DIY Corner Bookmarks from Embroidered Linens

DIY Corner Bookmarks from Embroidered Linens

Any time I’m in a secondhand shop, I always peruse the linens section. Every now and then, I’ll happen across some embroidered linens such as vintage tablecloths or vintage napkins. I just have SUCH a weakness for those beautifully hand-embroidered pieces.

Embroidered linens that are damaged for repurposing projects

But many of the embroidered linens that I’ve collected have not aged well. Whether they have holes or stains, a lot of them are damaged in one way or another.

Vintage embroidery with holes and tears for upcycling projects

Even with those flaws, though, I still feel compelled to purchase them even if they simply get stowed away in a plastic bin for who-knows-how-long. Because, really, what am I going to do with something moth-eaten and threadbare?

Well, I’ve finally figured out a way to salvage some of the pretty embroidery while avoiding the blemishes by making some DIY Corner Bookmarks! Think of them as little page pockets that a book page corner can be slipped into.

And yes, I even made a version of this project for my book, “Crafting with Flannel”, too!

DIY bookmarks as gifts for readers

But back to the damaged vintage linens…

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Making a Fabric Bookmark with Vintage Embroidery

The secret to making the DIY corner bookmarks is the 90° right angle at the bottom, which fits a book page just perfectly.

So, to create my pattern/template, I used a piece of paper so that the right angle part was done for me! I also gathered a ruler, a pencil, and some craft scissors, as well.

Making a fabric bookmark with embroidered linens

With my piece of embroidered linen laid out in front of me, I placed the sheet of paper over the embroidered section I wanted to salvage, right next to a large hole.

Tracing the shape of DIY corner bookmarks

I could feel the embroidery under my piece of paper and marked the edges of the paper to denote the size of the fabric bookmark that I wanted.

Using my ruler, I adjusted my markings ever so slightly to make them even (in this case, 3⅛” up from the corner), and then sketched the rounded tops of a heart.

Paper template of a fabric bookmark in the shape of a heart

Then, I cut out my heart shape and rounded the corners just a tad.

Cutting out a paper template for DIY corner bookmarks

Working with Damaged Embroidered Linens

Next, I pinned it to my vintage embroidery, again, right next to the large hole.

Pinning the paper pattern to the embroidered linens

I used my paper pattern in two places on the vintage embroidery and cut out two individual hearts.

Make your own bookmarks with embroidered linens

To add body to the the fabric bookmark, I pinned my hearts to some firm interfacing or fabric stabilizer and cut out matching hearts.

Pinning the embroidered linens to firm interfacing

I stitched each heart to its matching interfacing on my sewing machine. Then, I put the two hearts together, with the interfacing sides facing each other, and pinned them together.

Sewing the embroidered linens as DIY corner bookmarks

Lastly, I headed back to my sewing machine for the remaining step.

Fabric bookmarks that go on the corner of the page

This time, though, I only stitched the two halves together along the straight edges. This created a wide-mouthed pocket that I could then slip a book page corner into.

DIY Corner Bookmark from Embroidered Linens

When all was said and done, I had a DIY corner bookmark that was adorably sweet. And it worked like a charm on a book page!

Upcycling the embroidered linens into DIY corner bookmarks

I know it may seem like a lot of work for a bookmark- I mean, we’ve all used receipts, gum wrappers, and expired coupons as bookmarks, right?

But for those of us that want to salvage pretty embroidery, it’s definitely a worthwhile effort.

DIY Corner Bookmarks from Embroidered Linens

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea using vintage linens, then you’ll love this shabby chic wall decor I made with lace doilies!

Framed doilies as shabby chic wall decor

And for even more inspiration for projects with vintage linens, perhaps some of these repurposing projects will spark your interest!

Upcycling projects for vintage linens and vintage tablecloths

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Sweet idea

  2. Oh I LOVE this! Such a great idea! I’ll have to snoop around our linen closet and see if there is anything I can use to make some!

  3. The sewing pixie says

    What a lovely idea,i love to use old and damaged embroideries but never thought of this.Thank you.

  4. This is such a clever idea! Love it. Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial at Vintage Inspiration Party.

  5. This is such a great way to use those dainty handkerchiefs and what not! I love antique shopping and DIYs, so this might have to be my next project.

  6. I have a few of these lying around, I should send them to you as I am talentless at a sewing machine! Lovely idea.

  7. Fonda Rush says

    Pretty! And definitely worth the effort!

  8. So sweet! I love vintage embroidery.

  9. swatkins827 says

    Creative way to use less than perfect embroidery! Love the idea. PINNED!

  10. Beautiful idea , I was wondering if the fabric would fray so have you thought of using iron on interfacing or stiffener ?carmel

    • Daisy Debs says

      Yes I,d be worried about the fabric fraying too.
      It does look so pretty though and I might have a go ….maybe machine zigzag stitch around the edge or embroider a button hole/ blanket stitch edging around the edge : ) Thanks for sharing this lovely idea !

  11. I absolutely LOVE these page pockets! I have a lot of old linens and doiles but no way to get to my sewing machine. I don’t even like to sew anymore after 30 years of doing it! Are you going to sell these in your shop?!

  12. very sweet indeed,glad you took the time to show us how you did it

  13. Jann Olson says

    Love this sweet idea! I’ve made some cute hearts out of vintage linens, but I love this pocket! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  14. This is such an adorable idea! Thanks for joining us at the #HomeMattersParty and I hope you’ll link up with us again next week!

  15. These are gorgeous! I love vintage pieces. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday:-)

  16. This is precious. I love saving old embroidery. Thanks for posting. Hello from Idea Box Thursday.

  17. These are beautiful! And I have to admit, I’m one of those people that uses the expired coupons…guess I should take a little time and make something like this. Thanks for the idea and sharing it with Inspiration Thursday! See you tomorrow!

  18. marriannad says

    Excellent and innovative idea! I would never have thought of this. You are a genius. Since this is my first visit to your blog, I don’t know if you just got a new sewing machine or have rediscovered your love affair with your sewing machine. And, yes, I too love my sewing machine even though I don’t spend as much time playing with her as I used to.

    • Thank you so much! I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half, but have just had my sewing machine since this past Christmas! I have another sewing project coming live on Tuesday- I hope you’ll come back! 😀

  19. Adorable!! I may be biased as a librarian, but I LOVE this project!! 😀

  20. That’s the sweetest upcycle I’ve seen, great idea – Chris 😀

  21. You are so inspirational! I just want to make these! I have too many projects! Help!

  22. These are so cute. I love ingenious ways to salvage wounded linens! I often can make dollhouse curtains, tablecloths, even bed canopies with minimal sewing and some stitch witchery! Sachet bags are another cute way to upcycle, too.

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