Handmade Bookmark : Felt, Paint Chips and Embroidery

Thinking that it might be nice to paint an accent wall in our living room I brought some paint chips home from the hardware store. But after re-thinking the idea, and seeing this recent entry posted by Rooth of the blog A Miusme, of a gorgous home that featured all white walls, I decided to nix the idea of adding colour and decided instead to freshen up the creamy-white paint that covers every all the walls in our home except the bathrooms.

This left me with a tidy stack of paint chips that, being the paper lover that I am, I just couldn’t toss. The colours and texture of the cards were so beautiful and I racked my brain to come up with something good to make with them. Certainly I could have gone with one of the many other projects using paint chips that I’ve seen on the internet, but nothing quite grabbed me.

Then, while reading, I noticed the bookmark I was using … a ratty piece of card-stock promoting the Toronto-Dominion Bank, asking “How long are we open?” and then featuring a woman jumping in the air and declaring “This long” on the flip-side. Sheesh, I don’t even bank with the TD Bank. Clearly it was time to make myself a pretty bookmark! And those paint chips would be a perfect supply to use.

This is what I came up with. Wanting to use the brightest colours on the strips, I used two, cutting off the pale shades and attaching two of them together with a bit of tape on the back.

Then I carefully and randomly cut circles in a piece of black felt, so that the colours would show through the holes, but none of the typing or dividing lines. This was the hardest part of the project because I had to keep lining things up to make sure I was cutting in the right spot. I started with a small hole and gradually made them larger.

Then I attached the felt to the paint chip by hand-stitching, with two strands of embroidery thread, around each hole. To make it look like there was a continuous line of sewing I went with an in-and-out stitch around once, and then filled in the gaps by going around again, inserting the needle through the same holes as before. I felt it needed a bit more decoration so I embroidered the little star-bursts here and there, again sewing right through the paint chip and the felt. *** NOTE: This is hard on the fingers so I really advise using a thimble to help push the needle through. (She says while looking at the tiny puncture hole in the tip of her pointer finger.)

Once I was happy with the way things were looking, I trimmed the felt to leave a 1/4 border around the paint chip and cut a second piece of felt the same size. Them I attached the back piece to the front with a blanket stitch, effectively enclosing the paint chip within the felt.

To finish it off I threaded 3 lengths of embroidery floss to a large needle and passed them through one end of the bookmark. Then I tied a know and braided the tail, adding some coordinating beads at the end! Done.

This handmade bookmark is the third that I’ve shown on my blog. Click the links below if you’d like to see the other two.

I know it seems like a lot of work to do just to make a bookmark the function of which is achievable with a simple slip of paper but this only took a movie-length’s time to do, and I enjoy keeping my hands busy while I’m watching tv. (I watched An Englishman in New York, a bio-pic about Quentin Crisp, played by John Hurt. I really liked it. Cynthia Nixon aka Amanda Hobbs, does an excellent job playing a character called Penny Arcade. I didn’t previously know that Sting’s song An Englishman in New York is about Quentin Crisp.)

Here’s hoping your Wednesday is going a-ok. All is swell here.
xo loulou