Crafts Embroidery on Paper

Paper embroidery is a vintage needlework craft that's become popular again. Its endearing style is perfect for farmhouse decor, or for making unique greeting cards with a primitive but delicate feel.

Embroidery on paper is especially favored for making unique scrapbook embellishments, handmade bookmarks or greeting cards.

The paper embroidery craft technique is similar to embroidery on fabric. You use a needle and thread to stitch along the lines of a design, only your "canvas" is sturdy paper with a design printed lightly on the back.

Depending on the thickness of the paper you choose for your paper embroidery you might need to prepunch holes for your design. You can use a papercrafting awl to do this.

Choose medium weight paper that's got some "tooth" or fiber strengh, and a very sharp needle - size 75/11. You need to use a needle that's thin enough to pierce the paper and also get through it while pulling the threads through the hole it makes without buckling the paper.


When selecting your threads, go for finer weights of silk, metallic or cotton floss. You can use double or single strands of floss so long as they fit through the eye of the needle and you can work the paper without tearing or bending it.

You'll need to separate individual strands from a 6-strand length of floss to work your designs on paper. You can use specialty threads like metallic thread, upholstery thread or heavy duty button thread for paper embroidery projects.

Try combining different paper craft decorative techniques with your paper embroidery to add more artistic effects.

Add a bit of chalk or glitter embellishment applied after the piece is done, or incorporate buttons, beads and sequins into the stitching as you go along. You can also glue on bits of paper or fabric in side the stitching lines before or after you do the embroidery.

Another decorative paper embroidery technique is to punch holes in part of the design using an ice pick but not embroider them.

This will give a dimensional effect to the design and can create a lacy pattern visible when you hold the piece up to light. Experiment with your paper embroidery designs and enjoy this old-new needlework craft!

Free Paper Embroidery Patterns

Simple outline coloring pictures can be used as embroidery patterns for paper or fabric embroidery.

Visit the our design coloring pages section to find hundreds of artist-created top quality line art drawing resources for adult coloring and paper embroidery crafts.