Winter Solstice Tutorials – Leaf Bookmarks

First, an introduction to the tutorials…

Everywhere you look, the winter holidays are throwing themselves at us!  As soon as Samhain is over, and often before, we’re pushed by the big box stores to buy, buy, buy!  It can be quite stressful at times, but now that I’m no longer working in a retail store, I’m less bothered by it.  In fact, once Samhain is over, I find myself quite excited for some Yuletide cheer!  As a crafty Druid, I love making gifts for people.  In fact, this year I’m making a commitment: 80% or more of the gifts I give this year will be sustainable/local/handmade.  Suck it big box stores!  I’ll do the holidays on my own terms!

For those of you who are like me and want to create a more environmentally friendly, meaningful, and creative holiday celebration, join me as I prepare for the coming festivities!  I plan to do several tutorials for gifts, decor, and and maybe even some food.

Leaf Bookmarks

Today I’m going to show you how to make something really simple – a leaf bookmark.  This project is ideal for the novice sewer and could be something fun to do with children.  These bookmarks would make great gifts for your fellow grove mates or other tree hugging friends!

Materials

  • felt (many stores carry felt made from recycled plastic)
  • wide ribbon
  •  thread
  • needle
  • pattern (oak and maple)
Like many sewing projects, begin with the pattern linked above.  I created it using real leaves.  If you cannot find the variety you’re looking for, look for photos of leaves online, resize, and cut out to create your own realistic patterns.  Depending on how you want your bookmark to look, you may want to resize the above pattern.  Cut the paper leaves out then place them over your felt. Carefully cut around the pattern.  You may want to trace them with a fabric crayon/marker or pin them to help you – especially if you are just learning.
From Arts and Crafts

Next, use coordinating thread to embroider the veins into the leaf.  I recommend looking at real leaves to get a sense of how they should look.  If you are not confident in your sewing abilities, you may want to do a central vein only.  I used a shiny gold thread and did a simple, running stitch.  If you want to do more than a central vein, you will have to carefully tie the thread off multiple times.  Make sure your thread is secure to the fabric before cutting!

From Arts and Crafts

Finally, I attached the leaf to a wide ribbon.  Again, try to use colors that work well together.  Most ribbons will fray when cut, so it is recommended that you singe them using a match or candle flame.  To attach the ribbon, you may glue or carefully sew it to the back so that it aligns with some of the faux veins.

From Arts and Crafts

And voila!  You have a lovely, functional bookmark to give to your Druid friends and scholar pals.  For an added, magical touch, you may want to embroider or paint on ogham corresponding to the tree.

 

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