I’m one of those people who is always reading multiple books at once which means that I’m always in dire need of new bookmarks. Today I’m showing you how I designed and created this lace snake DIY Embroidered Bookmark from conception to final product. Stick around until the end for the free pattern!
If you like video tutorials don’t forget to watch my video that goes step-by-step through the entire process:
Designing the Embroidered Bookmark
I was toying around with a few ideas of what to embroider on the bookmark and remembered a project I did last year which included painting a lace bat. Making faux lace from embroidery thread would look elegant. I wanted to do something with snakes and I loved the idea of making a lace snake.
First step was to start doodling and sketching out a few concepts. I measured the size of my bookmark so I knew the space I was dealing with. I started playing around with the layout of the snake and how I wanted the lace to look like. This process was a lot of testing, erasing and redoing but once I found some concepts I liked, it was time to scan my sketch and start transferring this into a digital pattern.
Creating a Digital Embroidery Pattern
These first steps are actually very similar to how I designed my DIY Victorian Inspired Wallpaper. Once I had my scan I opened it in Adobe Illustrator and using the pencil tool I traced around the outlines. I had my settings on high smoothness so as I traced it wouldn’t pick up any inconsistencies and tremors that naturally happen when you trace on a trackpad.
Once I had everything traced and added all of the fine lace detailing I did a once over to make sure that all the lines were connected and even. Now it’s time to transfer this pattern on to fabric and start embroidering.
Transferring the Embroidery Pattern onto Cloth
After I had my digital pattern, I downloaded the PNG file onto my iPad. I measured out the size of the picture to make sure it was the same as my bookmark. As I was designing this in Illustrator I actually decided to make the bookmark an inch bigger to create a bit more spacing for the embroidery and make the pattern transfer cleaner.
I actually had to restart this project. Because I was using a dark cloth my first tracing attempt did not go well. Any other fellow stitchers know how tricky outlining on dark fabric can be. I first tried out using a chalk pencil. Although I knew how easily it rubs off I was hoping I’d be able to at least get it done if I was super careful with it. Since this pattern is so detailed it turned into a mess so I had to try something new.
I decided to opt for using white acrylic paint and the thinnest paintbrush I had. In all honesty I was really wanting to avoid this method in fear that any of the acrylic would show from underneath my stitching and make the end result look messy. I think this method works really well for solid embroidery but with some patience I managed to keep all of my lines super thin and neat and had no show through at the end.
During this time I also ended up using painting tape to secure my cloth to the table around my iPad and used a few strips extra on the right hand side so I could rest my hand comfortably to trace. If you’ve ever traced anything on a tablet and accidentally touched mid process you know how it can be annoying as hell.
Embroidering the Bookmark
Now it’s time to finally start embroidering. I chose an off-white floss to do my line work. Starting off with outlining the bolder outlines with an outline stitch (take a drink each time I say outline). The next step was creating the fine lacing which I did before doing the large lace loops overtop and finally ended with all the lighter weight lines again with an outline stitch.
If you actually want to embroider this bookmark or use this pattern to make something else (or just print out the bookmark) I actually created a free pattern with all the details and steps.
Creating the DIY Embroidered Bookmark
Now that I have my embroidery done it’s time to actually turn this into a DIY Embroidered Bookmark. I’m taking two pieces of card stock each 8×3 in (the size of my bookmark). I trimmed my cloth to be the same size with a ½ in “seam allowance” to have enough cloth to wrap around and glue to the card sock. With the first piece of card stock I’m centering my cloth using some sewing pins and using my glue gun to pull the edges taught and glue them down being careful to not glue any of the corners.
Using scissors I cut the corners at a diagonal to make sure they are clean and crisp. At this time if you wanted to add a tassel or ribbon you can lay it down on the back of the cloth card stock before gluing the second card stock piece on top. I have kittens so I’m not going to be doing this.
Glue down the second card stock piece and voila, you have an embroidered bookmark.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy your DIY Embroidered Bookmark pattern!