As a third generation woodworker, making and using wood is in Melinda’s blood. Following her grandfather’s and father’s footsteps, it was a natural step for Melinda to turn to making and building as her career choice. From a young age, Melinda was hammering floorboards and carving blocks of wood.
Melinda makes uniquely cut and printed boards, gifts and homewares – adding a touch of personalisation to make memories for every customer selling them in her Etsy store – Soak Studio.
“Visiting a well-stocked timber yard makes my heart beat fast, choosing rough sawn timbers ready to discover it’s inner beauty, rescuing old timbers that need a lot of love, are all part of the joy. And I think it’s pretty special to work with my Dad, and add his master craftsman touch.”
We asked Melinda to share some of her creative skills with us and teach you how to make your own timber card stand and embroidered artwork!
PART 1: Making your Timber Card Stand
- Table Saw or Circular Saw with guide
- Drop Saw or Hand Saw
- Square dressed pine 40mm
- Sand Paper
Step 1. Cutting your slit
- Set a slight tilt on your saw blade. This will create a cut that will allow your artwork to lean back slightly
- Around 5 – 10 degrees should be fine
- Set the blade depth to around 15mm. This will give enough depth for your cards to sit in securely
- Run the full length of your timber through your table saw. (You can also do this with a hand saw if you don’t have a powered one)
Step 2. Cutting to length
- Mark a length of 125mm on your timber. Then using a drop saw, or a hand saw, cut your timber to length
- Give a light sand, vacuum, and you are ready to paint
PART 2: Painting Your Stands
- Painters Masking Tape
- Acrylic Paint
Step 01. Tape Up
Use blue painters masking tape to create geometric angles and triangles, stripes and lines.
If you’re not confident with a brush, you can tape all the edges to stop paint going too far.
Using a flat brush, drag you paint down. Start ON the masking tape, and don’t brush up, otherwise paint will sneak under the edge of your tape, giving you a messy line.
Brush smoothly to the edges.
Repeat with your next colour on the other end.
Carefully remove the masking tape while the paint is still drying. This stops any cracked paint edges.
Done! Your stand will dry pretty quickly and be ready for display.
For a more subtle colour hit, tape all around your stand, leaving just a small reveal along the bottom edge.
Paint down from the tape all around the stand.
Remove tape while the paint is still damp.
Voila! You’ve created a subtle dipped looked.
You can use acrylic paint, house paint, spray paint, even watercolour washes! And of course, you can use dots, spots, dashes and squiggles, which are all super popular right now.
Now you can move on to the embroidery part.
PART 3: Embroidering your Cards
- Embroidered Plant Cards
- Card Stock 250-300gsm (if it’s much thicker, you might not be able to pierce holes with your needle.)
- Embroidery needle, with a large eye. (I have a Birch pack that has sizes 18-24, with large eyes for embroidery thread or crochet cotton.)
- Crochet cotton, or 2-3 strands of embroidery cotton. (I like crochet cotton because it’s twisted together, and creates a lovely visual impact.)
Step 1. Print your designs
Print out your design onto A4 card stock. If you don’t have access to a printer, you can totally draw your own designs!
The downloadable printable has 4 designs on it, so you can print it to an A4 piece of card, and cut into four, creating A6 cards.
Step 2. Pierce the design
Using your needle, pierce holes along the lines. Make sure to pierce a hole any lines intersect, as this gives a nice clean look when stitching the different colours.
It should look this.
Thread up a length of cotton.
We’re using a simple backstitch to create the embroidered lines. Unlike fabric stitching where you can use the flex to push your needle through the back to the front in a single movement, you’ll need to do each one separately with card. Back to front, front to back, and repeat.
Starting from the back of the piece, stitch through your first hole.
Leave a small tail of cotton. We’re aiming to secure it by stitching over it as we go. If you’re not sure about this, just make a knot in the end of your cotton instead, to stop it pulling through.
Stitch from front to back, then back to front, making sure that the tail is tucked under the loop.
Pull tight, and the tail should now be caught firmly under the previous stitch.
From the front, this is what you’ll see.
Now the needle goes back into the previous hole, to complete the stitch.
Continue around until you have completed your first section.
Flip to the back, and stich under several times to secure the thread, then cut off.
Select your next colour, and repeat the process.
Yay, two sections done!
Choose your final colour, and backstitch.
Your embroidery is now complete! Have fun making a set with lots of different colours, and giving as little gifts.
You can make really simple shapes and design for your littlies to have a go. Triangles, stars, or a card full of random holes can be lots of fun for them to create whatever they like. My four year old boy even stitched a simple flower. He used a 24 needle which has a blunt end and large eye for crochet cotton.
He learnt to thread the needle, cut the cotton, and find the correct hole for his needle to go through. SO great for fine motor skills, focus, and a bonus for his future wife – he’ll be able to sew his own buttons!
DIY Stich Kits
If you don’t have the tools to make your own stands and cards, you can purchase a DIY Stitch Kit via my Etsy shop. These also make fabulous gifts for your crafty friends, and are a great way to introduce some simple stitching to your teens. There’s a fun geometric version to, which is even simpler to stitch, and looks great in strong colours. Just head to www.soakstudio.etsy.com
For more fun DIY Projects on the Etsy Blog, click here.