Upcycled Fabric Selvage Bookmarks

Upcycled Fabric Selvage Bookmarks

Creating these fabric selvage bookmarks was a lot of fun and it’s a great way to upcycle those odds and ends of leftover fabric.

This project idea came to me rather organically while I was looking through my fabric selvage stash one day recently.

I was pulling out some colors and patterns that I liked, hoping to get a jolt of creative inspiration… and it happened.

When I laid them down on my craft desk they suddenly looked like bookmarks to me.

But even though they had the look, they needed some help to actually become usable bookmarks.

Sponsored: Decoupage product provided by DecoArt. This project idea, choice of product used, and all opinions are 100% my own. See full Disclosure Policy here.

fabric selvages in different colors and patterns

Here are the fabric selvages that I pulled from my stash. Since I wasn’t sure which ones I was going to use I kept them all out as options.

Cutting cardboard strips for bookmarks

supplies for making fabric selvage bookmarks

To create my fabric selvage bookmarks I’m using some thin white cardboard that I kept out of a picture frame a while back. I never throw cardboard that’s in good shape away because it can always be reused or repurposed some day.

You’ll find a list of the rest of the supplies farther down in this post.

cutting thin cardboard to make bookmarks

Since the cardboard was rather thin I used a handy dandy paper cutter to get nice straight cuts.

You could mark and cut by hand but this paper cutter makes the job so much easier. The inch marks on the left are the measurements from the cutting blade.

cutting thin cardbord using paper cutter into strips to make bookmarks

So I positioned my cardboard at about the 1 1/2″ mark.

To cut I just pressed down on the orange cutting blade and pulled it across the cardboard, while holding the plastic piece down with my other hand. I stopped the blade half way down so I could take a pic.

cutting thin cardboard strips to length to make bookmarks

Then I measured and marked my cardboard strips at about 7 in length”, placed them in the cutter, lined my mark up, and cut.

Assembling the fabric selvage bookmarks

applying decoupage medium to cardboard bookmark

To create my fabric selvage bookmark you basically make a sandwich by adding some Deco-Art decoupage medium to one side of the cardboard piece.

applying decoupage medium to fabric selvage

And onto the wrong side of the first fabric selvage piece.

applying cardboard bookmark on top of piece of fabric selvage

Then you press the cardboard piece and the fabric piece together, making sure the fabric hangs over the edge a little bit. That will be trimmed later.

applying decoupage medium to other side of cardboard bookmark

Apply decoupage medium onto the other side of the cardboard, making sure to get it all over the fabric piece as well.

Then add the medium to the wrong side of the second piece of fabric selvage.

applying piece of fabric selvage onto other side of bookmark

Then press it all together, smoothing it out to make it as flat as you can.

The fabric should seal the cardboard in on all sides.

trimming fabric after covering cardbord bookmark with fabric selvages

This is a good time to trim any long edges, but don’t do the final trimming just yet. That comes later.

hanging up fabric selvage bookmark so decoupage medium can dry

Using a small binder clip, I hung the bookmark to dry.

putting decoupaged fabric selvage bookmarks under heavy books to flatten

Once it was dry I placed it under some books, and added a heavy briefcase on top. I left it like that for a few hours and went and did other things.

trimming fabric selvage bookmark to size of cardboard frame underneath

Then I trimmed the fabric around the cardboard underneath.

You can definitely feel where the cardboard is inside the fabric sandwich. The trick here is to cut close to the cardboard, but not too close.

sanding fabric with sanding block in between coats of decoupage medium

I lightly sanded both fabric sides with a sanding block. This is just to sand down any fabric particles that may be sticking up. Be careful to brush away any particles that the sanding leaves behind.

Then I did that process all over again; decoupaged both sides, hung it up to dry, put under books, sanded both sides, brushed particles away… and then one final top coat.

Supplies needed for Fabric Selvage Bookmarks

  • thin cardboard
  • fabric selvages
  • Deco-Art Fabric decoupage medium
  • foam brush
  • paper cutter
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • sanding block
  • E6000 glue
  • jewelry bits & pieces

Fun and colorful fabric selvage bookmarks

one side of decoupaged fabric selvage bookmarks

Here are my five fabric salvage bookmarks that I made.

second side of decoupaged fabric selvage bookmarks

And here’s what the other sides look like.

You could certainly leave them like this, but I wanted to bling them up a bit.

Dressing up the fabric selvage bookmarks

I chose my favorite sides of the bookmarks, and using E6000 glue I dressed them up with bits and pieces from my costume jewelry crafting stash.

A couple of clip on earrings, and pieces from a few different bracelets.

DIY decoupaged fabric bookmarks

The decorations stop the bookmarks from sliding down inside the books, and I think they look pretty too.

I’m currently reading the book on top, and I love opening it up to that pretty pink floral bookmark. It just makes me smile.

Looking for more fabric selvage projects? Check out these decoupaged peanut butter jars that I’m using for pretty storage.

It would be greatly appreciated if you would pin this project to your favorite Pinterest board, and also share it with your friends.

How to create DIY fabric salvage bookmarks

Thanks so much for reading and until next time,

keep on keepin’ on!


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  1. So much prettier then the piece of junk mail I usually use for a book mark. The decoration on the top is a great idea. Thanks for another project I could easily do with things I already own.

  2. Well… those are just adorable! What a great idea, pinned!


  3. Debra Hubbs says:

    Those are pretty. Great idea.

  4. Such a good idea for recycling fabric selvage. These pretty bookmarks would make great gifts too, especially with the pretty bling you added. Pinned 🙂

    1. Thanks Marie! Yes I think they would make great gifts as well, with books or even just be themselves.

  5. Ding! Pinned. Once again a great project using things I don’t have anymore!! I’ve been sewing for 40 yrs and do you think I kept any selvages? Nary a one! However, do you think I will ever throw one out again? NEVER!! These are just too cool for school!! Another great idea, from the leader in great ideas!!!

    1. Thanks so much Dona! This is a great way to use fabric selvages, but if you don’t have any you could cut pieces of fabric to fit. 🙂