Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bookmark Tutorial

Recently, I got a bunch of scrapbooking papers so I could start doing some paper crafts--I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but my craft supply kleptomania started going crazy, so somehow I ended up in my local craft store happily browsing through reams of colored index stock!

When I got home, I decided I would have to come up with something to do with it...  I thought about quilting it in special patterns, using my sewing machine, or collage art in some way.  The last thing I wanted to do was actually use it for scrapbooking!

I was trying, in my own way, to figure out a low price point item to sell that featured me fabric art but was cheaper to produce.  My items tend to have a very high price range, and I'd been told that one way to get my stuff out into the world was to create a wider range of prices featuring a wider variety of items.

And thus the Relished Artistry Bookmark was born.  And here's a tutorial on my methods--perhaps you can find your own materials that you connect with and create your own expressions?

To start, I used several items I had around my studio:
Double-stick tape
Scissors (or a rotary cutter)
Scrap Fabric (depending on the kind of bookmark you desire)
Scrapbook papers
An Awl
A Paintbrush
Fabric Paint
Spare beads
A hole punch

So let's get started, shall we?  : )


I started out cutting a strip of paper 12" long by 1.5" wide.  Then I cut out more pieces that were narrower, and also cut out some strips of spare fabric.


Then I folded the long strip of paper in half.  I sewed the remaining pieces together, then sewed that unit to one half of the paper strip, close to the end (leaving room for a hole to be punched).


I flipped over the bookmark and adhered double-stick tape to the inside, trying to cover as much of the inside surface as I could but leaving room near the fold for the hole to be punched in later.  Folding it down, I pressed the two sides together tightly.


I punched a hole through both layers with my handy dandy hole punch.  With some of the fancy punches they have nowadays, I'm sure something really interesting could result from this simple hole!  I made sure it was big enough to handle the string/twine I was going to thread through it.


Now comes the tricky part.  The beads I had lying around the house weren't big enough for my twine to fit through.  So I gently (Gently!!) used my awl to pick out some of the plaster inside the bead so I could thread my twine through it.  Not easy--and the glass beads broke a couple times--but eventually my twine made it!  If you're going to use beads, make sure the circumference of the hole is big enough for whatever you're going to use for string, then tie off the two ends once you have the beads on.


If you're going to use fabric paint, now is the time to do it. I gently scribbled some designs on the chunks of fabric I sewed onto the paper, let it dry, then heat set it with my iron. I like using metallic, opaque fabric paints by Jacquard.


It's all done! Here's a couple shots of some of them I cranked out this afternoon--fun little things that don't take much time, but can be really elegant and a thoughtful gift for the right person. I'm going to sell mine in packs of four. We'll see how it goes!

Until next time--grab a book and Live Life with Relish!

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