If there’s one thing we have a lot of in this house, it’s art. The kids love to paint and make collages, so we are always swimming in paper. The problem is, not everything is fridge or frame worthy so it just sits in a pile collecting dust. In the past, I have cut their creations into 3×3 squares and mounted them on little wooden canvases to create cool abstract art.
This time, I wanted to try something new.
Several (SEVERAL) years ago, I came across an artisan who had sewn bits of paper onto notecards to create some really beautiful and unique stationary. That idea has lived in a very back corner of my mind without much fanfare. I didn’t really have a sewing machine that I could use and just kind of let it go.
That is until the very end of last year when I came across a really cool account on Instagram that was making junk journals with a … sewing machine. HELLO GORGEOUS. And also hello idea that’s been tucked away all these years.
I finally had a sewing machine I could use and the courage the give it a try.
So I grabbed a pile of orphaned artwork, grabbed my 1-inch circle punch* and got to work punching out circles. We also happened to have a stack of notecards that we couldn’t use, so I cut off the front half and was left with a set of flat notecards and matching envelopes.
After some experimenting, I found that gluing on the circles first and then stitching them on with the sewing machine was the best approach, otherwise the paper moved around too much. I also found that I had to let the glue dry completely or it messed with the sewing machine and made the paper rip.
I even to play with the fancy stitches on my machine, but that didn’t seem to work either. The paper doesn’t move like fabric, making it look really wonky. It even put a hole in some of the paper. Whomp, whomp.
The entire process of making a big batch dot notecards took me an hour, including drying time of the glue and whipping it through the sewing machine. I’m really thrilled with how they turned out and can see myself giving sets away for the holidays, teacher gifts, and even as housewarming gifts.
How to make DIY Dot Notecards
- Blank Notecards — any size will work.
- Old artwork, pretty scrapbooking paper, junk mail, or thin boxes that look interesting!
- Scissors or a 1-inch circle punch*
- Glue sticks*
- Sewing Machine and coordinating thread
*this is an affiliate link
- Grab some of your kids artwork, pretty scrap booking or decorative paper, or even recycling or junk mail that you find interesting and cut it out into shapes. I used a 1-inch circle punch for uniform looking pieces, but scissors or a paper cutter would work just as well.
- Sort your dots into sets. For the notecards I was using, 3-6 worked best.
- Glue your pieces to one side or the top of your card and let fully dry. If you don’t, it will gunk up your sewing machine, and you definitely don’t want that.
- Using a sewing machine, stitch a line through your decorative paper. Make sure to back stitch at the beginning and end so it doesn’t unravel.
- Write a note and send it off to a friend or loved one!
This activity was part of Project: 52, a year-long project where I get to experiment with one new creative endeavor that tickles my fancy each week for an entire year. You can read more about it here.