Paper stripes collage

A postcard I made, using striped “strip paper”. Doesn’t it look cool? I love it!

While planning to make my travel journal and later sewing pages for it, on the sewing machine, I got intrigued by sewing into paper. A couple of days later I went back to the sewing machine with a pile of papers to sew together and just made “sewn strip paper”. I don’t know exactly how I got this idea, but I thought it was great fun, so here is a tutorial today!

Choosing some scraps (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
1) First go through your stash, and pick some papers that you like but don’t mind cutting up. This is great for your own “painted backgrounds” that you never used and torn out vintage book pages for example.

Sewing papers (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
2) Cut stripes that are about 2-3 cm (less than 1″) with your scissors. You choose if you want to cut on the length or width of the paper. No need to cut straight or to be neat. Just enjoy the process, mix and match colors and structures of papers.

Sewing stripes of paper down (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
3) Time to sew! Hold the first stripe of paper to a thin printer paper (my was A4 size), this will be your base. Hopefully you can use recycled papers from your printer trash or junk mail. But use cardstock if you want to make sturdier papers or cut them down to postcards later. Sew a straight line in the middle of each stripe. Let the next stripe overlap the first one just a little and sew another line on top of that. Keep adding on now.

Add more stripes! (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
4) Keep adding… Cut off each paper strip if it sticks out from your background paper when you finish, but don’t forget to use those small pieces too! Make shorter rows, or multiple strips together. The too short bits can be stitched together to make a longer strip, or added by feeding several small pieces under the needle like I did above.

Some finished Stripes Papers that I made while in a creative flow:
Stripey papers I made (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
Yes, I did quite a few pages with this new method! I had a difficult time stopping – it was so much fun sewing stripe by stripe, much like quilting together fabric. You just want to add more pieces to see where you will go…

Stripes of paper sewn together (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
Mix all kinds of colored papers together for a color explosion effect…

Blue paper stripes sewn together (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
…or add mostly one color for a more toned down but still very textured page!

Sewing papers (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
Sewn Stripes of Paper l iHanna. I call it Strip Paper!

You can use wrapping paper, wallpaper, magazine images, silk paper or other more transparent paper for fun effects or “layering”, newspaper or scrapbook papers! Imagine what you can do with these Sewn Stripes Papers – only your imagination will stop you here! Add them to your Art Journal, paint on them, collage on top, cut them up for bookmarks, postcards or notebook covers… :-)

More inspiration?

Paper Sewing Inspiration

Trend-o-meter says: Sew paper!
After the Teesha Journaling Videos we all caught the Teesha Bug, hehe. Now it’s Mary Ann Moss’ blog Dispatch from LA and her class on sewing paper that has gotten the whole internet to start sewing papers. If you want even more inspiration, here are a few others that are sharing their “sewing paper” experience:

Have you started yet? ;-)