Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tutorial: Embroidered Paper Magnetic Bookmarks

I've been exploring embroidering on paper and card lately (maybe because of the penpal project). A sweet person sent me an advance reader's copy of a book to review for the book blog I write for, Forever Young Adult, and I wanted to send her a little thank you when I sent the ARC back. So I took inspiration from these magnetic bookmarks I made several months ago and made this little embroidered paper bookmark. The initial tutorial for making magnetic bookmarks can be found over at CraftChi, but here's my process. You could easily skip the magnetic part and glue cardstock to the back of the embroidered paper if you want.

Embroidered Paper Bookmarks

Materials needed
  • Pretty paper (I cut mine from a Crate and Barrel catalog)
  • Index card or other cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge or other white glue
  • Small brush
  • Thumbtack or other pin for poking holes
  • Embroidery floss
  • Small scrap of ribbon
  • Hole punch
  • Flexible sheet magnet (like the kind used for advertising)
Step 1: Cut your paper and glue it to the cardstock.

Choose the shape you want for your bookmark. I actually picked patterned plates from the catalog, so I just cut them out. Glue the patterned paper to the index card to give the paper stability. Brush a layer of glue on the back of the paper to adhere it to the cardstock, then brush another layer of glue over the top of the paper to give it a protective coating. It's easier to cut the card to match the paper after it's glued down than to try to trace your bookmark shape onto the card and cut them separately. Once the glue is dry, cut around the paper.

Step 2: Prepare your embroidery design

Using buttons or other objects to trace, or just working freehand, draw your design in light pencil on your bookmark. Take a thumbtack or other sharp poky object and punch small holes along the lines. Your glued paper will be too thick to easily puncture with a needle, so you want to prepare the holes in advance. Don't make the holes too big -- you want them a little smaller than your needle and thread, not bigger. I actually used the very tip of the pointy part of a seam ripper to poke most of my holes. I also used a hole puncher to punch a hole in the center of the circle for decoration.

 Step 3: Sew!

This is the fun part. Using different stitches, embroider your bookmark. Be careful not to tear the paper (it should be relatively stiff thanks to the cardstock and glue, though), and trim the ends neatly but don't knot the thread. You'll be gluing it down anyway.

Step 4. Assemble the bookmarks.

If you punched holes in your paper, punch holes in your magnet, too. You'll want these shapes to match.

Take a scrap of ribbon, and glue it to the back of one of your paper circles. Spread the glue all over the whole back, making sure to glue down the ends of the embroidery floss.

Glue the bookmark down to the magnet, lining up any holes. You should still only be working with one of your circles, not both. When the glue's dry enough to handle, trim away the excess magnet around your circle. Be careful not to cut any embroidery that might be on the edge of your bookmark.

Rinse, repeat with the other side.

Weight it down to let it dry, then admire your handiwork!


  1. those are awesome and you are a neat little crafter .


  3. These are so cute. I've made magnetic bookmarks before but nothing as pretty as these.

  4. thank you! i was actually inspired by the pretty plates on the cover of the catalog, and have been itching to embroider on paper for a long time. they're really a piece of cake!

  5. Really sweet! I love the combo of paper with embroidery - am a fan of both.

  6. i love how you used simple materials that you already had and repurposed the catalog/magnets. brilliant!

  7. These are so awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  8. This is such an ingenious design! Simple, functional, and beautiful. I'm totally making some for myself. Thank you for the beautifully-photographed tutorial!

  9. thanks! do check out the inspiration tutorial at craftchi - http://craftchi.com/blog/?p=1011

  10. I love these! I've made magnets before, but I've never seen any like these. Great idea!

  11. This is such a cute project! I'd be thrilled if you would drop by my blog linking party today Sunday (thru tues) and link to this so I can share it with my readers next week! hope to see you there @creativejewishmom.com all the best, sara

  12. Thanks so much for dropping by Craft Schooling Sunday, all the best!

  13. Creative Jewish Mom teaches how to make coasters out of heavy-duty plastic bags, but I've not yet tried it because I'm not a coaster-user. However, I think I'm going to combine that project and this one and make recycled plastic bag magnetic bookmarks! OOH! I'm excited!!

  14. dena, that sounds like a great idea! i'd love to see the final results - will you let me know how it turns out?

  15. These are so cute! I love your unique take on them. I just did a post on corner bookmarks from paper scraps last week:


  16. those are lovely! now I have to find some magnets somewhere :D

  17. molly, i love those bookmarks! i always have tons of paper scraps leftover, and feel bad throwing away even the teeniest (i have a problem, i know!). now there's a reason to keep them!
    riechan, i seem to have those advertising magnets all over the place. there's usually one with the phone book, and the vet and kennel and insurance agent and the list goes on ...

  18. So cute I decided to feature it on my crafty Facebook fan page: vintageterrace2
    I see great embellishment application of this project.
    I"m following you. Would you follow on my blog so I can easily find my wait back to your blog?
    Thanks, Coleen

  19. Hi Coleen -- welcome! Glad you came by, and thanks for featuring the project. Off to check out your blog.

  20. merhaba ,harika bir fikir bu.


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