This craft is the perfect way to introduce an older child to embroidery and to re-use some old Christmas or birthday cards. Then, when they've had a bit of practice, they could try it on a new card. It makes a lovely, unique gift.
Time: 15 minutes to 1 hour or more (depending on the amount of embroidery being done)
Age: Over 10's
Any kind of greeting card
Embroidery thread in various colours to match or contrast with the card patterns
Embroidery needle (a needle with a long eye)
Decide which areas of the card you are going to embroider. You can pick out small details, although this is trickier, or you can simply go over the outlines of the main shapes. My daughter and I decided to pick out some individual details. She is ten, and needed quite a lot of support, so for a child that age I would recommend sticking to a card with large shapes that are easy to outline
Pick out the colours that you will use to embroider each section. You should do all the embroidery of one colour at once, so make sure you cut long enough threads. Don't worry about this making the back of the card messy - it will actually make it more secure and easy to tie off if you have a lot of strings on the back!
Take the first colour you are going to use and knot the end of the thread so it doesn't pull through. Use small stitches and outline the areas you are emphasising.
You can make sure you are the right place to bring the needle back through from the reverse either by holding the card up to the light, or by pushing very gently. With the latter option, you will see a small indentation, but it won't pierce the card, so you can still adjust where the needle comes through.
Once you have gone all the way round, reverse direction and fill in all the gaps between the stitches. This will be much easier because you'll be using the same holes you have already pierced.
When that section is finished, move onto the next.
When all of one colour is finished tie off the thread on the back of the card.
Repeat with the other colours on the card, picking out interesting details with coloured thread. You can see I have only gone over a few of the leaves, but I could easily have done this whole card. It has big, bold shapes and clear details.