My son’s best friend from grade school recently reached out (through her mom) and asked for a bookmark tutorial. Of course I couldn’t say no! Sewing bookmarks is a great way to learn and hone your sewing skills. I have put together three different beginner bookmark options to help you learn to sew and create some fun bookmarks to help encourage reading!
What do I need to make a bookmark?
Ribbon – I used THIS one. I recommend a ribbon without wire that is 1/2″ to 1″ wide.
Fat Quarter – One or two fat quarters is enough to make several bookmarks.
Batting – I highly recommend THIS fusible batting.
Coordinating thread – I recommend THIS brand.
Wonderclips or pins – I recommend the clips especially for new and young sewers. Pins can be painful and frustrating!
Pinking Shears (for version 2)
Cut (for all three versions):
Two pieces of fabric and 1 piece of batting that measures 2.5″ x 6.5″.
A ribbon that measures ~4″.
Fabric Bookmark Version 1:
If you have fusible batting press it to the wrong side of one of the fabric pieces.
Place the fabric pieces right sides together. This means that the patterned sides will be facing each other and the wrong side of the fabric will be facing out. Place the batting down on the wrong side, if you used fusible your batting should already be attached and facing out.
Fold the ribbon in half. Place the ribbon between the fabric pieces along the top of the bookmark, be sure to check the pattern and pick which end of the bookmark you want to be the top. The raw edges (the unfolded edges) should line up with the raw edges of the fabric. This means that the folded edge of the ribbon will be inside with the pattern of the fabric.
Clip the fabric together. Add extra clips where the ribbon meets the fabric to hold it in place.
Mark (with clips or with a pencil) a 3″ section in the middle of the long edge. The marked area will not be sewn. This is the place where you will turn the fabric right side out. (In the picture above I used the red clips to mark where I would not sew.)
Finishing the bookmark
Start at one edge of the marked fabric and sew around the entire bookmark, using a straight stitch, until you get to the second edge of the marked fabric. Be sure to back stitch when you start and stop sewing.
Turn the bookmark out. Use a tool like a knitting needle or a mechanical pencil (with the lead retracted) to push the corners out. Fold the opening under so that the bookmark is straight. Press the bookmark and the opening with an iron to set the seams.
Top-stitch around the entire bookmark to close the opening and hold the seams in place. The top-stitch should be 1/8″ from the edge of the bookmark. The exact number is not important but you want to make sure that you are sewing through all four layers of fabric on the edges, this will help the bookmark last longer.
Bookmark Version 2:
Press the batting to the wrong side of one of your fabric pieces.
Place the pattern pieces together wrong sides facing, right side facing out. Clip the ribbon between the layers with the raw edges of ribbon hidden inside.
Sew around the entire bookmark. Note: if your fabric slips and moves too much try using a walking foot. This version is the one where your fabric is most likely to slip.
Use your pinking shears to trim around the edges of the bookmark. You can fold the fabric away from the stitching and cut the batting up to the stitching before using your pinking shears if you want it to be hidden. You will need to fold the ribbon back and cut one edge at a time on the top.
Bookmark Version 3:
This version may feel like the most challenging, but really it has a few extra steps that differentiate it from version 1. For this version you will want two different patterned fabric pieces (same size just different/coordinating patterns.)
Place the two pieces together right sides facing.
Sew the two short edges together. Be sure to back stitch to start and stop the seam. Leave the long edges un-sewn.
Now slide the short seam down and press. This will make it so that there is some of each fabric on both sides of the bookmark. You can make the seams even or offset them. Press the seams (and the entire bookmark) in place.
Now press your batting to one side of the bookmark, trim any excess batting. You should still have the wrong sides of the fabric facing out.
Sew around 3/4 of the bookmark (leaving the spot between the clips shown above un-sewn.)
Turn the bookmark out and trim the edges (as shown and described in version 1.)
Press and clip the opening closed. Add a ribbon on the top, make sure you finish the ribbon edges diagonally as pictured to help avoid fraying.
Top-stitch around the entire edge to attach the ribbon and close the opening.
Video: Three Easy Bookmarks
Need to see a visual for creating these bookmarks? Check out this quick video, the video paired with the written instructions should tell you everything you need to know!
More Bookmark Ideas
- Make a scrappy bookmark by sewing your scraps together (try THIS method) and then cut your rectangles from the middle of the scrappy piece.
- For more advanced sewists try using unconventional materials like VINYL or CANDY WRAPPERS
- Use felt to cut appliques and iron or sew them on to your bookmarks.
- Iron on heat transfer vinyl to add quotes, names, or fun images.
Pin Sewing Bookmarks Three Easy Tutorials
- Sewing Machine
- Coordinating Thread
- Pinking Shears
- 1 Fat Quarter Fabric
- 1 Package Fusible Fleece Batting
- Cut your fabric and fusible batting to the correct size.
- Press the batting to the wrong side of one of the fabric pieces.
- Place the two pieces right sides together. Clip in place.
- Sew around the bookmark using 1/4" seam allowance. Leave an opening to turn the piece out.
- Turn the bookmark out. Press the opening closed. Top-stitch around the entire bookmark.