Gift Inspiration Day Eleven: Stay-Put Fabric Bookmark

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Before I start my holiday shopping, I find a comfy place to sit and make a list of those I’m buying for.  After each name, I list possible gift ideas.  If you were to see my list, you’d find the name of a book after just about every name.  I love to give books as gifts, and, in the past, I’d always try to find a bookmark to stick between the pages.

The bad thing about bookmarks, though, is that they tend to fall out just when you’ve reached the best part of the book!  The heroine is poised on the brink of solving the mystery when your oven timer goes off.  In goes the bookmark and off you go to the kitchen.  Meanwhile, your adorable children start a Nerf war in the living room, knocking your book to the floor.   And you’ve lost your place.  Grrrr!

In order to avoid the scenario above, include a Stay-Put Fabric Bookmark with the book.  With just a couple of scraps and a few short minutes, you’ll make a great gift even better!


Notes:  I have included measurements for the three most common sizes of books.  You may apply a light fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the base piece if desired; however, it is not necessary.  I prefer to use fold-over elastic, which is light-weight and comes in many colors.  The ruffle is optional; if you are not adding the ruffle, stop after Step 4.  Please read all directions before starting.


Trade Paperback (7″)

Base:  Cut (1) 7.75″ x 3.5″  Ruffle:  Cut (1) 17″ x 2.75″   Fold-Over Elastic:  9″

Larger Paperback  and Kids’ Chapter Books (8″)

Base:  Cut (1) 8.75″ x 3.5″  Ruffle:  19″ x 2.75″  Fold-Over Elastic:  10″

Hardcover Books (9.5″)

Base:  Cut (1) 10.25″ x 3.5″  Ruffle:  22″ x 2.75″  Fold-over Elastic:  12″


Step 1:  Lay the base piece wrong side up on your ironing surface and fold the short ends wrong sides together 1/4.”  Press.  Edge stitch 1/8.”


Step 2:  Fold the base piece right sides together, matching the raw edges.  Sew along the raw edge with a 1/4″ seam.  Turn right side out.


Step 3:  Press the base piece so that the seam is in the middle as shown in the photo above.   This will become the back of the base piece.


Step 4:  Insert one end of the fold-over elastic into one open end of the base piece.  Pin.  Run the elastic along the back of the base piece to the other end and insert into the remaining open end of the base piece.  Pin.  Edge stitch along each end, securing the elastic in place.

If you do not want to add a ruffle, your Stay-Put Fabric Bookmark is complete.


Step 5:  Lay the ruffle piece wrong side up on your ironing surface.  Fold the short ends wrong sides together 1/4″.  Press and then fold another 1/4.”  Press and stitch 1/8″ from the end of the fold as shown above.


Step 6:  Fold ruffle piece right sides together, matching raw edges.  Pin and sew 1/4″ seam along raw edge.  Turn right side out.  Press so that the seam runs down the middle of the piece, as we did with the base piece.


Step 7:  Adjust your tension and lengthen your stitch.  Without reinforcing the beginning and end of the seam, sew a seam down the length of the piece, just off-center.  Gently pull the back thread, causing it to ruffle.  Continue until entire length is ruffled.


Step 8:  Pin the ruffle to the base piece, adjusting the length as needed.  Be sure to avoid catching the elastic with the pin.


Step 9:  We want to avoid sewing the elastic on this step.  Wrap the elastic around the base of your machine to keep it out of the way.


Step 10:  Before sewing, make sure that you’ve readjusted your tension and stitch length.  Sew a seam down the middle of the ruffle piece.  The ends are a bit thick, so I usually start about 1/3″ from the top and stop 1/3″ from the bottom.  Remove the basting stitch.

PicMonkey Collage 2

And there you have it…a bookmark that will stay in place.


Every so often, my bookmark is no longer in it’s place.  Did it fall out?  Nope…it’s spending a bit of time as it’s other use in our home…as a headband for my daughter.  Adjust the length based on the age of your child…and this tutorial doubles as a girl’s headband!


One response to “Gift Inspiration Day Eleven: Stay-Put Fabric Bookmark

  1. And then I promptly forgot to make these…and the package went out today. At least they are good year ’round items.

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