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How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards

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Learn how to make beautiful machine embroidered greeting cards using watercolor paper and your embroidery machine.

This past year for Christmas I discovered that I could make Christmas cards using my Brother PE 770 embroidery machine and watercolor paper. To say I was really pleased with the results, is an understatement.

embroidered cards

So, let me share not only how to make your very own beautiful machine embroidered greeting cards, but some tips for getting the best results and some frequently asked questions.

If you have questions, feel free to leave them below in the comments and I’ll be glad to answer them!!

Video Instructions

If you prefer to watch a video of the instructions on how to make a machine embroidered greeting card, you can watch it on YouTube. Just click here or on the below image to go straight to the video. And, while you’re there, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel (thank you!).

FAQs – Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards

Q: What designs can be embroidered on paper?

Select a design that was specifically created or digitized to embroider onto paper. Often times, you’ll see these designs labeled as “cardstock designs”. Otherwise, your embroidery may just cut the paper rather than sew onto it.

I’ve also discovered that I can use designs that are lightly filled. Here are a few examples from Embroidery Library:

Q: Where can I purchase greeting card designs for use with my embroidery machine?

I have purchased most of my embroider design files from Embroidery Library. You can also find card embroidery designs on Designs by JuJu and Urban Threads. There are other sites and even Etsy where you can purchase design files. But, Embroidery Library, Designs by JuJu, and Urban Threads are sites I’ve used and can recommend.

Q: What embroidery machine do you use?

I use a Brother PE770 Embroidery Machine (which has been discontinued). I’ve owned it for a few years and I really like it. There are two things I don’t like about the machine. One, it can only embroider designs up to 5″x7″. Secondly, the display screen is horrible.

There are newer machines available and the screens have greatly improved. You can also purchase Brother (and other brands) embroidery machines that embroider much larger designs. Keep in mind that the larger, the more expensive the machine.

embroidered card

Q: What’s the best paper to use to create greeting cards with my embroidery machine?

I’ve tried machine embroidering on both cardstock paper and watercolor paper. I found the best results with 140 lb weight watercolor paper. I’ve used both this paper and this paper with great results.

Q: What size paper should I use?

The watercolor paper comes in various sizes. I purchased the 9″x12″ pad. Then I used my paper trimmer to cut the paper down to 10″x7″. (When folded, the card will measure 5″x7″.) If you are creating a different sized card, trim accordingly.

Q: How do I get a nice crease in the fold of my card?

Once you have your paper trimmed to 10″x7″ (or whatever size you’re using), go ahead and fold the card in half (so that it now measure 5″x7″)then use your bone folder to create a nice crease in the card.

Q: How do I hoop the paper? Do I float the paper on top of the hoop?

At first, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get my cardstock to stay in place within the embroidery hoop while I embroidered the design. I didn’t want to pin it in place because it would leave holes in the paper. I also didn’t want to tape it in place because I didn’t want the paper to rip.

So, I tried spray fabric adhesive and it worked like a charm.

embroidered cards

Q: What type of stabilizer do I use?

I recommend using cut-away stabilizer. What you’ll do is hoop the cut-away stabilizer. Spray the back of the front of the card with spray fabric adhesive and then center it on top of the stabilizer.

Q: How do I center the card in the hoop?

Once you have the stabilizer hooped, place it on top of a cutting mat (if you have one), and line up the edges of the hoop with the lines on the cutting mat. You should be able to see right through the stabilizer and line up your hoop.

I then use those lines to line up the fold of the card. Start with the fold side of the card and gently place it against the stabilizer. Smoothing it into place also helps to secure the card to the stabilizer. Just don’t push so hard that you cause the stabilizer to be slack in the hoop. You want the stabilizer nice and taut.

If you don’t have a cutting mat, you can still use the fold of the card to help you line up the card. Try to get the fold as straight and even with the frame of the hoop and then gently press the card into place.

Q: Why are there threads across my design?

As with all machine embroidery designs, there will be threads that are strung across the face of the card. These threads are created when the machine moves (called jumps) from one place on the card to another place on the card to embroider. When the machine moves like this, it leaves behind a trail of thread called “jump threads”.

You can think of it as your embroidery machine jumping from here to there, leaving behind a trail of threads. Again, these threads are called jump threads.

Q: Should I trim the jump threads?

You’ll definitely want to trim away the jump threads. In fact, I like to trim my jump threads during the embroidery process. You can also wait until the design is finished.

The reason I like to trim the threads during the embroidery process is because if I leave those jump threads, some of them may end up underneath other parts of the embroidery design. I think it detracts from the design, so I’m a little OCD about it and trim every time my machine creates a jump thread. But, it’s really a personal preference.

If you want to trim the jump threads during the embroidery process, you’ll have to keep an eye on your machine (which I recommend you do anyway). When you see the machine jump, allow it to make a few stitches, then press the pause/start button to pause the stitching. Use a pair of embroidery scissors to trim away the jump threads close to the top of the card.

Q: Do I trim away the stabilizer?

I like to cut away the stabilizer close to the stitching. You will at least want to trim away enough of the stabilizer so that when you apply the cardstock or paper to the back of the embroidery design the paper can adhere to the card and not the stabilizer.

Q: How do I finish the inside of the card?

You’ll finish the back of the embroidery design by glueing or taping a lighter piece of cardstock (60-90 lb) to the inside of the card front to hide the back of the embroidery stitches. Simply cut a piece of cardstock slightly smaller than 5″x7″, apply glue or two-sided tape along the perimeter then center the cardstock over the back of the design.

embroidered cards

How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards

When you see how beautiful these machine embroidered greeting cards turn out, you’re gonna want to make them for every special occasion! So, let’s take a look at the supplies and equipment you’ll need and then I’ll share how to actually make the greeting cards with your embroidery machine.

Supplies Needed:

  • watercolor paper, 140 lb, or cardstock
  • lightweight cardstock (to cover back of embroidery design)
  • cut-away stabilizer
  • spray fabric adhesive
  • machine embroidery thread
  • 5×7 envelopes
  • two-sided tape or glue

Equipment Needed:

  • embroidery machine
  • embroidery scissors
  • paper trimmer
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • pencil (and eraser)

You’ll also need an embroidery design appropriate for embroidering on cardstock.

Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards

Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards

Yield: 1 card
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Learn how easy it is to create beautiful and unique greeting cards using your embroidery machine with cardstock or watercolor paper.


  • Watercolor paper, 140 lb
  • cut-away stabilizer
  • spray fabric adhesive
  • machine embroidery thread
  • 5x7 envelopes


  • embroidery design
  • embroidery machine
  • embroidery machine needle
  • paper trimmer
  • embroidery scissors
  • paper scissors


  1. Gather your supplies.
    For the purpose of this tutorial, I'm going to assume you know how to download an embroidery design, copy the design to your flash drive, and upload it your embroidery machine. Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards
  2. Hoop a piece of cut-away stabilizer into your 5x7 hoop. Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards
  3. Trim the watercolor paper or cardstock to 10"x7". You'll also want to trim your liner cardstock to slightly less than 5"x7". Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards
  4. Fold the paper in half so that it measures 5"x7" folded. Use the bone folder to create a nice crease along the fold. Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards
  5. Open the card and fold it back, then lightly spray fabric adhesive to the inside of the front of the card.
  6. Line the cardstock up and center the inside front of the card in the hoop. Apply gentle pressure to secure the card to the stabilizer.
  7. Use a ruler and pencil to lightly mark the center of the card. For a 5"x7" card, measure down 3-1/2" and across 2-1/2".
  8. Place the hoop into the slots in the embroidery machine and secure in place. Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards
  9. Load the design and center, lining up the needle with the center mark on the card. Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards
  10. Setup the first color spool of thread for your design. Be sure to refer to your design's color change sheet to know what color thread to use and in what order.
  11. Continue to follow the machine prompts to change the color of the spool of thread until your design is finished.
  12. Raise the presser foot and remove the hoop from the embroidery machine. Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards
  13. Un-hoop the design. Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards
  14. Trim the cut-away stabilizer close to the design. Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards
  15. Apply glue or two-sided tape to the entire four edges of the cardstock.Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards
  16. Center the cardstock over the card and back of the embroidery design. Apply pressure to the back edge of the glued cardstock to adhere to the back of the card. Allow to dry. Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards
  17. Your card is ready to be used! Learn How to Make Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards

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More Craft Ideas

If you liked this machine embroidered greeting card project, then you might like these other projects from The Birch Cottage:

Share Your Cards!

So, what card are you going to make first? If you do make a machine embroidered card, feel free to share pictures of your cards on A Handmade Home Facebook Group Page, where you can inspire others!

Have questions? Just leave a comment below!

Til next time…

Pam Baker from The Birch Cottage

And, be sure to Pin this project to your favorite Pinterest board to save it for later or to share with family and friends.

embroidery machine and embroidered cards

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