Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stitching Week - Making your own designs and templates

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Making Templates

It's always nice to have a design that is custom made for a particular project and sometimes it hard to find a template that matches the theme or style of the project you are working on. This is where making your own templates comes in handy. Especially if you come up with a hand drawn design that you want to use over and over. Instead of trying to recreate the design, you can have a template already on hand.

Making your own templates are also great for those who want to draw their own designs but aren't yet comfortable with drawing them directly onto your project. 

There are two ways easy ways to make your own templates.

Cardstock Template

• First you will need to cut a piece of cardstock down to the size you want your design to be. It makes it so much easier when you can get an idea of how big or small your design needs to be. This will keep you from drawing and erasing over and over because the design is too small or too big.

• Usually after I've drawn my design I cut as close to the edge of the design as I can without actually cutting on it. Since you can't see through the cardstock, like you can with stitching templates, this will make it easier to place your template where you want the stitching to go on your project.

• I recommend using a removable adhesive to the back of the template before you place it to pierce the holes. With a clear stitching template you can see if you are shifting the template and move it back in place. That's a lot harder to see with a cardstock template. The removable adhesive will keep it from slipping and when you are done you just rub your finger over the adhesive to remove it from your project.

Transparency Templates

Transparency templates are easier to use than a cardstock template and you get a finished result similar to stitching templates you can buy. They aren't as thick but they get the job the done! Plus they are stronger than paper and will last longer.

• To make a template you will follow the same steps for creating a cardstock template but instead piercing the holes on the transparency.

• I use transparencies from an office supply store that are made for overhead projectors (the kind teachers use).

• After you pierce the holes on the transparency, use a black marker (I like Sharpies) and connect the pierced holes so you can see the design.



"Our Santa Visit Gone Bad" by Allison Davis
Supplies - Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned paper: BasicGrey; Alphabet stickers: Doodlebug and SEI; Stickers: 7Gypsies; Chipboard star and ribbon: unknown

After I made the big Christmas tree from strips of ribbon I wanted to add some garland to it that wouldn't get completely lost in all the colors. Stitching was a great option for that!

Usually I would have just hand drawn my garland and pierced the holes on the line but that wasn't an option with ribbon. So I made a template instead. I cut a piece of cardstock the same size as the ribbon tree and drew the garland on it. Then I laid the cardstock tree on top of the ribbon tree and pierced the holes.

Hand Drawn Designs

Drawing your own designs is the perfect solution for having a stitched design that is custom made to fit the theme of your layout. Plus you have endless possibilities.

Drawing Tips:

• Make sure you are using a good pencil and have a great eraser on hand. I prefer the white soft erasers. They remove pencil lines with ease.

• Use a light pressure as you are drawing. If you push down hard and are tense it will show in your design.

• Use light, small strokes and sketch your design. If I am drawing a circle I don't try to draw it in one motion. I use small strokes and work my way around in a circle. With one motion I end up with a lopsided or odd shape. Slowly working around with small strokes I'm able to see where I'm going off track and correct it.

• Have something nearby to use for inspiration. If you are trying to draw a flower, it helps to have a flower similar to the one you want to make that you can look at and base your design off of. I always use Google to search for free clip art or pictures of something similar to want I want to make.


"Little Girls" by Robbie Herring
Supplies Used - Prima Marketing AnnaLee Collection paper, chipboard, rub-ons. Prima Marketing Flowers and packaging. Misc. Butterfly, ribbon and pearl string.

For the flourish stitching on this layout, I just drew the flourish lightly with a pencil. I then used a piercing tool to make the holes and stitched. For a more intricate or small design, I usually choose to use only 2 strands of floss.


You may have noticed that the leaves on the bottom of the design have stitches on them. The leaves were hand-cut, inked and then stitched. I like to do this occasionally to add a bit more stitched interest or to pull a color further into the design.

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"My Sweet Love" by Jill Sarginson
Supplies Used - Cardstock: Bazzill Basics; Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye; Floss: Anchor; Letters: My Mind's Eye, stitches; Tools: Apron Lace border punch, Creative Memories heart punch, edge distresser; Templates: Bazzill Basics In Stitch'z Cardstock Stitching Template 8x8 Circle

This page has a stitched frame around the top layer. Stitching in a line is pretty simple - you can use a ruler and trace a line onto your project, piercing it along the way. Your stitching will cover up any lines so don't worry about that. In this instance, I used the Bazzill Basics In Stitch'z Cardstock Stitching Template 8x8 Circles template - as it comes with a little gem - the outside is a template for a big square or straight lines! It is one of my most used tools.

I also stitched a heart on this page. In this case, I simply drew a heart, pierced randomly along the lines and stitched. Stitching an embellishment allows it to pop out from the page - really draws attention to it.

I also stitched some of the title - I hand drew mine on and stitched over it but you can use a stencil or chipboard letters to get the same effect.

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"Going Bananas" by Amy Roller
Supplies - Patterned papers: Doodlebug, unknown; Cardstock: Bazzill, Close To My Heart; Stickers: Doodlebug, unknown; Thread; Thickers

This is one of my favorite layouts of Caden. I loved being able to make the main embellishment for it myself. I decided to make a banana with hand stitching and paper. I actually hand drew the banana and tried to make it look as close to the banana on the pattern paper.


I used one of Allison's sketches for the layout and added in a few extra embellishments like the tree limb across the top.

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"Got Dirt" by Shari Thurman
Supply List - Patterned Paper: Imaginisce; Tools: Cricut and We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper; Ink: Colorbox Chalk Ink; 3D adhesive: Thermoweb; Other: Cardstock and embroidery thread


Notice the footprints on this layout. I stitched them with embroidery thread. I used a pencil and marked where I wanted the footprints to be and then pierced my paper before stitching. I had fun adding that little detail.

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"Winter Wonderland" by Allison Davis
Supplies - Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned paper: unknown; Chipboard snowflakes: Bazzill; paint: Making Memories; Brads: Doodlebug; flocking powder: Doodlebug; Alphabets: Doodlebug, American Crafts, and Making Memories

I wanted it too look like there were snowflakes falling down my layout so to create movement I add hand drawn, loopy lines from the top of the page to the snowflake.

Using Other Supplies for Templates

There are so many products that work great as stitching templates and a lot of times you have two different ways to use them: You can trace around them and use the outline or trace around them, draw a line in the middle of the design, erase the outline, and use the middle line for stitching.

There are tons of products you can use too:

• chipboard shapes
• chipboard alphabets
• die cuts
• border punches - punch out the design and then trace around it.
• shape punches

You can also use:

• computer fonts - print the word you want on a piece of paper and use it as a template.
• designs on patterned papers



"It Pours" by Carolyn Wolff

To create the scallop border along the bottom of my page, I cut a border out of cardstock using a die-cut machine (Accucut) and then I placed it on my page and pierced the holes using it as a guide.


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"Shooting Practice" by Allison Davis
Supplies - Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned paper: We R Memory Keepers; Alphabets: unknown; Word stickers: Making Memories and K & Co

I was really having trouble finding an alphabet style to go with this page. I was getting frustrated until I realized I had hundreds of fonts that I could use as a template and then hand stitch the title. I printed the word the size I wanted it to be on my page and then cut around it. Then I placed it on the page and pierced the holes. I replaced the two "o"s with targets to help support the theme of my layout.
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4 comments:

dawn said...

These are all amazing layouts that show your stitching talents. I love them all and excited to see the variety's. Thanks again Allison for all the tips and the samples to go with them. It's been such an awesome week here. Way to go ladies.

Paper Doll said...

I'm lovin this weeks layouts!

Amy said...

Awesome layouts again ladies!!

Robbie, I too saved that packaging, just holding out for just the right page to use it on! Your page is just beautiful...I have all boys and am just dying to make a page of my own like that some day...

Shari, those dinosaur tracks are adorable! Will have to scraplift that one!

Allison, I just knew you'd have your "fall" layout w/ the stitching and picture collage in it on here! It was a great one too!
I am loving this week!

COScraps said...

I love all the tips today... the Lo's are great.
Thanks for another great day!