The boy stayed home from school yesterday. He's been battling a fever, headache and cough the last few days. But he was in good spirits, so I suggested a simple craft: bookmark-making? He was in!
Our family is in dire need of bookmarks. And I can never find my shiny gold filigree bookmark with the pretty blue tassel. Never. Never. Hence my bookmarks come in two varieties. Type 1 being the crumpled grocery bill that's lived in Lo's pocket for a week and finally made that daring escape to the right of the microwave. And Type 2 being the bottom empty section of a utility bill with the one torn edge because despite having 11 pairs of scissors in the house, I can never locate one when I'm desperately in need of an impromptu bookmark.
Lo, on the other hand, chooses to mark his page by leaving his book open face-down. That would be nice and all were it not for the fact that he reads 10 books at once because his job involves doing a lot of research. And that means there are 10 open face-down books floating around our house at any given time. So whenever I find one of his open books, it brings me to that edge of blinding-white insanity. I go nuts. Everything screeches to a halt. Life CANNOT resume until I've ferreted out some flat thing, some scrap of paper, a tie, a fork handle, a tooth pick, a dirty sock even, just any flat thing to mark his page, close the book, and keep my head at the same time. Don't ask me why. It's not normal. And in all of our years together I have never once told him about this. You think me silly, don't you? I know I am. But what am I to do?
So yes. A large amount of sanity-preserving bookmarks were made today by the boy and I.
Here's what we did...
Tutorial: Bookmarks With The Boy
1. Dab water-colour paints onto a large sheet of newsprint. Let the sheet dry.
2. With any dark ink, stamp out some designs onto white paper/newspaper/telephone book pages. The boy chose to use his dinosaurs stamps.
3. Type or write out the names of your family members. The boy used our good old manual typewriter for this. He then cut out the names.
4. From a sheet of black construction paper, cut out little frames slightly bigger than the stamped designs. Glue the frames around the stamped designs. Once dry, cut them out. Make some extra frames in all different sizes.
6. Iron it out. The crumpling and ironing give your newsprint a soft leathery texture which I love. Note: Children should not use irons as they can cause serious burns. But you know this.
7. Cut some strips from the newsprint. Make sure they are wide enough to accommodate your framed designs.
8. Cut the newsprint strips into shorter pieces.
9. Now decorate as you like with the names and frames. I also added a line of sewing around each bookmark for texture. The boy had to lie down before this last step. Otherwise I would have guided his hand at the sewing machine which I've done with him before.
All done! Soft and colourful bookmarks for you and your family!