Think Technique: Embroidery | Q&A with Lisa Dickinson

Today is all about the amazing Lisa Dickinson! First she shares how to embroider on your layouts and follows it up by answering a few of our burning questions!


BasicGrey | Embroidery | Lisa Dickinson

BasicGrey | Embroidery | Lisa Dickinson


Lisa: The latest trend popping up on scrapbook pages is embroidery! This bold and colorful stitching adds texture and dimension to page and it’s an easy technique to master. All you need is a printer! On this layout using photos from my childhood, I’ve used various colors of embroidery thread to stitch a grid, as well as highlight my title.


BasicGrey | Embroidery | Lisa Dickinson


To create guidelines for my stitching, I drew the grid lines in a word processing program. I also set up the numbers for my title in one of the squares, using a white fill color and grey stroke on each number. Then I printed it on my card stock, using my printer’s “draft” mode to keep the ink light and just visible.


BasicGrey | Embroidery | Lisa Dickinson


I find embroidery is easiest if you pre-punch the holes first. Then you avoid bending and creasing your paper trying to push the needle through. For my straight grid lines, I used my un-threaded sewing machine to quickly punch the holes, using the longest stitch setting possible (on my machine, that is a 4).


BasicGrey | Embroidery | Lisa Dickinson


For the more intricate curves of the numbers, I used a long straight pin to punch holes evenly along the printed outlines.


BasicGrey | Embroidery | Lisa Dickinson


Then I threaded up a needle and started stitching! Rather than use knots on the backside of my paper, I use scotch tape to secure my thread. Most embroidery thread comes with 6 strands, and depending on how large/bulky you want the stitches, you can use more or less strands. On this layout, I used three strands of floss.





QA (1)

Q&A with Lisa Dickinson | BasicGrey


Home: Colorado

Workspace: On an old postal desk in our home office

Favorite Color Palette: Aqua/Red/Cream
Social Media Preference: Instagram
Playlist: Pandora (The Avett Brothers station) or podcasts
Inspiration Source: Home decor magazines! They always feature beautiful pattern and color combos.
Early Bird or Night Owl: Early bird
BG Product You Hoard: Candy Buttons and Stitched Brads
Three Random Facts About You: (1) I was born in Ankara, Turkey on a US Air Force base; (2) I think mayonnaise is the grossest condiment ever; (3) I double-majored in Political Science and Communication
Advice for Newbie Crafters: It’s not about being caught up – it’s about having fun!


Follow Lisa here:  Blog  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest


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Think Technique : Building Layers

BasicGrey | Think Technique

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There is one thing about my style that is consistent, and it’s that I LOVE layering on my pages in fun and creative ways.  Today I am going to show you a few techniques on how I approach putting a page together.


I am exclusively using the Basic Grey Bow Ties collection. My pages aren’t normally super girly, but I don’t often have the opportunity to scrap in a purely masculine way with 4 females in my house, either! (6 if you include our dogs).


First, I will start with my background. I chose a solid black cardstock as my base.
You could choose any neutral cardstock and change your paint color.

I am going to add some texture and fun with watered down white acrylic paint and bubble wrap. I’ve had lots of bubble wrap in my house lately with a recent move, so why not put it to use!


I added a small amount of water to some the acrylic paint and painted on my bubble wrap.


I randomly stamped the painted bubble wrap onto my cardstock in a clustered, diagonal pattern until I was happy with the look. There is no right or wrong here, just play with your items and experiment with what pleases you. Make sure your background is dry before you proceed. Acrylic dries pretty fast, but using a paper towel to blot excess helps or even a heat gun will speed up the drying process.

If you want to add paint blots, thin your acrylic out with more water then load a brush with paint and begin dropping paint or splattering. Remember that experimenting is part of the fun, don’t be afraid!!

Now, I start adding elements to my page. I matted my photo first with a textured white cardstock, then used papers from the bowtie collection as well for background layers.  I also cut thin strips of paper to embellish the top and bottom of my page.


In keeping with the circles of the stamped bubble wrap, I also chose a round sticker from the Bow Ties elements sticker sheet.


I began adding more elements like title stickers, vellum tape stickers, printed chipboard buttons, and tags to frame the photo and embellish the page.


One of my favorite things to do is add a “nest” of thread to a portion of my layout. Just wrap some thread around 2 or 3 fingers, a little or as much as you like, remove and play with the “nest” and insert under a piece of your project, like the corner of my papers/photo grouping, with a bit of tacky glue.


I always finish my pages with some machine sewing. This helps add texture, fun, and secures embellishments down.

Now, it’s your turn to play with layers and texture!!



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Think Technique : Sunbursts

BasicGrey | Think Technique

It’s almost spring, and sunbursts are popping up everywhere – even on scrapbook pages! It’s a paper cutting technique I love, and the Knee Highs & Bow Ties collection is the perfect color palette for trying out this dynamic design.


On this layout about my daughter’s spring choir concert, I created a sunburst on the top half of the page with patterned paper. Using the chipboard circle as my center point, I lightly sketched pencil lines along the papers to show me where to cut, making sure each “ray” connected at the center point.

blog1Then I arranged the pieces I’d cut across my page to see how they would look:blog2I ended up adding a small polka dot print paper behind my sunburst because I liked it better than the plain white cardstock. Then I added rows of machine stitching to each ray.blog3Since I was only wanting to incorporate 5 patterns into my sunburst, my “rays” are quite wide. But you can make them narrower and include a whole rainbow of colors!

To connect all my rays and make them look like a sunburst, I used two circles from of the Designer Chipboard Stickers and adhered them to a circle of white cardstock. Inside the circle, I added several chipboard butterflies topped with mixed brads, all from the Knee Highs & Bowties line. These perfectly coordinated embellishments area  great way to add dimension & sparkle to your page!SofSdetail1


I hope I’ve inspired you to try the sunburst technique on a future layout – I’d love to see what you create!




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Layering on a Layout

BasicGrey Guest Designer

Valparaiso | Eva Pizarro Valparaiso | Eva Pizarro Valparaiso | Eva Pizarro Valparaiso | Eva Pizarro

I usually have a clean style but sometimes I like to use this layering technique for my projects. The key is to use papers and embellishments on the same color palette and layer different things: I started with some painting and some splatters, then I layered different pieces of papers with distressed borders, I also included some vellum and some cut out images. To finish the look layer embellishments and add some seams and loose thread.

Eva Pizarro


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