What Is Paper Embroidery – Faden Grafik?

paper embroidery and beads heart
paper embroidery and beads heart

After discovering Iris Folding I came across Paper Embroidery or Faden Grafik (thread graphic) as it is called in German. An extensive search showed me sites with instructions on how it is done and patterns.

What on earth is paper embroidery? Basically it is traditional embroidery done on paper (cardboard) rather then on fabric.

I have discovered that it looks like the ‘String Art’ designs I remember from the 60s where nails were hammered onto wood and then threads were wrapped around the nails. Now doing this with embroidery or sewing thread on paper is a lot easier.

paper embroidery circle
paper embroidery circle – my first design

Traditionally this embroidery is done on cards, but I like to put on a different spin and glued the design on old CDs, but I also make Christmas cards and Artist Trading Cards (ATC).

  • Draw a design on paper or cardboard. It is best placed on the back of the paper
  • Prick paper with pins where you want to sew
    • I use a plain sewing pin with a big head, easier to hold, to prick the paper so that the holes are not too big. To make it easier to prick the paper I stuck a pin or sewing needle into a cork which fits better into my hand.
  • You can use plain sewing thread, embroidery floss or synthetic sewing thread which has a nice sheen to it, cotton thread does not.
  • You start sewing and tape the tail of the thread to the back of the cardboard. Once you run out of thread you can tie a know and start the next thread either with a knot or tape it down again.
multi-color paper embroidery flower
multi-color paper embroidery flower


original posting date – February 20/2008

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  1. Pingback: Embroidering Words on Paper | CraftMeister MCUniverse

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