All-occasion cards to make and keep on-hand.
Have you ever wanted to make a personalized, one-of-a-kind, just-because card for someone you love? Well, alright. Today’s the day. You will need heavy card stock, a sewing machine (or a thumbtack and some patience), sewing thread, a sewing needle, a small metal crochet hook (I used a size 9), crochet/tatting thread, and a scissors. A ruler and an x-acto are optional.
There are several ways to go about adding a crochet border onto paper. This particular method has four steps: cutting the card, punching the holes, sewing the blanket stitch, then crocheting the edging. Please keep in mind that the heavier your card stock is, the easier this whole process will be (you can even cut out some squares from cereal boxes or what have you). In these photos, I used a pretty flimsy stock because I already had some pre-scored blank greeting cards.
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So first, prepare your cardboard or card stock. You can have a flat rectangle (to send as a post card), or make a folded card. If you are planning to send your card in an envelope, it helps to adjust your card size/shape to fit inside.
If you are making a folded card, as I have done here, I suggest you cut some of the card edge off of the front flap (where you will crochet your edging). This is so your crochet border doesn’t extend way over the boundaries of the card, and this will also lend a more finished look. This step is critical if you are sending your card in an envelope (you know, so it all fits in there nice).
Next, you will punch your holes. Set your sewing machine to a very long stitch length. “Sew” a nice straight line along the edge of your card (you won’t have thread in your machine – you’re just using it to make even perforations). The heavier your stock is, the closer to the edge you can punch. Because my stock was so flimsy, I sewed at a quarter-inch in. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can just punch holes by hand with a thumb tack.
Now, you’ll make a “base” for your crochet work by sewing a blanket stitch along the edge of your card.
Make triple sure that you have what you think is way more than enough thread to work with – better to have too much than not enough. To finish, tie a fat knot as close to the back of your card as you can. You can tape the end down or dab it with a little glue if you want to be extra-careful. Again, my card was very thin, so I used a double-thickness of sewing thread to sew the stitch. You can also use embroidery floss or some of your crochet thread.
Time to start crocheting your border – almost. First, plan ahead. Count how many “bridges” of blanket stitch that are along the edge of your card. Now, figure out how many base stitches your chosen border requires. This will help you create a fairly accurate first row of crochet. For example, many stitch patterns say, “make a base chain in a multiple of six plus three.” So, your border will need a base that is a multiple of six stitches. The plus three (or whatever) is usually a “turning chain,” and counts as your first stitch, but you won’t be needing this for your card border. So, say you have 19 bridges and your border stitch is a multiple of six. If you make 3 stitches into each bridge, you’ll end up with 57 stitches. Add three more along the way to bring you to 60 stitches, and you’ll have your multiple of six.
After you have completed your crochet base, just continue to turn your work and crochet your chosen border like normal. As usual, when you’re all done, weave in your ends. You won’t be able to block your crochet edging, but you can gently pinch and stretch your work to make it lie more flat. That’s it! Now you can decorate the front with stamps, drawings, or calligraphy.
I have some links for how to do blanket stitch, and several links to some border patterns here: http://speckless.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/crochet-edged-greeting-cards/