Hello! One thing I've been promising for a while on the blog are a series of penpal letter writing tutorials. I know lots of my lovely readers have been writing letters for a long time, others are just starting and many of you are wanting to find out ways to actually find a nice penpal.
Rebecca asked me yesterday if I could share some penpal finding ideas and I thought that I might organise a penpal swap via my blog instead. What do you think? Would anybody be interested in this? I joined a fabulous creative swap quite a few months ago and it's a great way to find another crafty person (or two) to exchange letters with and build up a friendship via letters in the post. If it's something that excites you, pop a note on this post and if a few of my readers are excited by the idea, I'll put together another post this coming week for sign ups. I might even consider doing an entire series on penpal ideas, depending on how much interest there is.
In the meantime, here's a very quick DIY tutorial that I put together yesterday - the photos are a tad on the dark side because it was really dreary by the time I started working on this, but if you do decide to make your own stitched stationery, you won't be disappointed, it looks really lovely in real life and adds such a cool texture to the paper.
Let's get started!
I'm always making a few bits and pieces to send my penpals and although I have a really nice stash of writing paper at the moment, it's sometimes tricky to find reasonably priced sets that are pretty too. Stitched writing paper looks really cool and is pretty fast to make! I recently created an entire set of stationery for myself by simply machine stitching around the paper border a few times in different colours, but if you want to make it look all nice and fancy, add a chevron stripe to the top section of your paper. It's really easy!
- Paper of choice
- Sewing machine & cotton in a variety of colours
- Ruler, pencil and eraser
Begin by drawing the chevron stripe onto the paper, nice and lightly. My chevron is approximately 3cm in width - I created it by drawing a top and bottom line, spacing the top and bottom peaks of the chevron about 3 cm apart.
Machine stitch over the top of the pencil lines (see above) to create the first stripe. Now machine stitch another 3 or 4 chevron stripes underneath this, until you're happy with the width of the design - see below photo. It might be helpful to draw a second line where you want the chevron to finish, so that you can ensure that the shape is (more or less) maintained. Any excess lines can be easily rubbed out when you're done.
Now, using a contrasting colour, machine stitch a couple of base lines at the top and bottom of the chevron. You might even like to add a touch of colour by shading between the stitched lines with a pencil.
Complete the stationery by adding another couple of base lines at the very bottom of the page.
Ta-da! You're all done.
I added a few stickers to my page and finished off the bottom with a pretty piece of washi tape, but really, it's just as lovely without the tape as the stitching adds such a nice texture to the page.
An extra little tip - I keep a sewing machine needle specifically for my paper based machine stitching, as it does tend to the blunt the needle a little bit.
I hope your Saturday was a good one! Please be sure to leave a comment if you're interested in a penpal swap.
P.S. Other penpal blog post you might be interested in:
- How I store my penpal stationery.
- Make your own confetti wrapping paper.
- Tutorial: letter storage album.