Fabric Bookmarks

First time using a sewing machine? This project lets you practice your straight stitches while creating beautiful, practical gifts for your family, friends, and teachers. For this tutorial, I'm using fabric from Maureen Fiorellini's Blossom and Grow collection for Studio E Fabrics.

Let's get started!

1. Cut 2 pieces of rectangular fabric. Mine are about 9 inches by 5 inches. Place the pieces on top of each other so that the "right" (correct) sides of the fabric are facing each other. Draw a pencil line across one of the short sides, about an inch from the edge of the fabric.

Fabric bookmarks step 1

2. Sew along 3 lengths of the fabrics as shown by the dotted line in the photo below: starting at the pencil line, sew one long edge; then sew along the short edge (the one without the pencil line); then sew the other long edge, ending at the pencil line. Leave lots of space between your stitches and the edge of the fabric.

Fabric bookmarks step 2

3. Carefully cut away the extra fabric next to your stitches; be sure you don't cut into your stitches. Only cut the 3 sides of the fabric where you stitched; do not cut along the short edge with the pencil line.

Fabric bookmarks step 3

4. Now for my favorite part: turn the bookmark right side out. Doesn't it look great? Use the eraser end of a pencil to gently shape the corners, if necessary. The last step is to sew the open end. Tuck the fabric from each side of the open end towards the inside of the bookmark. 

Fabric bookmarks step 4 

 Fabric bookmarks step 5

5. With the open edges tucked into the bookmark and smoothed flat, sew a straight line across the open edge.

Fabric bookmarks step 6

 6. Once you're comfortable making simple fabric bookmarks, consider adding fun extras. Below, I added a ribbon loop (photo, left) by tucking the loop into the open edge of the bookmark before sewing it shut. Or, wrap a strand of ribbon around the open edge, sewing it onto the fabric as you sew the opening shut (photo, top). For a different look, instead of folding the open edge inside, fold it over twice on the outside of the bookmark and then sew across the folded flap (photo, bottom right). 

Fabric bookmarks step 7

 Group of fabric bookmarks

If you can make fabric bookmarks, you can make cloth napkins! Visit my cloth napkin tutorial to learn how.