Keeps your cookbooks or other how-tos clean! Clear plastic, polyester ribbon and rickrack can be wiped clean of batter with a damp sponge. The components are sewn together, so there will be no issues with adhesives warping the polyesters or dissolving in water. And the apron can act as a bookmark when not in use.
Step 1: Assemble Ingredients
Clear plastic folder, Olfa knife and ruler, polyester ribbon, coordinating rickrack, coordinating thread, cutting mat (optional), awl (optional), scissors. The hardest part of this is finding a folder with enough "flop" to keep the edges down--tho the rickrack does help to weight the edges.
Step 2: Measure and cut "apron" to fit
The "apron" (cut folder) should, when closed, measure approximately 1/2" more than the width and 1/2" more than the height of the book. This catches more spills and allows room for the rickrack so it doesn't obscure the text. This margin isn't so large, on the other hand, that the apron will be shredded by sticking out when the book is closed.
A paper cutter is ideal for cutting the folder super-square, if you have access--if not, a ruler and Olfa knife will do the trick.
Step 3: Round the Corners
Round the corners of the apron with a pair of scissors. You don't want sharp points you could hurt yourself on, eh?
Step 4: Pierce along the fold
Pierce along the fold using an awl or a needle every 1/4" or so. Pre-piercing makes the sewing in of the ribbon a whole lot easier and more regular. Don't make the piercings too close together or too close to the edge, lest the plastic tear through.
Step 5: Prep the ribbon
Cut the ribbon at a diagonal and long enough to extend 4" or 5" beyond the top and beyond the bottom of the "apron" when the ribbon is centered within the fold. Sear the poly ribbon's cut edges very carefully with a lighter to prevent fraying.
Step 6: Sew in the ribbon with a lockstitch
First, center the ribbon within the fold. Visually estimate where the first hole in the fold touches the ribbon, and make a square knot using your needle and thread in the selvedge of the ribbon at that point. Cut the tail of the thread close to the knot. Draw the thread through the first piercing, moving from inside the fold to the outside.
Next, push the threaded needle through the second hole in the fold and up into the ribbon at the very selvedge edge.
Push the needle back out through the same hole through which you entered. Pull the thread taut, being careful to not tear through the plastic.
Move to the next hole and repeat the process. This is your lockstitch--it allows the ribbon to move freely to the right or left and out of the way of the text you are reading.
End by pushing the needle back into the ribbon at the point of the last piercing in the fold, knotting the thread around the selvedge there, and cutting the thread close to this last knot.
Step 7: Cut ricrack and pierce edges for sewing
Cut two pieces from your rickrack, each approximately 1/2" shorter that the height of the cut-down folder. It is best to make your cuts either at a crest or a valley in the wave of the rickrack.
Close your folder and lay the rickrack atop the edges. Using a needle or an awl, pierce through the center of rickrack and through both edges of the plastic folder at each crest and each valley in the rickrack. This may be easier if you pin down both ends of the rickrack.
Step 8: Sew on rickrack
Sew the rickrack onto each edge, using the same lockstitch as on the ribbon, but stitching just into the middle of the surface of the rickrack (at the crests and valleys) instead of into the selvedge.
The rickrack is sewn onto the inside edges--the ones that are exposed when the folder lies open inside the book. Start the lockstitch by knotting into the surface of the end of one of the pieces of rickrack and pushing the needle *out* of the folder --this will put the stitching on the outside of the folder.
Step 9: Finito!
Wipe off your fingerprints and you are all done!