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Monday, 6 April 2015

A bookmark for Mum - Mother's Day gift craft tutorial

If you are like me, special days seem to sneak up on me. I like to make handmade items, but sometimes I leave creating until the last minute. By then, I don't have enough time and a frantic trip to the shops is in order.

This little craft project is made up in no time and it uses a lot of materials that are found around the house. The bonus in all this, is that even though this gift looks lovely, it involves minimal cost. This project is simple enough that children could even make up their own version to give to Mum!


  • paper - I used an old book page, but any paper would suffice.
  • paints - a main colour and white to lighten it. I also used some watered down black paint for highlighting
  • scissors - normal scissors (I also used some fancy edging scissors, but this is optional)
  • brush - nothing fancy - anything to get paint down (a cotton wool ball would do)
  • something to mix paint on
  • decoupage glue - watered down PVA glue could work (test first)
  • scrap coloured paper to match your main colour - a used some pink and black in a picture on a magazine page.
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • black permanent pen
  • access to computer and printer (or use words out of a magazine) 
  • cotton bud
  • rub ons (optional)
  • hole punch and ribbon (optional)
Measure and cut out a rectangle of paper, slightly smaller than the size of your desired bookmark (mine was 14cm x 5.5cm).

Mix up two shades of your chosen colour - one darker (or straight out of the tube) and one lighter (mixed with some white). I chose pink and a light pink. Mix each colour with a small amount of water to make the paint thinner (about the same consistency as milk). I did this to get a 'watercolour' type of effect. If you desire the paint to be thicker, skip mixing with water.

Paint the lighter colour all over the paper with the brush or cotton wool ball, leaving about a 0.5cm border around the edge (no need to be too precise). Let dry a little (a hairdryer would help this process) and then paint splodges of the darker colour on top. Let dry.

Whilst the paint is drying, fold the scrap of coloured paper in half and cut out half a 'heart' shape, beginning at the fold (see above photo). This allows for a perfectly symmetrical heart when opened up. Repeat this process until you have 3-5 hearts (odd number amounts look better).

Arrange the hearts on the paper and once you are pleased with the layout, adhere with decoupage glue. Paint decoupage glue on the top of the hearts. Let dry.

Draw in some little hearts around the glued down hearts with the permanent marker (I used a fine marker). I also added a wandering line of dots. Outline the glued down hearts.

Using a computer, I typed out the sentiment 'I love you Mum' and printed it out (I like using a basic typewriter font). Cut up the words and glue them down with the decoupage glue (paint over the top as well). If you don't have access to a computer, cut out words/letters from newspapers/magazines. I added some rub ons, but this is optional.

Water down a tiny bit of black paint and apply it around the edge of the paper. I used a cotton bud for this. I added a little bit more watery black paint in the corners. Draw around the edge of the words with the permanent marker.

Adhere the bookmark onto the cardboard with the decoupage glue and apply a thin layer over the top. Let dry. Trim around the edge with some scissors (I used some fancy edging scissors).

If so desired, add a hole down the bottom of the bookmark with the hole punch and tie through some ribbon. I used three different types of pink ribbon.

Your bookmark is now finished!
You could possibly laminate the bookmark before adding the hole and ribbon to give the bookmark a little more strength.

I hope that this provides you with an inexpensive but unique gift option. You could team this bookmark with a book that Mum has been wanting to purchase or a gift voucher from a bookstore for the ultimate Mother's Day gift.

Have fun creating!

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