice on scrap paper. The best way to get a feel for your machine is to use it. A LOT! Using scrap paper lets you try out different stitches and speeds without the worry of messing up a project you’ve spent time putting together.
  • Use a neutral color bobbin. I hate refilling and changing bobbins with a passion. There’s no way to avoid changing them when they’re empty, but I like to refill 3-4 bobbins at a time with white or tan thread so I have plenty on hand. I use a neutral bobbin on all my projects, no matter what color my top thread is – you can’t see it from the front, and it’s a great time saver.
  • Avoid sewing through adhesive. Sewing on paper won’t damage your machine, but sewing through a Glue Dot can really gum up the works. When you’re using adhesive, think about where you’re planning to add stitching and keep it away from that area. If you DO end up going through adhesive and get a sticky needle or presser foot, a little UnDu or Goo Gone can take care of it.
  • Check your needle. Paper will dull your needle faster than fabric. If you start having any problems, changing your needle is the best place to start troubleshooting.
  • Keep your machine out. My scraproom is tiny, but when I organized my workspace, I made sure that I had room for my sewing machine. It’s much easier to add a little stitching to your pages if you don’t have to take the time to get your machine out when you want to use it.
  • Pencil it out. Whether you’re sewing a straight line or a more complicated shape, having a light pencil line to follow will help keep you on track. Just erase once you’ve finished stitching.

Once you’re comfortable with your sewing machine, you’ll find there’s no end to the ways you can use it on your pages. Here are some of my favorite ways to add a little stitching to a project:

On this page, I united the squares of patterned paper along the right side by stitching through them, resulting in a quilted look. I also stitched down my title letters. I’ve found that you can stitch through almost anything—chipboard, veneer, letter stickers, even epoxy letters like these. Just go slow. I used white thread on this page, so the stitching is subtle.

The lines of zigzag stitching on the music patterned paper gave me a place to add lots of buttons. Stitching also makes a perfect border, both for the outside of the page and along the photo.

I wanted a bolder look with my stitching on this page, so I used yellow and aqua thread. Your stitching doesn’t have to be all straight lines—I made a funky zigzag along the left side by turning my paper back and forth as I sewed. I added some stitching journaling lines as the bottom. After borders, this is probably my most used stitching technique.

I hope these ideas and tips give you the push you need to start stitching on your pages! If you want to see more of my work (and more ideas for sewing on pages, you can visit me at my blog

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13 Responses to “Guest Post: Stitching on Pages”

  1. Great tips! Thank you.

  2. Awesome article, Lisa! So inspiring.

  3. I love this look and you have great tips. Now I just need that sewing machine! :)

  4. Thanks!! I need a sewing machine!!

  5. I have two machines and I sew as often as I can….love it…

  6. Fantastic examples and explanation! Great technique – I am less intimidated now (an yes, it was home ec…)

  7. wonderful tips. wonderful layouts. thanks!

  8. This article helped answer some key questions for me. Thanks!

  9. I found this article one of the best that I have read in a long time. I am one of those people who have the tools but are afraid to use them for fear of failing. I would love to try sewing but, to be honest, I am not sure I know how to thread the machine anymore. You inspire me to try.

  10. You have encouraged me to get my machine out, bobbins ready and use my ‘\”stash” of thread!

  11. very helpful tips! thanks lisa!

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  13. [...] I used to be afraid to stitch on my pages, but it’s really simple! (Take these cues from a past SBE blog post by Lisa Truesdell to help eliminate your fear.) Instead of using the baker’s twine, I ran a simple stitch across [...]