Today I'm wrapping up the series of tutorials for the book gift set with a hand sewn and hand painted bookmark, which, conveniently doubles as a gift tag for the whole shebang.
As a recap. This gift set includes...
-Bookplate Stamp (with ink pad)
-Handsewn Bookmark/Gift Tag
-and if you really wanna go above and beyond, tuck a gift card from your local bookstore into the library card pocket. But, really, that should probably be reserved for Grandparent-level spoiling.
Individually, any of these are pretty great gifts. But, put it all together and it's extra fun. And I have to say, there were adults who were jealous of the kids who received these. So don't limit it to just the little ones.
(One Note- I would only give the stamps to kids old enough to understand the difference between stamping in their own books and stamping in library books.)
OK, on to the tutorial.
Materials & Tools (Hopefully you'll have a lot of this already.)
-Watercolor Paper (This stuff is really thick and absolutely necessary for this project).
-Good quality pen (I used a Micron Pen)
-Matching Embroidery Floss
-Light Box (optional, but really helpful) I have a Light Tracer.
-Low Temperature Glue Gun
-Cut out 2 pieces of watercolor paper, each 2 inches by 7 inches.
-On one of the pieces, using the pen, outline the words 'Happy Birthday' (or their name or 'Merry Christmas' or 'Good Night and Have a Pleasant Tomorrow'), along with whatever little design you want to embroider, leaving room to punch the hole.
(I did trace these on a light box.)
-Paint the inside of the words with watercolors. *
-As long as you have the paint out, you can go ahead and do the inside of the balloon at this point, though I did it after the embroidery. (Either way works fine.)
-On top of a thick piece of cardboard (or corkboard), use a pushpin to make holes along the length of the embroidery design. This part isn't completely necessary, but it does help create even stitches as well as make pulling the needle through the paper less aggravating.
-Using all 6 strands of embroidery floss, sew the design. (Stitch-It Kit has some very simple instructions for embroidering these stitches. I used the stem stitch.)
-Write the To: and From: info on the second piece of paper.
-Now using a low temp hot glue gun, attach the pieces of watercolor paper together, keeping the glue at least a quarter of an inch from the edges.
-Don't stress if a lot of the glue has cooled before you get it all stuck together.
-Cover the two pieces (top and bottom) in a thick piece of fabric. (Denim worked perfectly.)
-Iron the whole thing (using medium setting) for about 10 seconds. Check the bookmark and squoosh together with your fingers. The glue should gently heat up, allowing you to push the papers together firmly. If the glue hasn't softened enough, re-cover and iron again. Note- I would NOT try this with any paper other than thick watercolor paper. You will burn your fingers.
-Punch a hole and thread with floss.
-The idea for embroidering bookmarks on paper came directly from Aimee Ray's book Doodle Stitching: Fresh & Fun Embroidery for Beginners. If you're interested, this book has some really cute patterns.
-For these, I would suggest making the embroidered design fairly simple, which will keep the time frame for this project manageable. This balloon took me less than 10 minutes to embroider. The entire thing took less than 30 minutes total.
- You can cut off the corners with a punch (or use scissors), but I didn't think it looked all that much better for the level of effort it required.
-*To get the gradient effect, I painted the whole thing a very light color, waited for it to dry, and then painted the bottom half a bit darker, let it dry again and then painted the very bottom the darkest shade. (1, 2, 3)
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