DIY Sequinned Felt Bird Bookmark
If there's one thing I can safely say that my kids might love even more than crafts, it's reading. Needless to say, I am thrilled and very proud of these facts! I often like to combine their love of crafts with other things they like to make them feel motivated and excited about homemade work, so I thought for a long time about how to help them create some cool homemade bookmarks. However, I've also been thinking about teaching them the basics of hand sewing so they're finally interested in learning to sew. Then I had the idea to combine all these elements into one project, and that's exactly what these fun little tiles, which feel like bird bookmarks, came about!
Before I even showed anyone what we had created, I suspected that other cunning parents would like to know how it was done, and I was right. Fortunately, my passion led me to document the bookmarking process I set up with the kids to create the tutorial! Check out the post below to find written instructions with photos of each step, or go to the bottom of the post to watch a video tutorial if you’re more of a visual learner.
For this project you will need:
- Template (which can be downloaded from here)
- paper clips
- Felt (blue and pink)
Gather your materials! I printed my first things first.
Cut all the pieces out of the template. You will use them as guides to find the right shapes in each color and cut the right sizes to and from the felt sheets. When you're done, you'll see that you actually have two of each shape. This is because you are going to make two of each piece; one for each side of the flat bird, so it looks great from any direction. You could use the same piece twice, but some people, when working with templates, prefer things that are separated by size, so this one offers double.
Place each piece of felt of any color you want to make this part of the bird from the outside, and use your marker to trace around the paper template on the fabric below. Remember that you need two of each shape or one outline every a separate piece of paper (depending on your preferences). I made small rounded eyes from black felt, small triangular beaks from purple felt, two wings from blue felt and both sides of the bird's body from pink felt. When it comes to the second version of each piece, rotate it to reflect your first tracked shape; you will have to stack the pieces against each other, so you want them to fit as opposites. Use scissors to cut out each piece by trimming the marker foot lines as much as possible.
Thread the needle and insert the ends so that you cannot pull them through the front of the felt. Pass the needle through the felt from the back to the front of your first blue wing, lightly anchoring the knotted ends to the back. Take the sequin and pry the tip of the needle through the hole, then slide the whole needle and thread all the way into the tile so that it is flat against the felt at the base where it came out through your thread. Drop the needle back down, lift the sequin slightly, and pass the needle through the felt just below the sequins, right where you started. Pull the needle through and at the back, pulling the thread too far and gently pulling it around the edge of the tile. Be careful not to pull the needle and thread too tightly, otherwise the felt will stick to the buckle and the sequin will stick at an odd angle instead of falling flat. Insert the needle back and forth from the back into another place and repeat the process. You will do this across the wing, changing the position of the needle each time to spread the sequins along their entire length. After the last sequins, turn the wing and use a needle to form a knot in the thread, which is tightly tightened to the base of the thread, towards the back of the felt piece. Use scissors to cut off excess and release the needle. If you need a needle here, re-thread it and then repeat the whole sequin embroidery process in the second wing! Then set your wings aside for a moment.
Choose one side of the bird's body and choose which side you will be outside and which you want to create from the inside. Usually the outside (which is the side that will show) is the side that you like better or the one that looks cleaner. Turn the piece of felt so that the nicest side you want to show is face down on the table. Apply hot glue to the inside (not shown) at the top. Here you will stick the end of your paper clip, which has only one curved piece in this direction (no open compression tip with two curved pieces facing in the opposite direction). Once the paper clip is installed, apply hot glue all around the inside of the bird around the jammed end. Align carefully the others a piece of bird that will form the other side and glue it down with its edges, evenly matching the first side, all the way, covering the glued end of the paper clip. The base of your bookmark is now complete and ready to decorate.
Take a wing that fits on the side of the bird facing you (with a thicker rounded tip against the bird's head and a tapered tip against the bird's tail). Turn the wing so that the side without the sequins is facing you, and apply the glue along its entire length. Turn the wing back and glue it in place. Repeat this process on the other side with the second wing, passing the bird over to work with the opposite side.
Glue the bird's eye and beak to the side facing you, then wrap the bird and glue it in the appropriate places on the other side to complete the bookmark.
You now have a sparkling little felt bird! Slide the open end of the paper clip to the top of your page to mark your position. As usual, you can always be creative by choosing colors other than what I've done here. If you want to see each action more, check out this video tutorial!