So, a good friend of mine has a birthday coming up. I had a card on my Target list, along with about 4 other cards I needed to pick up, a birthday gift for someone else, a warmer coat for Baby Girl (because YES, IT IS FINALLY FALL) and some flossers for Big Boy. (Seriously, how do you floss kids’ teeth without flossers? I tried regular floss when the flossers ran out, and I almost lost my mind.)
I wasn’t pleased with the Target card selection. In the Woman’s Birthday section, there were lots with allegedly humorous comments on dating, shopping, and drinking margaritas. It wasn’t what I was looking for. And the blank cards weren’t cutting it either. I’ve made cards before, just using paper, but I had just seen something on Pinterest about using your fabric scraps, so I thought, SOLD! Let’s get out of this crazy place!
So, turns out I don’t have a lot of fabric scraps. Sure, I’ve got some t-shirts, some cute red and white gingham for a dress I want to make for Baby Girl, and some fluorescent pink satin leftover from wraps I made for a belly-dancing baby shower I once threw with my book club friends. (Yes, you read that right.) None of those scream “Happy Birthday, Dear Friend” so I thought the idea was a bust.
But then, lurking in the corner, I saw some scrapbook paper. (OK, let’s pause a minute to enjoy this Scrapbooking Calendar. I never used it as a calendar – HONEST! At the time, I was really trying to become a scrapbooker, and I thought having so much paper to choose from would be great. And you can see that I haven’t scrapbooked since 2004. The calendar’s subtitle is my favorite: “Don’t throw yesterday away…Just Crop It!” OK, moving on.)
I worked backward from the size of envelopes I wanted to use.
I created the base of the card with white cardstock, cutting an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet down to 6 1/4″ x 9 1/4″. I folded it in half and used an old ID card to press it down to make a tight fold.
Next I played around with the scrapbook paper – you could cut it out in a decorative shape, but I went simple and just used a rectangle slightly smaller than the size of the folded card. I used double stick tape to adhere the paper to the cardstock. I picked out some coordinating thread and prepared my machine to sew. I used a 3/8″ “seam allowance” to run a stitch around the inside of the scrapbook paper.
Problem: I couldn’t stitch in a straight line. (No, there weren’t margaritas involved.) Every time I started down a new side, the paper seemed to shift over and create a wonky diagonal line instead of a straight one. I kept sewing, trying to figure out what was going on. And then it hit me.
OK, confession time. When I was doing 31 Days, the first sewing project I completed required using several layers of fabric, thick elastic, and a zipper. I just stitched through everything like it was nothing. And I bent my sewing machine’s needle. Like, REALLY bent it. But I was in a hurry, trying to finish the skirt, so I took the needle off, tried to bend it back into place, and just kept going. And it was fine. I completed every single project in October with a bent needle. I know, Sewing Professionals, BLASPHEMY! But it really didn’t seem to make a difference on what I was sewing. (I’m sure Molly would be able to tell in an instant.)
But now, trying to sew on paper, it was VERY obvious. And the card looked terrible. So I scrapped that one, went off to find another needle, and started over. (No photos of the scrapped one – it’s been Operation Getting Things Done around here lately, so I’m trying to get rid of unnecessary things quickly – too quickly this time – I’d love for you to see the wonkiness and laugh at me. Well, on second thought, let Operation Getting Things Done proceed as usual.)
So after changing out the needle, I created another card base with cardstock and stuck the new paper on top. I ran it through the machine and made perfectly straight lines.
I liked it, but it didn’t seem finished.
So I ran it back through the machine, this time using a zigzag stitch on the top and the bottom edges. Much better.
I left the threads hanging rather long, and I pulled them both to the back through the final stitch hole and tied them off. I had to do this on all four corners.
And there you go – a DIY birthday card. There’s so much paper left in my “Easy Scrapbooking Calendar” that you might be getting one of these cards any day now. Check your mail box!