Custom Embroidered Bookmarks

Batman bookmarks. (Look how SEO savvy I am!) But really, these are a cool and simple handmade gift that you can easily personalize for anyone–or yourself! (What up, spring break beach reading!?)

My original inspiration for this project came from these cardboard bookmarks laced with embroidery floss (via Handmade Charlotte, but when I found myself lacking an upholstery needle, I made do with an average needle and thread and some colored cardstock. I decided to go with a monogramming style, and when I finished that one, I realized I still had plenty of yellow thread, and all I could think was How cool would this look with Batman on it? (Sadly, I have this thought quite often.) So I made a second option, proving that you really can embroider just about anything into these bookmarks.

What you need:
– colored cardstock (heavier than printer paper, lighter than thin cardboard)
– needle
– colored thread
– scissors
– ruler
– pencil
– glue

What to do:

1) Trim your cardstock to a bookmark-appropriate size. (This is a total judgment call.)
2) Thread your needle and knot the end 5-6 times to make sure the knot is big enough not to pass through the needle hole in the paper.
3) Using a ruler, measure out and mark with a pencil where you want your threading holes to be. Using a ruler will also help keep your threading straight.
4) Use the needle to weave in and out of the cardstock. This will create embroidery visible on both sides of the bookmark.
5) Once you’ve gone all the way around the edges, tie the thread off with another 5-6 knots and trim the excess thread as close to the knot as you can.
6) Using a pencil, mark threading holes outlining a design you wish to embroider. (I chose a monogram “B”.) These holes will be your threading points; you can use as many or as few as you’d like. The more holes, the more rounded your shape will be. The fewer holes, the more geometric looking it will turn out.
7) Thread your needle between all of your marked points, in a “connect-the-dots” type order. Be sure to thread through each straight line twice to thicken the line. Use both sides of the bookmark, but make sure your design is followed on the front. When you’re done, the backside will look a bit messy.
8) Cut a small piece of same-color cardstock and glue it over the messy design on the back side of the bookmark.
9) Flip back over to the front, and voila!

9

Of course you have tons of creative liberty with this project. Monogram with any letter, embroider differently around the edges (or not at all), or add your own fun shapes.

To create a different design, follow the same exact process. My Batman bookmark looked super geo-cool on the back, so I opted not to glue paper over it:

IMG_0681

IMG_0680All in all, this is a fun project that you’ll improve at the more times you repeat it. Simply changing the color scheme can make this a handmade gift for just about any holiday. It’s even a craft you can give to boys! (A rare find.)

Happy weaving! And when in doubt, use a thimble. Handmade bookmarks are less cute when they’re spotted with blood.

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About Brenna McKinley

I'm a two-time Marist College grad with degrees in Communications (BA) and Integrated Marketing Communication (MA).

One response to “Custom Embroidered Bookmarks

  1. This is a fun idea! I am going to make one of these tomorrow when I am off work. Thanks.

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