"The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand? "

-Captain Jack Sparrow


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tutorial- Handsewn Bookmark

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.

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As a recap. This gift set includes...
-Bookplate Stamp (with ink pad)
-Library Bag
-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.

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(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)
-Watercolors
-Paintbrush
-Matching Embroidery Floss
-Light Box (optional, but really helpful) I have a Light Tracer.
-Pushpin
-Needle
-Low Temperature Glue Gun
-Hole Punch

How To
-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. *
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-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.)
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-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.
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-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.)
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-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.
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-Cover the two pieces (top and bottom) in a thick piece of fabric. (Denim worked perfectly.)
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-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.
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You're done.

Tips

-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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Related Posts
Personalized Bookplate Stamp Tutorial
Personalized Library Book Bag
Cheap & Easy Fabric Grocery Bags
How to Sew Your Own Handles

9 comments:

FinnyKnits said...

Yes. Ok. I will add this to my list of Wisdom of the Moon projects that will build out my goddaughter's birthday Library Tote gift.

Before I'm done this thing is going to be a beast, albeit a cute one.

Thanks for the tute, toots!

aunt linda said...

I'm so excited about seeing these projects as soon as they get here! The boys are going to absolutely love them - especially Garrett, who is reading now!

Wander to the Wayside said...

I forgot to say ... I'm so impressed with the time you spent not only doing this project, but showing it in such complete detail. You should have become a teacher. Oh wait, you are one, just not in a traditional setting! Joey will be a very well-rounded and learned person if you go into this much detail with her other lessons, which I'm sure you do. Please give yourself a pat on the back and a hug from me.

Wendy said...

Finny, I'm so glad I can help add to your beast of a present. I hope we get to see pictures!

Linda (who is also Wander to the Wayside), thank you so much! I think it's just in my nature to teach. Just as much as it's in my nature to learn. The two really go hand in hand. Also, when the boys open the present, give em a kiss and tell them it's from me as well, but I had a hard time figuring how to ship it. :)

Regina said...

Great tute!! Perfect gift for boys!!

Rachel said...

Oh how sweet, I love this idea! Thanks so much for sharing, I'll be linking.

Chomporado said...

I love the stuff you make! They look really professional and clean :D

Kathi D said...

Thank you for being so generous with your time and creativity! Wonderful project!

RunninL8 said...

That would have made the BEST prezzy for the Birthday party we went to yesturday!!! Oh, I wish i'd been keeping current on my blog reading!
What a great idea and thanks for sharing!
Next time....