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Mother's Day Clip-Art Cards

Inspired by vintage cards from the 1920s, holiday and crafts editorial director Marcie McGoldrick brings a fresh appeal to the color palette by playing with their proportions in a set of clip-art Mother's Day cards.

Source: Martha Stewart


Using watercolors to paint the flowers and leaves, and gold thread to stitch the stems and tendrils (the tiniest blossoms are made with French knots), Marcie gave the cards a layered effect, further enriching the original palette. Leaving more white space on the card adds to the modern effect.


  • Card-weight paper, 5-by-3 1/2 inches, in Metallic Gold, by Canford,

  • Embroidery needle

  • Gold embroidery thread (or color of your choice)

  • Watercolor paint, optional

  • Double-sided tape


  1. Print clip art onto card stock, scaling to desired card size. If painting the card, apply watercolor and let dry completely before embroidering.

  2. Using a needle, poke out spaces (about 3/16-inch apart) along the thin black lines of the stems, flourishes, or letters.

  3. Thread two 24-inch lengths of gold thread through needle (use more strands if you prefer a thicker gold line). Knot the 4 ends together. Trim excess thread close to knot (to keep the back of the card stock neat).  

  4. The stems and flourishes are made using a backstitch. Starting from the back of the card stock, insert needle through the first hole. Pass the needle back down through the second hole. Then come up through the third hole, and go down through the second hole. Come up through the fourth hole, and go down through the third hole. Continue in this pattern until finished. After the last stitch, knot on the back of the card stock. (Rethread needle as needed until you finish embroidering.)

  5. To create the centers of the flowers, use French knots: Insert the needle from the back of the card stock. Keeping the thread taut with one hand, use other hand to wind it over the needle twice. Reinsert the tip of the needle into the card stock at the point where it first emerged. Before passing the needle through the card stock, pull the thread tight so that knot is flush with the card stock. Pull the needle through the card stock, continuing to hold the thread tight until you have a 3- to 4-inch loop; then let go, and finish the knot. For larger knots, wrap more than 2 times.  

  6. Cut embroidered card stock to fit on tented card, and mount using double-sided tape.

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