If you are a crafter or sewer like me, you probably have a giant bag full of small bits of scrap fabric that are sitting around just waiting to be used! I found this Patchwork Bookmark Tutorial online from this great blog called See Katie Sew and I thought it was such a cute idea! And it fit perfectly for me since I am doing a “Pay It Forward” project this year – I committed to sending 5 friends a surprise homemade gift at some point during 2014!
One of the women on my “Pay It Forward” list is currently in grad school and, if you have ever met a grad student, they are always reading. So, I thought a fabric bookmark would be a cute and functional gift! Even better, by repurposing scrap fabric you are avoiding waste and being eco-friendly. Win, win, WIN! 🙂
Of course, I wanted to share my review of this project and let you know how you can make your own. So without further ado – here is how to make your own fabric bookmark!
Step 1: Pick out the fabric and your supplies!
The first step is to pick out the different pieces of fabric that you want to use in your bookmark. They can be matching like I have, or completely random like in Sew Katie Sew’s tutorial. The pieces need to be big enough to cut 1″x 2″ or 2″x 2″ squares – but this is actually quite small so you can use up all those little pieces you have been saving!
The fabric I chose is actually leftover from a pair of pants (dark blue) and a table cloth (blue and white plaid) that I made last year.
In addition to the four squares, you will need a piece of fabric long enough to run the entire length of your bookmark. I just used one long piece of the blue fabric that measured about 2″ x 8″. Pick out some thread and you are all set to start sewing!
Optional: You can also include some interfacing which will help to make your bookmark more sturdy. I had some lying around so I decided to use some of it! The interfacing will also run the length of your bookmark, so in my case the piece measured 2″ x 8″.
Step 2: Sew the Squares Together
Start with two squares, place them right sides together, and stitch them on one side (as shown in the picture above). Continue to add in squares using this method until you have completed the length of your bookmark (4-5 squares sewn together).
Step 3: Iron
When you are finished sewing together all of your squares, the next step is to iron the bookmark flat! Make sure to open each of the seams before ironing.
Optional: If you are using iron-on interfacing, now is this time to iron it onto the back of your four square once the seams have been flattened out.
Step 4: Sew on the Back Panel & Flip!
Line up the squares with the backing and place them right sides together. Sew along three sides, leaving the fourth side open so you can flip it right-side out! I found it really helped to sew just slightly into the corners on the final side (you can see this detail in the picture below) so the corners stay well formed after the flip. It is really hard to sew them by hand otherwise!
Cut off the excess fabric on each of the corners (diagonal cut) and flip it right-side out! Your bookmark is almost done!
Step 5: Finish by Sewing the Final Edge Shut!
The final step is to hand-sew the final edge together and do one final pass with the iron to make sure the fabric lies flat!
What I liked about this project was that the presence of small imperfections and the randomness of the scrap fabric pieces gave the bookmarks more character. This makes it a really good project for beginner sewers – you don’t have to worry too much about perfect lines or stitches and it will still turn out great!
I hope you all enjoyed this week’s DIY. Make sure to send me pictures if you decide to make it yourself!
See you all next week.