Posts Tagged ‘bookbands’

|

Bookband Elastic for Stitched Bookmarks

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

 

Bookband, Funk & Weber Designs

My first bookbands recycled gold elastic cord.

When I first made bookbands years ago, finding elastic for the project was a hurdle. My search for appropriate and pretty elastic turned up nothing but some lingerie elastic in limited and uninspiring colors. I recycled elastic cord from a gift for my model, but who besides me has that on hand?

Then the only place I found to order that elastic cord was a packaging supplier, and you had to order it by the pound (or something), which wasn’t practical for a one-bookmark stitcher.

While strolling through a Big Box sewing store recently, I discovered decorative elastics that I dreamed of but couldn’t find back then. So, thanks to Dritz, the elastic hurdle has been removed, and it’s time to revisit bookbands.

 

The Problem with Embroidered Bookmarks

Funk & Weber Designs cross stitch pattern, Play Ball!, baseball bookmark

Oh, I have and have made my share of them. The Funk & Weber Designs cross stitch baseball bookmark pattern: Play Ball!

I love embroidered bookmarks. They are nicely rooted in stitchy history; they are beautiful; and they are useful. We still collect and give embroidered bookmarks away in Stitching for Literacy.

But I have a problem with them, too, something I really dislike. Most are designed to be clapped inside a book where the carefully, lovingly, skillfully crafted embroidery is . . . hidden! Not to mention smashed.

Bleh.

Don’t get me wrong: I have and have made my share of these (like the Funk & Weber Play Ball cross stitch bookmark pattern, which I love), but I much prefer an embroidered bookmark that allows the needlework to be visible, and bookbands do just that. Without dangling. I got on the whole bookband kick because a reader complained about book thongs, hookmarks, and other dangly kinds. Got a problem? I want to solve it!

 

Bookbands

I know, I know. There are a gazillion wonderful bookmark patterns and convenient bookmark blanks that are designed to be smashed inside a book, and you can even argue that they’re easier to use—though I will engage in that argument and point out that it’s far from hard to stretch the elastic over a group of pages when one is finished reading for a time. And, I’ll add, because the bookband can stay attached to the book at all times, it’s less likely to get lost. So there.

But that doesn’t mean all those flat bookmarks are useless. What happens if you stitch a loop of pretty elastic to one of those Crafter’s Pride or Janlynn bookmark blanks? Voila! It’s a bookband, and the pretty embroidery can live outside the book, enticing readers to come take a closer look.

 


Embroidered bookband, by Funk & Weber Designs

Bookbands keep the embroidery outside where it’s visible.


 

Fun Dritz Elastic

Dritz now has ruffled and ruched elastics, as well as glitter and fold-over (to encase a raw edge, like on stretchy knit fabric). The ruffled elastic I picked up has ruffles down the outer edges, but I see online that there’s a version with a single ruffle down the center. Also, in finding these links just now, I discovered that the fold-over elastic comes in patterns: polka dots, chevrons, hearts. Fold it in half and stitch it for a more narrow band, or just leave it flat. I can see wanting a narrower band for bracelets-turned-bookbands (keep reading).

Best of all, the colors are great: basic black and white, pastels, and screaming bright colors for me. I’ll take one of each, please.

 

Decorative Elastic from Dritz, Funk & Weber Designs

Decorative elastic from Dritz. Are these great colors or what?

 

Bracelets Turned Bookbands

I am partial to bracelets-turned-bookbands because I love the bracelet pattern. In particular, I like the firm, secure, durable edges and the pretty backside. I also like the grab-and-go nature of the project: It’s small; I stitch the last half of the project in hand; and the pattern is easily memorized. I generally have several of these in various stages of progress, packed in bags, ready to go.

The sample bracelet/bookmark here is narrow, but they can be made any width.

 

Composite cross stitches, by Funk & Weber Designs

The pattern is composite cross stitches with interesting, sparkly threads.

 

Tips, Tricks, & Brilliant Ideas

  • Convert bookmarks you’ve already made to bookbands by adding decorative elastic.
  • Recycle UFOs and orphan projects by cutting them into strips, securing the edges, and—oh, yeah—adding an elastic loop.
  • Use Tokens & Trifles Trinkets stitching cards for bookbands with cool shapes. These cards are no longer being produced, so get them while you can.
  • Put cool stitched doodles to work: Stitch several onto a circle of elastic for a bookband.
  • The Bookmarks 101: Simple, Smart, and Swanky Finishes ebook is full of ideas and instructions for finishing the edges and backs of doodles and mini stitcheries, most of which can be used to make bookbands.
  • Got a Kindle or Nook or tablet or something else with a cover? Bookbands are great for keeping the cover closed and for identifying yours if there happens to be more than one.

 

Elastic bookband in use, by Funk & Weber Designs

I read with the bookband on. When I’m finished, I slide the completed pages under the elastic.

 

Buy Elastic

 

Ruffle elastic

Ruched elastic

Glitter elastic

Fold-over elastic

 

Head’s Up! Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a small commission.

 

What About You?

So . . . are you game to try bookbands? What other ideas do you have for these groovy elastics?

|