Hand stitching on scrapbook pages, greeting cards, and other paper crafting projects remains very popular. You can find instructions for hand stitching and even free hand stitching design patterns here on About.com Scrapbooking. The new Sew Easy from We R Memory Keepers makes it much faster and easier to add hand stitching to your paper crafts. This Cool Tool for Scrapbooking puts a piercing design head at the end of a rolling handle so that punching stitching holes down an entire sheet of 12 inch cardstock can very literally be done in seconds. The Sew Stamper gives you the look of stitching without the time it takes to do the sewing. The steps below will show you how to use each of these tools. Remember that you can click on any of the photos on the left to see them larger and in greater detail. They will pop up in a new window so that you can easily click that window closed and continue reading the article.
The Sew Easy Starter Kit from We R Memory Keepers contains 1 handle, 5 different stitch piercer design heads, 1 8x8 inch foam mat, and 8 colors of floss. The suggested retail price is $29.99 for the kit. There are currently 15 interchangeable heads for the tool, however the five that come with the starter kit give you a really nice variety. They include: small scallop, daisies, straight stitch, small loops, and a star burst design. The heads each attach to the handle creating a smooth-rolling piercing tool. The foam mat allows the piercing points on each design to easily sink through the paper into the mat. I first brought this tool to your attention in 2010 as one of my pick for Favorite New Products of CHA. Since then, the line has been expanded and new this year is a tool that allows you to roll the stitching heads in perfect circles - Sew Easy Circles.
2. Attach the Head to the Handle
To get started, you will select which design you want to work with and put that head on the tool handle. With a simple quarter twist the head will release and then you can put a new one on.
3. Roll to Pierce the Paper
Place the foam mat under your cardstock or paper. Using gentle pressure, roll the head down the paper where you want to add the stitching holes. You may want to use a ruler guide the tool as you roll if you want a straight line down the paper. Make sure that you hold the tool level so that all of the holes are pierced as you roll. You will want to complete the piercing in one firm pass. If you try to re-roll, the holes will not line up and you will make a mess.
4. Stitch with Floss Through the Holes
Now that you have the holes for your design pierced in your paper, it is time to begin stitching. If you are using standard 6-strand floss, you will have the option of separating it and using any number of strands to change the thickness of your stitched line. For the card, shown below, I used a full 6 strands of floss. The 8 colors that come with the starter kit include the colors of the rainbow plus pink and white.
5. Stitching on a Greeting Card
On this Valentine's Day, Sweetest Day, or Anniversary Card idea, I used the small scallop design that came with the starter kit to run a line of stitching along the bottom edge. For complete, step by step instructions for making this card be sure to read Valentine's Day Greeting Card Idea Using the Sew Easy Cool Tool for Scrapbookers.
6. The Sew Stamper
Hand stitching on your scrapbook pages and paper crafting projects adds texture and interesting design, however it does take time. If you simply do not have the time needed to place each of the floss stitches, then perhaps you would prefer the Sew Stamper, also from We R Memory Keepers. The Sew Stamper uses the same handle as the Sew Easy. It also features interchangeable heads with different designs. The difference is that these heads are actually pre-inked stampers.
7. Open the Stamper Head
Each Sew Stamper head has a sliding cover that keeps the stamper from drying out. You slide this cover back and it snaps in place to keep it open while you roll the design on the paper. Use very gentle pressure and roll quickly to avoid over-inking in any one spot on the paper, especially the first few times you use the head.