Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kid Craft: Bookmarks With The Boy

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.

5. Crumple up your dried painted newsprint.
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!

Hand a generous bundle of these to your husband as soon as he comes into the door. You know, as a gift... He'll smile happily, and so will you, hee hee.

Now please have yourself a fabulous day, and I'll see you again soon!


  1. The bookmarks are beautiful, Michele! You both did and excellent job! I have a few scattered around, but never can find them while I am reading, so will grab whatever is handy, usually a napkin, grocery list(used, I hope) or other scrap of paper. Nothing nice.

    As for my husband, he is picky about books and would SCREAM if I left my books open OR folded down a page as a bookmark. His books do not look like they have been read, and they have, multiple times. He LOVES books.

    So, thank you for the tutorial. Maybe I can grab something pretty next time for my books....

    Have a great day and I hope your little one feels better.

  2. The Boy lives a wonderful love with such a creative Mom! And The Man will be thrilled with these bookmarks! They are awesome!

  3. What lovely idea! The books are very nice!
    I hope your boy will be good in a very short time.
    Kiss from Italy

  4. Has 'Lo' never asked before why there is a sock in hs book?. Love these quick and easy bookmarks. Thanks for sharing how to make them.
    Not sure what you call newsprint is. It dosen't look like ordinary newspaper printed pages as I can't see any print showing through. Would it have another name here in the UK?
    Hugs Mrs A.

  5. #1 these are just GORGEOUS! What a wonderful craft for a gloomy day...and you will have these for years to come!

    #2 Since you were brave, I'll admit it too: I have used a dirty sock as an impromptu bookmaker as well. Well it worked, didn't it?!

  6. I love your "homemade projects". Who doesn't enjoy doing these projects, and how much fun our kids have in doing them.

  7. I love these! Very fun and visually bright and cheerful :)

    xoxo Maria

  8. These look wonderful Michele!!! You both did a great job with them.

  9. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [24 Feb 12:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  10. You have the best ideas, Michele. My daughter would adore this project. Where do you get your newsprint?

  11. I love these! What a fun project for a sick day! Hope everyone is better soon!

  12. Mrs A: I don't know what newsprint is called in the UK, but it's the same paper that newspapers are printed on. It's sort of light greyish in colour, what people might consider lower-quality paper, and it's perfect for crinkling. Hope that helps. :)

  13. I had so much fun reading your post and I am so familiar with the part about getting into a white blinded fury (which happens to me too but for other things my family decides to leave out and about)so I know how you feel my dear friend!
    Second, I love the bookmarks you've made. I collect bookmarks and have pretty much a great collection but to tell the truth I've never made myself something like this. Although I have an embroidered one!
    Great job!

  14. I hope you son is feeling better. The Bookmarks are lovely...been eyeing those chewing gum wrapper projects - nice!


  15. This is a great project Michele, so unique and useful, I love this. I will send the link to my sister, it would be a great one to use in class as well.

    PS I hope your little guy feels better, there is a bug going around Ontario. My girls had it last weekend and I have a number of friends with young kids who are battling the scourge.

  16. Hey! Just featured this post over on, check it your blog! Can't believe I haven't come across it before...great work!

  17. Fancy the idea of using your "treated" newsprint to make collages at our Day Centre for the Elderly - thanks for sharing this! Nancy

  18. I love the story (why you NEED all these bookmarks) and I love the project! They are beautiful and look so fun to make. You know, I never ever thought to make a whole bunch of bookmarks to have on hand, and I can't imagine why not! Since I, too have crappy bits of who-know-what sticking out of dozens of books at any given time. Thank you for another great thought!

  19. Yes we have bookmark issues in our house as well. My girls are avid readers which is great and they often have 2-3 books on the go each at one time. Despite having loads of bookmarks they leave them open face down all the time or fold the corner of a page down which is a pet hate of mine. Great bookmarks you made with the boy and a good way to help pass the time when hewas sick.

  20. We have tons of bookmarks...somewhere. :(

    These are so pretty!!


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