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How to Weave "Zen" Art Bookmarks
Submitted by Pam on Fri, 07/13/2012 - 07:00
I feel like a fish out of water - making bookmarks! Never made a bookmark in my life unless you count the wrinkled little scraps of paper that poke out of nearly every book in my library!
After days of feeling at a loss for even a glimmer of inspiration, I decided to make a list of all my personal crafty dabbler talents and see if anything popped up!
Saori weaving seemed a good match for a bookmark.
Chris requested that we share a little "how-to" on our blogs. Fortunately for me, most of my "tutorial" work has already been done! All I really need to add are a few tips that apply specifically to making bookmarks!
To start, I pretty much followed my basic tutorial for weaving Saori on a cardboard loom.
Because bookmarks are usually quite thin, I turned to my stash of Yarnia "bits and pieces scrap yarn" for both warp and weft yarns. Yarnia yarns are often made from several individual yarns that are quite thin - some even as thin as sewing thread, embroidery floss and very fine lace weight yarn - perfect for creating a very thin Saori weaving.
For each warp I used several thin thread-like yarns and I was very happy to find that they lay perfectly flat and side by side turing the entire weaving process - just as you see them above after I warped the "loom".
Once the weaving was completed, the "bookmark" was removed from the loom and a backing applied using instructions found in my tutorial for a little woven heart ornament.
However, instead of backing the bookmark with felt, I used card weight paper stock.
Simply cut the paper to the bookmark size desired, apply a generous coat of Mod Podge to one side of the paper and press the Mod Podge side of the paper on to the back of the weaving. Cover with wax paper and weigh down with several books for about 8 hours to make sure the fibers are well bonded to the backing. Remove the books and wax paper and let dry overnight.
Once the bookmark is completely dry, trim away excess yarns at the edges using a straight edge and rotary blade. You can leave a little yarn border extending beyond the card stock, or trim the yarns flush to the paper edges.
When I made the prototype - I simply used plain white card stock for the backing. Once the backing glue dried, I used Mod Podge to attach a colorful strip from a calendar page I found in my paper stash.
A final light coat of Mod Podge seals the paper strip and protects against soil and moisture.
This idea works great, but I really wanted the backing to be more personal. While trying to think of a photo that would work with the colors in the blue/green weaving, my Muse suggested I might use a strip cut from one of my rain paintings!
Perfect! Muse always knows!
Note: After the Mod Podge coat completely dried (overnignt), I sprayed the Mod Podge surface with a couple light coats of acrylic spray. The Mod Podge surface seems dry to the touch, but every year when I remove Mod Podge covered Easter Eggs from their cardboard egg carton storage, I find parts of the surface have stuck to the cardboard.
I don't want my bookmarks sticking to my books so I have taken the precaution of sealing the surface with acrylic spray.
I am loving these bookmarks! They have the same wonderful textural quality I enjoy so much in my journal cover. And as they are woven in a meditative Saori state of mind, they truly are a little piece of "Zen" art.
Chris always adds ribbons or yarn to her bookmarks and I love that little extra touch so much. (See the top image - that is one of her bookmarks marking a page in my journal.) I am still thinking about adding some pretty yarn - Muse and I are still in discussion!
But this should get you going if you are inclined to weave a few bookmarks for your own use ... or as gifts. Or gift tags! Or ATC's!
And if you love to weave:
Saori Weaving on cardboard looms might interest you!
You may find some helpful hints for weaving in this three part series on simple loom and weaving techniques.
And if you liked making bookmarks, you might also enjoy making woven heart ornaments for your tree!
Or even a cute little woven gingerbread man ornament!