Sewing on Paper: An Unexpected Touch | Paper Art

Have you ever tried sewing on paper? I did recently, and I can honestly tell you that everything about it was so satisfying. After making a collage on a piece of watercolor paper, I used a simple needle and thread to sew a few words into the piece. It was a fun challenge, and one of things I loved about it was holding the paper in my hands, turning it this way and that, touching the front and back as I worked the needle through its path. One stitch at a time, I took a piece of thread and turned it into a piece of mixed-media paper art.

Roxanne Evans Stout wants you to enjoy the same experience, and her new Art Lesson, Adding Stitching to Artwork, is just what you need to get started. I know I’ll be relying on it to improve my work the next time I’m ready to try sewing on paper! Here’s more from Roxanne on why she loves this technique. ~Cherie

Sewing on paper, Roxanne Evans Stouts |
“White Horse was built upon one of my newest stencils for StencilGirl products,” Roxanne says. “I drew the horse from one of my own photographs to create the stencil, and used Venetian plaster with this horse stencil. The background of this piece is one of my own eco-dyed pages. The black circular shapes are a result of adding wire to the eco-dying process, and I wanted to carry that shape and color around my page. The sari ribbon is connected to the page with a couching stitch.” (PIN this!)

Paper Art Idea: Sewing on Paper by Roxanne Evans Stout

When I see a collage or mixed-media piece where the artist has used stitching, I feel a personal connection to it and to the artist. I have found that stitching adds a human and tangible quality to art. Not only can stitching be used to add details, it can also accent borders and add texture and color.

In this mixed-media art lesson, I’ll show and explain how I add stitching to one of my favorite collages. When you try this, you’ll see how this simple process can enhance and enrich your creations and your art-making time as well.

Sewing on paper, Roxanne Evans Stouts |
“Trail to the Sun is reminiscent of a walk on a sandy beach and the treasures you can find if you are watchful,” Roxanne says. “I enjoyed stitching together different textures, and the way my stitches made a trail around the page.”

Why add stitching?

Stitching adds a feeling of timelessness to a piece of art. How many of you had mothers who sewed, and taught you how to sew by hand at an early age?

Stitching can enhance and continue the stories that your collages and paintings tell. It is fun, in a very quiet way, and the process is also relaxing.

I add stitching to my pieces because it’s unexpected, and I love the way the small bits of thread can pull your eye around a composition, being subtle yet strong at the same time.

I like my stitching to be organic and to flow naturally in my work. I add it as a last detail, when I’m almost finished with my project. I used to draw a lot, but now stitching is often the way I make my marks, using a needle instead of pen and ink.

Before I decide where to stitch, I look at my piece with my eyes squinted, and draw an imaginary line with my finger, as if I’m holding a pencil, extending and following the design that is already there. Then I actually draw the line with my pencil, as you will see in this lesson. Click to download and continue…

Above: A video by Roxanne Evans Stout


Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques, Paper Art and Zen Doodle


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