Practical for booklovers and make a lovely DIY gift too
Handmade bookmarks are a lovely way to sit down and just be for a moment. Be present and mindful of the creative process of stitching and stitching away. Recently, I’ve made three different bookmarks and with each I used different technique which I love. Often times throughout the day I look for a peaceful moment to sit down and make something little and special. It help to relax the mind which is otherwise wondering in the past or the future. We live in a hurry and the rush and every day duties tend to overstimulate the mind. That’s why I make an effort to consciously stop and process what is going on regularly. And one of the most enjoyable ways (apart from sitting in a quiet or listening to the nature) is by putting a mellow music on and being creative. Especially when it comes to textiles and natural fibres!
Slow Stitching Felt Bookmark
- embroidery floss
- sewing thread
- embroidery needle
- hand sewing needle (optional)
- felt fabric, linen fabric
The slow stitching felt bookmark was the most calming one to make. It is the most complex one, however it’s still really easy to make and it’s a joy to just sit down and slow stitch a piece of felt fabric. The design is completely up to you and so is the colour palette. I love natural textures, neutral shades and greys so the colour choices were easy for me. You can choose any felt colour you want and any linen fabric for the back of the bookmark. You can use fabric scraps or an old shirt and various types of material from felt and linen to denim and cotton.
Felt is really lovely to work with because it’s durable and the raw edges keep nicely intact. It is also a nice material for embroidery and stitching. You will need approx. 10 x 25 cm of felt fabric to begin with and equal amount of the linen to make the bookmark double and cover the embroidery from the back. It is to give you enough space to work with when it comes to stitching and cutting the linen because it tends to come apart a lot.
Making your embroidery
For the embroidery I make multiple slow stitching rows and spots using different types of fibre. Simple sewing thread gives you a lovely thin ‘pencil-like stroke’ to work with so it is great for stitching actual little designs. I used a dark blue single sewing thread to stitch a cat and then a few more spots across the bookmark to distribute the colour around. Then I used two shades of light grey and also white for more random simple stitching designs. For this I used an actual embroidery floss so the fibre was a little thicker.
Making the bookmark
After making your embroidery you will find that the back of the bookmark doesn’t look particularly nice. Although I try to keep the stitching neat from both sides, I still felt that I should cover the back and even add a little thickness to the bookmark with an extra layer of linen. I cut out a 10 x 25 cm piece of heavier linen and placed the right sides of the fabrics together. With the linen it didn’t matter, however with the felt the embroidery should be facing inwards. Then I hand stitched around the embroidery creating a nice bookmark shape, leaving the bottom open. Then I cut the bookmark out and turned it inside out, stitching the bottom side to close it and ironing the bookmark (from the linen side) to make it neatly flat. You can see all the steps sketched down for you on the guide bellow:
Simple Net Bookmark
- cotton thread or a twine
The net bookmark was the simplest (and the most relaxing) to make. You won’t need any particular materials or even tools to keep the thread organized. Given the size of the bookmark, you can simply tie knots as you go along and hold the whole piece in your hands. Cut out 5 x 20 cm piece of the cotton thread (or a twine if you prefer more of a rustic look) and lay them flat before you. Then cut out approx 50 cm of another piece and begin tieing knots approx. 1 cm (1/3 of an inch) apart. Initially it’s easier to keep the threads on the table but once you’ve made your first row you can pick it up and sit comfortably in a chair. Continue to tie the knots as sketched bellow, forming a little net with each row. Eventually you should have approx. 12 cm long bookmark! As a last step, iron the bookmark on mild temperature to make it nicely flat.
Crochet Floral Bookmark
- cotton thread or a yarn
- 3.5 mm crochet hook (or even a size smaller)
The last bookmark is so easy! It will make a beautifully thoughtful gift for any romantic soul you may know. I found a simple tutorial by Asa Bautovic and made this bookmark in about 10 minutes. All you need is some yarn or a cotton thread and a crochet hook. I chose a cotton thread because I wanted the flower to be quite flat in the end for the book to actually close. Also, I used three different colour shades to make the flower more diverse and realistic. It’s nice to have some variety, I may even use dark mustard yellow next time.