Friday, June 27, 2014

Kicking a Card up a Notch: Pamphlet Stitch Insert

If you want to take a card to the next level, you can always insert a paper lining. The lining essentially turns a simple card into a (very) simple book, with the main card acting as a cover and the insert acting as pages. The insert is usually slightly smaller than the outside of the card.

In store-bought cards, these inserts are usually "tipped in" to a card...attached to the main card with a narrow strip of adhesive that runs along the fold on the back of the insert. Tipping in is a very simple, tidy way of adding an insert, but if you want to get really fancy, you can sew the insert into the card using an easy, three-hole pamphlet stitch.

Here's how.

  1. A finished card made with heavy card stock
  2. Coordinating thread or twine
  3. Text-weight paper (standard copy paper is fine) measuring 1/8" smaller than card when folded in half
  4. Scrap of text-weight paper the height of the fold of the card and no more than 2" wide
  5. Sewing needle
  6. Little wire-and-metal needle threader thingie (optional but recommended if you're thick-fingered like I am)
  7. Awl (optional)

Start with a finished card and some coordinating thread. You
will see the thread on the finished pamphlet, so you can get as fancy
as you want...metallics, twine, baker's twine, etc.

The insert can be a simple piece of copy paper, or you can coordinate
any light-weight paper to the outside of your decorated card. This piece is
5.25" x 8.25" so that, when folded in half, it will be 1/8" smaller on the
top, bottom, and side than the standard 5.5" x 4.25" card.

Nest the folded insert into the card and open them both. Notice the even
border formed by the card base. The insert looks evenly matted.

You'll need to make a template for poking holes in the card.
This template is 5.5" x 2" and folded in half lengthwise.
I pierced holes 3/4" from the top and bottom, and one in the middle.
I used a ruler to mark these. You may, of course, skip the template and
place the ruler in the card to poke the holes, but if you make a template,
you can use it again and, it's easier to poke clean holes
when you can pick the whole card up and manipulate it. Rulers are
bulky and slide around. Make a template.

Nest the template in the fold of the card and insert, making sure
the insert is centered inside the card. Then, using a large needle or awl, gently
poke holes in the guide holes provided by the template.

If you're using a big awl,
don't poke too far through or your hole will be unsightly.

Here you can see the finished holes from the outside of the card.

Here, you have a choice. You may start sewing inside the card...
in which case the knot will be on the inside of the card. Or you may start
outside the which case you can finish the sewing with a decorative
knot and even add beads or braids. I, of course, went for the simple option, starting by
poking my needle through the center hole working from the inside to the outside. Leave a
tail long enough to tie a knot when you're finished.  

Bring your needle back inside the card through the bottom hole, and go back out
through the top hole.

Finally, return to the center hole, bringing the needle up on the opposite side
of the center thread from the original tail. It's important to make sure that the two ends
of the thread are on opposite sides of the long stitch going from the bottom hole to the
top. Gently pull the ends so that there is no slack in the thread either outside
or inside the card. If you pull too tight, you might rip the paper.

Tie a standard square knot around the long stitch and snip the ends.
This pamphlet stitch will be sturdy and the thread won't side around.
You're finished! 

Here's the finished card outside.

You can see the brown thread really well against the
white card stock. If you don't want to draw attention to
the thread, just use thread in the same color as the card stock.  

And here you can see the insert, and how it's smaller than the cover.

There you have it. You're no longer making cards; you're making pamphlets!

Pretty cool, eh?

Card supplies
stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Kaleidacolor
paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: see above


  1. So classy! Thank for the inspiration.

  2. Very nice- I'm going to bookmark this for making "card-lets". Thank you!

  3. Great tutorial! And thank you so much for leaving a comment on my blog. Totally made my day. :)


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!