Making a Bookmarker from Embroidered Linens that are Damaged

Making a Bookmarker from Embroidered Linens that are Damaged

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 and vintage tablecloths that are damaged and need the upcycling ideas

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.

Holes in the embroidered linens and vintage napkins for repurposed projects and upcycling ideas

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 a bookmarker! Think of them as little page pockets that a book page corner can be slipped into.

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Saving Embroidered Linens that are Damaged

The secret to making a bookmarker like this is the 90° right angle at the bottom- to fit 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!

Upcycling the embroidered linens by making a bookmarker to fit on a book page corner

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.

Measuring a bookmarker on embroidered linens that have been damaged with holes and stains

I could feel the embroidery under my piece of paper and marked the edges of the paper to denote the size bookmarker I wanted. Using a ruler, I adjusted my markings ever so slightly to make them even (in this case, 3 ⅛” up from the corner), and then sketched the rounded tops of a heart.

Making a bookmarker in the shape of a heart to be a page pocket from vintage linens

Then, I cut out my heart shape, rounded the corners just a tad and pinned it to my embroidered linens.

Upcycling ideas for embroidered linens and vintage tablecloths that have holes or stains in them

I used my paper pattern in two places on my embroidered linens and cut out two individual hearts.

Cutting out hearts from the vintage napkins and embroidered linens to make a bookmarker and bookmarks

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

Fabric stabilizer or stiff interfacing to use in a bookmarker that is made from embroidered linens

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

Sewing a bookmarker from vintage tablecloths and embroidered linens as gifts for readers

Back to my sewing machine! But 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.

Heart-Shaped Bookmarker or Bookmark from Embroidered Linens

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

Bookmarker and gifts for readers by upcycling the embroidered linens and vintage tablecloths

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.

Vintage tablecloths and embroidered linens that are damaged with holes and upcycled into a bookmarker

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

Window pane decor to use as shabby chic wall art to match the painted bedroom furniture with lace doilies

Craft on!

S

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Comments

  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.
    hugs,
    Jann

  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!

Trackbacks

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