Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Quilted Bookmarks

When I shared the quilted bookmarks I'd made for our Little Free Library, I didn't really expect the response! Especially in the LFL Facebook group, there were lots of requests for a tutorial. 

The idea started when my hubby and I got a personalized stamp for the books that pass through our Little Free Library, and we thought it might also be fun to offer bookmarks to our visitors along with the books. Soooo with a few scraps and a bit of kraft-tex, we came up with a prototype we thought might work.

Truth is, I'd had a roll of kraft-tex (a kraft paper fabric) in my stash that I had never tried, so when I was thinking of how to make the bookmarks, it seemed worth a try. For one, I could definitely stitch on it; and secondly, our personalized stamp would work nicely on it too. Here's how I made ours:

With a rotary cutter - the one reserved for cutting paper - I cut 2" strips along the edge coming off the roll. Then each strip was cut into 2" x 6" pieces - three cut from each strip. You'll need two pieces for each bookmark. If desired, decorate the 'back' of the bookmark as desired. If using a stamp, like we did, it's a good idea, though not absolutely necessary, to stamp a bunch and leave them for several hours to dry. I didn't on my first batch, and though the stamped back did not smear, it did leave some ink on my sewing machine, which easily washed off.

Note how, due to being rolled, the bookmark-sized pieces curve just a bit. That actually is an advantage, especially when it comes to the sewing. Otherwise the corners could get caught by the footplate and impede progress. Anyway, take strips of fabric - I used quilter's cotton - and cover the surface of the bookmark. Lay one strip down (the center piece in the photo below), then stitch another strip on either edge, right-sides together. Finger-press them both away from the initial piece.

Continue adding strips until the entire kraft-tex surface is covered. Obviously, you don't have to be too finicky about how long the fabric strips are, as they'll be trimmed later. If desired, add quilting lines during this step. Trial and error taught me to use a very short stitch length.

So once the front is done, flip the bookmark over, and trim the excess fabric off using a rotary cutter and ruler. 

Next, I used a glue stick and glued the finished front to the finished back.

And then stitch through both layers very close to the edge (about 1/8") using a short stitch.

Lastly, we used a leather hole punch to create a hole near the top and used 7" lengths of cording to create simple tassels.

The quilted bookmarks are now in our little neighborhood library, already being enjoyed by our visitors!


  1. What a lovely and fun idea! Love this!

  2. Very colorful, useful and cheery!

  3. That is so cool...something simple but will give a lot of joy. And looks like some interesting books there, too.

  4. The quilted and free bookmarks are a great addition to your little library. They are so happily stitched, who could resist using one. Love your little library stamp.

  5. Cute bookmarks! Thanks for taking the time to write up the tutorial. xo

  6. It's so nice when things like the slight curl of the Kraft-tex end up being beneficial. The bookmarks looks like really lovely additions to your library. I wonder if you'll see one return in a book or inspire other innovations in libraries around you? :)

  7. those are so cute. I think I might make some for the children's shop at our church bazaar! hmm....

  8. Love this idea for our church fair, grandchildren, etc.! I do wonder if the raw edges of the fabric will fray? Should they be zig zagged or decoratively stitched around the edge, use fray check or glue the edges down? Or did this not seem to be an issue? Thanks!

    1. Yes, over time, the edges will fray, so they are not a keepsake item. But I've been using mine for 18 months and it's still in good shape. I think it's all up to you - finishing the edges off definitely would add to its longevity.

  9. This really got me thinking about how to use up scraps of fabric. I can't wait to try the kraft-tex paper fabric. I was thinking since the back can be stamped on, etc. why not let the receiver of the bookmark write their name on the back or draw their own design. Also, the tassels could be made with yarn, twine, etc. I am so glad I found this pattern. Thank your. It something I could have my granddaughters sew or design.