Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Iron Craft Challenge #10 – In Stitches

What can you do with an empty granola bar box, some pretty paper, and a bit of embroidery floss? Why, make a cute little notebook of course! I am such a sucker for sweet little notebooks. I enjoy making lists, taking notes, drawing, and writing in a journal. So I really enjoy different types of notebooks and usually carry one with me. And a pretty little homemade one makes me happy!

nice sturdy food packaging box with a great brown color on the inside
some office printer paper from the recycle bin
a bit of pretty scrapbook papers
some embroidery floss

a simple or hand drawn pattern
sharp knife or an exacto type knife
skinny needle with a large eye
skinny sharp nail
a small hammer

I cut out a petal shape and traced around it to get a nice flower and added a few swirls. I wanted it to look like a reverse applique pattern with the pretty paper peeking through, so after the pattern was drawn I used a sharp knife to cut out the petals and center circle. I did my best to stitch some white pages together and then stitch them to the cover. I think it will hold together just fine. I ended up with about 50 pages front and back, but you could make them fatter with lots more layers of folded paper if you wanted.

A few tips and lessons learned:
  • Make sure your holes are not too close together, the center of my flower is pretty fragile, I'm going to reinforce the back with clear packing tape, or if you don't like to see the back of your stitching you could cover it with another layer of paper
  • Actually measure stuff - I tend to just jump in and do it with out measuring and sometimes things are wonky, but I tend to like wonky
  • Even if you have heavy duty scissors, Don't try to cut through fourteen layers of paper, they shift on you
  • Make sure your nail is sharp, if you've used it a while, get a new one
  • Learn how to do official book binding - I'm going to be searching for easy tutorials
  • Change up how many strands of embroidery floss you use for added effects - I used 4 strands on the orange outline which I think was too many, it almost looses the whole effect of the reverse applique since the holes were so close to the cutout part
  • I discovered some awesome scrapbook inspiration for something very similar - check out this post here: http://kinseygirl.typepad.com/handstitch/2010/05/peekaboo.html
  • We go through lots of boxes, I'll definitely be trying this again
Thanks for visiting,


  1. A lot of work but a really great result.

  2. This is great. I make journals and embroider a teeny bit. You have inspired me to take the craft a bit further!