Make Fancy Hand Woven Bookmarks!




In a previous Instructable, Discover and Build an Inkle Loom, I explained how I made an inexpensive loom for weaving narrow straps, belts and bands. When I started thinking about weaving, all I had really thought about was getting a loom in my hands so that I could occupy myself indoors when I didn't want to be out into the cold weather. It was not my explicit goal to end up with a tool of production. For some reason, it didn't occur to me at the time that I would be "stuck" with piles of raw materials which could be used to craft literally millions of useful products. Since then, I have made several different textiles with that loom and decided that it was time to create something with them.

Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials


A cutting surface, scissors, x-acto knife, knitting gauge, pencil, ironing and sewing kit, (I used a machine) are the minimum tool requirements for this project.


Woven bands and scrap leather are all that is needed to produce these bookmarks.

Step 2: Make the Finial Pattern

Whenever I am going to be making more than one of something, I always try to remember to document what I am doing. For something like this it may seem a little too much. However, the internet loves pictures as much as my project book loves to get filled up, and I aim to please!

Step 3: Transfer and Cut

I do not do much work with leather, and I have a small collection of scars which prove that leather work can be inherently dangerous. Nursing stitches is not a fun way to pass time. Be confident with your abilities, use sharp tools and go slow.

Transfer the pattern from the last step onto the leather.

To cut out the narrow holes, I used my pocket knife. I used appropriate scissors to cut out the rest of the finial. Obviously this was done 5 times! When finished, I stapled the pattern into my project book for safekeeping.

Step 4: Prepare the Bookmarks

Insert each bookmark into the finial slots and pin into place. Next, iron the fold down flat for sewing. Know your material. These bookmarks were made with 100% acrylic yarn which will melt if it gets too hot and could ruin your iron if it does. Low heat and careful attention are required to get the results you are looking for.

Step 5: Sew the Band to the Finial

This step could easily be done by hand stitching. I chose to use the sewing machine to speed things up. I used three passes with a tight zigzag stitch to secure. After the sewing was done, the excess yarn and thread were trimmed, the white selvages removed, and the fringe was cleaned up to finish the bookmarks.

Step 6: That's It!

There you have it!

I hope you enjoy this quick, simple project. It can be made as challenging as you like with competent leather working skills, bead work, etc. A safer, quicker and more kid friendly version can be had by using felt or whatever, instead of leather. The sky is the limit, and these bookmarks make great gifts. Of course, I kept one for myself and gave the rest of them away. The most gratifying part of this project were the smiles I made. Try it out. You'll see what I mean!

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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I really like how you tell people to know their material. It opens up the possibilities, instead of relying on you, the "expert," to tell them if a particular project might succeed. I think that is also part of what you're saying when you say to be confident in your skills - as opposed, I would think, to being overconfident. A great instructable!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you very much! Your positive criticism serves as a valid take away for us all and is quite profound, really. If we all waited for the "experts" to approve of every material and process, nothing would ever get created!


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for taking the time to check out my project and especially for the complement on my bookmarks. It's very special and means a lot!