If you’re a bookworm how do you treat your books? Use bookmarks, scraps of paper, fold over pages or leave them open with their spines forced open?
I’ve done all of these in the past, but generally I read on my Kindle now. If I read physical books, then I’ll grab whatever scrap of paper. N does the same, using football trading cards, random Top Trump cards, or lolly sticks. But I had a lot of scrap fabric and wanted to get out the sewing machine again. I also had my best friend’s birthday rapidly approaching and had bought her some book themed gifts. So I thought fabric bookmarks would go well to add to the parcel.
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Sewing a DIY bookmark is so simple to do. Easy enough for beginners, although you can create patchwork or applique to make things more complicated. I stuck to a couple of different methods. Keeping them straightforward means you can whip up several in less than an hour.
I prefer to batch craft, and create more than one item at a time, doing the same stage for several versions before moving to the next task. This is the most efficient use of time, but you can obviously just make the one.
If you don’t have a sewing machine you can hand sew it. You only need a few items to make fabric bookmarks.
What materials do you need:
- 2 pieces of material of choice
- optional, piece of ribbon.
- Pinking shears,* scissors or rotary cutter.
The best size is around 20cm by 8cm but you can vary the size as you want. I found they look better when they’re slimmer rather than wide. I used fat quarter cotton, and some ribbon I had. I used different interfacing across the different bookmarks I made. I used a fleece interfacing which is great if you want to do a quilted effect, and a normal medium interfacing. You only need to interface one piece of your fabric, but if you want a stiffer bookmark, then either use heavier interfacing or add to both pieces of fabric.
Sew a fabric bookmark – version 1
1, Cut 2 pieces of fabric 20cm x 8cm – coordinating, or the same. Cut 1 piece (or 2 if using) of interfacing a little smaller.
2, Iron on the interfacing to the wrong side of one piece of fabric in the centre.
3, Lay the wrong side of the second piece of fabric on top of the interfacing. Pin or add clips to hold them in place.
4, Sew around all 4 sides of the pinned bookmark. Leave enough fabric border outside because you’ll edge it using pinking shears all the way round.
5, If you want to add a ribbon or tag on one end of the bookmark, when sewing around the sides, slot in a piece of ribbon (or folded piece) to one end. Make sure when sewing closed that end, you’re catching in the end of the ribbon.
Fabric bookmark version 2
1, Take 2 pieces of fabric 20cm x 8cm, and cut a piece of interfacing a little smaller.
2, Iron on the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the fabric pieces.
3, Put the fabric pieces right side to right side and pin.
4, Sew around the 2 long sides and one end, making sure you’ve secured the stitching at the open end by reversing back over the stitches. Cut off the corners to avoid bulk..
5, Turn the bookmark back out the right way, push out the corners with a chopstick or end of a pen
6, Iron flat. Fold inside the open end and press so it’s easier to close.
7, If adding a ribbon or tag, cut a length, then fold and slot in the end inside the open end. Then topstitch around the bookmark, closing the open end shut and trapping the ribbon in place.
With either version of these easy bookmarks, you can stitch lines down the length between the edge stitching to create a quilted look.
I prefer the neatness of the 2nd version – adding contrasting top stitching will make more of the decorative side. Instead of ribbon, you could add cord, or a tassel.
They make lovely gifts, or you could get them made for children’s school friends.
What bookmarks do you use when reading?
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