Monday, July 2, 2018

How to Make a Wood Burned Leather Bookmark

Some time ago, I bought a package of leather scraps from RSVPhandcrafted on etsy, so that I could introduce crafting with leather to Syd. Leather isn't a material that I, personally, have a ton of interest in, but Syd is a gifted artist and an avid crafter, and it's one of my homeschool goals to introduce her to as many facets of arts and crafts as possible.

Unsurprisingly, she took to leather crafting like a natural!

To make a wood burned leather bookmark, first use sturdy scissors to cut a bookmark out of leather. I used another bookmark (we make them often!) as the template.

Next, use a pencil to make your pattern. It's helpful to decide what tip on the wood burner you're going to want to use, so that your pencil marks are suitable. You can get quite narrow and detailed lines with the right tip, but Syd wanted to use something a little wider, so made sure to make her lines suitably wide.

Then get out the wood burner and trace over your pattern!


You'll notice that Syd does the busy mom trick of listening to her audiobook with only one headphone on--the other is off her ear so that she can participate in conversations. It means she only pays half-attention to whatever is going on, but like her sister (and, frankly, like me...) she's gotta feed that brain with stories or she'll squirm out of her skin!


Here's the part that I think is the coolest: after you've finished wood burning the leather, you can get a set of permanent markers (Sharpies would work, but here Syd is using Prismacolors) and embellish the bookmark.

Notice that Syd has another piece of scrap leather by her side to test colors, because the tan leather gives unexpected results, sometimes:


Finally, you can use an eyelet setter, an awl, or the wood burner to put a hole near the top of the bookmark, then thread through embroidery floss and knot it. And then admire your bookmark, because doesn't it look pretty!


We have so many books constantly going in our family, that making bookmarks is somewhat of a collective obsession of ours. Here are some other bookmark projects that we like a lot:

  • Upcycle a coloring book page into a bookmark. I love these for preserving the sweet coloring pages that the children complete, without adding another thing to my stack of keepsakes.
  • cardboard record album bookmark. The duct tape is optional for this project; I generally only use it if the back of the album cover looks gross.
  • upcycled cross stitch bookmark. I buy a ton of old picture frames at Goodwill, and this one had an elaborate, but not to my taste, cross stitch creation framed in it. So I gave it new life!
  • upcycled Girl Scout cookie boxes. Seasonally, we have endless supplies of these, and so we have endless supplies of bookmarks made from them!
  • favorite quote bookmark. This is a fun way to fancy up plain cardboard for a bookmark.
  • comic book bookmarks. These are my favorite!
  • downloadable coloring page bookmarks. It's actually easy to find bookmark templates online for printing in cardstock and coloring in. We found lots of ones for TV shows and comics that we love.
  • secret bookmarks. This isn't a bookmark tutorial, but when Syd was a Brownie, the Take Action Project for her World of Girls Journey was these "secret bookmarks" that she hid in library books in the children's department of our local public library. It was such a clever project, and so perfectly suited to a Girl Scout her age!
I don't have concrete plans for the rest of the leather scraps in the package that I bought, although Syd has made other bookmarks and a few other projects. If you think of something else awesome that we should do with leather scraps, let me know!

P.S. I post more WIP pics and crafting and homeschool resources every day over on my Craft Knife Facebook page. Come find me!

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