Thursday, December 19, 2013

How to make candy-friendly bookmarks

I've had this idea for bookmarks cut from double-sided card-stock scrapbook paper for months, so naturally I waited until three days before I wanted to tie them to candy canes and give them away before I started making them.

Fortunately, they are fast.

You Will Need

cutting mat
rotary cutter
a ruler longer than 12"
a hole punch
lengths of ribbon/scrap yarn - allow 11"/22" per bookmark
candy canes, the kind where the wrapper follows the contour of the hook

How to Proceed

First, cut out the bookmarks.  I made mine 1.5" wide and 6" tall but obviously this is flexible depending on the size of the candy you want to tie them to.  If you're using 12" x 12" paper your job could not be easier: just keep cutting the pieces in half.

You know... from two 6" x 12" pieces, you take one and turn it to cut into two 6" x 6" pieces, and take one of those and cut it into two 6" x 3" pieces, and then cut one of them into two 6" x 1.5" pieces.

Even faster: take your 6" x 12" piece and just keep slicing every 1.5".

I cut some from 8" squares too, leaving out the excess bits, before I realized the paper was really too flimsy for a bookmark.  But if the paper is good, it's still easy to use an 8" square piece.

Most of my bookmarks were intended for people with a very small appreciation for florals, and a lot of my paper was pretty far down that road, but when you cut up the patterns it's amazing how 'floral' becomes 'abstract'.

If you're not attaching these to anything, you can stop here and maybe even pick up a book to put one to use for yourself.  If you are, however, keep reading.

Next:  punch a hole in one end of the bookmark, not too close to the top that it will rip, and as close to the center as possible.  Don't be like me and get too tired and absently punch both ends of the bookmark because that is just not pretty.

Now you are ready for yarn or ribbon or whatever you are doing at the top.  First, do some colour coordination because that's fun.  And rewarding, if you're like me and have lots of yarn left over from other projects that is too nice to toss and too short to make something else with.

If you're using ribbon you are probably fine with single 11" lengths of it; if you're using yarn, you will get a cuter tassel with a double strand.  Cut 22" lengths for these if you're using slim yarn, a bit longer if you're using something more bulky, because you will need flexibility when you go to tie these onto the top of the cane.

I found it easier to wait till I was ready to 'finish' the next bookmark before I cut each of these long yarn lengths into two.  At that point, you line them up perfectly and fold them in half again so you get the top of a loop.

And now, you're doing the same thing no matter what your tassel is made of: poke the top of that loop through the hole, and slip the loose ends of the yarn/ribbon/whatever through said loop.  So cute!

Finally, it's time to tie the bookmark to the top of the top of the cane.  If you want to add a To and From card onto this present, slip it onto the front half of your tassel strand(s) before you do your tying.  Set the cane right in front of the bookmarker (and tag if you're using one) so it/they make a secure backing, and pull your yarn tight when you tie it to the top of the cane.  If it's snug enough, it won't slip off either end, which is extra Yay.

Done.  Done and cute and ready to go out spreading bookish cheer to your friends and neighbours.  Have fun!