Thursday, January 31

Paper weaves: Woven bookmarks

During Christmas season, I found an excuse to save up coupon mail trash that I would not use for shopping.

Here's what became of some of that trash.

Recycle paper woven bookmarks

Bookmarks! Of course it had to be bookmarks! My creative cells overwork in that direction! For starters, let me tell you that if you want to make these, load yourself with super-patience and more patience.

On the surface of it, this process looks cool - cut strips, weave, and stick. But if you want neatness to show, you have to be slow. And steady. And not lose hope when things go wrong. Most of all, do not expect perfect pieces to turn out. Sometimes you may have to trim and chop till the pieces fit into a pattern.

Here is what you need for a start. AD FLIERS!

Mail trash for recycle

Much to the consternation of my husband, I save up a whole lot of these. And they come in handy in the most unusual of ways when I make bookmarks.

The Thanksgiving - Christmas season had a lot of reds and greens in these flier books, to my delight!

paper, knife, scissors, ruler for paper weave bookmarks

What you see in the picture is basic. I have a paper trimmer which may be hard on your pocket. So to substitute, you may use a thin ruler. This wooden ruler could cause some mess as it is thick. If you get plastic rulers that are thinnish, good. What is not in the picture, is some glue that you may need.

weave from coupon mail trash
These are pre-cut strips from the coupon mail trash. Alternatively, you could cut out strips from magazines, ideally in accented colours. Sometimes you may get the same page in a family of colours. And that works well for a good pattern in weaving.

Once you cut off strips from the cardstock or coloured cardboard, you need to

  • draw margins on the longer sides of the piece, leaving a 0.5 cms gap or one fourth of an inch
  • cut slits between these two margins, about one third of an inch apart, lesser or more depending on your choice
  • this takes time, because when you make the slits, you need to make sure that the thinnish and glossy flier paper passes through without tearing
  • ideally choose thick cardstock

Once you are finished with the slits, choose your strips from the pre-cut stash. Check for their width. They must fit well into the width of the slits.

Next step is simple.


You will have left over strips protruding from either or both ends of the cardboard or paper.

Trim them enough to stick them up near the last slit on either ends.

Here is how my bookmarks turned out.

Paper weave bookmarks

You get plenty of white strips from coupon mail. Here, I used white with chocolate brown, besides using some orange-yellow-black strips from Halloween ad-fliers.

woven bookmarks

woven bookmarks

Greens and reds, are from the Christmas mail stash. Over to pale browns and coffee coloured strips.

Woven bookmarks

Notice, that Halloween colours have come in handy here too. Some red strips from Christmas season made their way to this set.

Once you are done with the gluing and trimming, make sure you erase the pencil marks that you made for the margins on the longer sides of the cardstock pieces.

paper woven bookmarks

 The trouble I have had with this cardstock set, is that it is not as thick as I would want, for a woven bookmark.

Am hoping I can laminate this set someday. And am hesitant to give it a coat of Mod Podge, as the paper strips are too thin.

Any ideas what to do?

Picture courtesy: Me/ Radhika M B
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