Bookish Fun: Paper Heart Chains

So I guess calling this craft a bookish project might be a bit of a stretch (ie books are made of paper, har har), but it’s my blog and I do what I want, so here we go.

My daughter begged me to put up a bead curtain between the living room and the toy room, but since we have wee ones in the house, that was a hard no. Not wanting to completely disappoint her, I decided to make some valentine’s inspired paper heart chains to put up instead. They were easy and fun to make. Not to mention the whole project was completed in less than 45 minutes.

What you’ll need:

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A sewing machine (a quilting machine works best for going through thick paper)

Scissors

Quilting thread (you could use regular thread but it’s more likely to break)

Several sheets of card stock (whatever color/pattern you like. I stuck with classic Valentines’ colors: pink, peach, beige, red, coral, cream, etc.)

Step One:

Fold your card stock into uneven thirds. (Shown below) This will help you get the most hearts for your paper and minimize waste. (Be sure to cut hearts from both folds!)

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Here’s another angle so you can tell if you’re doing it right. Unfolded it looks like this:

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Step Two:

Cut out a bazillion hearts. (Not really, but cut a lot. Cut the like wind, very old one. Bonus points if you know what film that’s from.)

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It’s more fun if you cut them into all different sizes. Here’s what I ended up with when mine were all cut:

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Step Three:

Sew those puppies right down the middle, one at a time! If you want some space between each heart, just run the machine for a bit and pull gently on the heart you just sewed through, and then add the next one. (Here are some pictures to demonstrate, because it’s hard to visualize.)

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Tip: Make sure you leave some extra thread at the top of each chain or else you won’t have anything to hang them up by! (Shown below)

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Here’s another shot after I added the second heart. You can kind of see the spacing. I did larger spaces than this too, just remember to pull the preceding heart gently or else you’ll break the thread.

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Step Four:

Once you’ve added all the hearts you want, cut the chain free and see how it looks.

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(Oh, and then repeat until you have all the chains you want.)

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Fun Variant:

If you want to make a “pop-up” heart, sew two hearts that are about the same size (you can match color too, if you like) and then fold it out. (shown below)

(Yes, that’s my toddler trying to free my needle from the machine, lol. He’s a great helper.)

Step Five:

Tape your chains to the place of your choice and enjoy them!

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I think they turned out pretty cute and my daughter likes them much more than the bead curtain!

Happy Bookish (Belated) Valentine’s Day!

 

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Bookish Fun: Book Club Schedule Bookmark

I have a confession: I am a craftaholic, which means if I can come up with an excuse to do any kind of craft, I will. So imagine what my brain screamed at me when I had several of the ladies in the book club asking which book was next, and what came the month after (just in case), because apparently our Facebook page is hard to find and they wanted to know. Of course they wanted to know! Can’t read the books if you don’t know what you’re supposed to be reading. So my brain screamed, “Hey, do you know what would be really useful and fun to make? Book club schedule bookmarks!” And I was like, yes. Oh yes.  I shall make them and hand them out and they shall be wonderful.

If you’d like to follow in my useful gifts/craftaholic footsteps, here’s how I made them.

 

What you need:

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The schedules printed out on plain white paper or card stock. (I imagine you could use a any light colored paper too, (blues, yellows, etc.) but I was trying to be cheap and just used what I had on hand.) I made 12 overall, and was able to fit 3 to a sheet when I was printing to save paper.

Card stock- any color/pattern/print you like. But word to the wise! If you use white paper (instead of card stock) to print the schedules and vary dark card stock behind it, you will be able to “see” it through the white paper after it’s laminated.

Glue Dots

Scissors

Hole Punch

Ribbon- any color you like/size you like. I do recommend using a skinny ribbon though, as it’s easier to use.

 

Step One:

Type, print out, and cut the schedules. I did the Month, title, and author. If you wanted them smaller, you could probably just do the month and title though.

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Step Two:

Glue them to the card stock, leaving however thick of an edging you want around and between them. I eyeballed it and tried to give about 1/4 inch edging to each side.

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Tip: You could use wet glue, or hot glue, but it leaves the paper looking wonky. I love glue dots because they’re mess free. You just press a corner of the schedule to a dot and it sticks without messing up the paper! Do this for each corner and then press the the schedule to the card stock.

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This is me trying to one-handledly take a picture of attaching the glue dots. Really though, it’s so easy, I did it one handed, lol.

Step Three:

Once the schedules are attached, cut them out! I was able to fit three schedules for every one piece of card stock (8×10 inches, btw).

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Step Four:

Laminate them! I headed over to my friendly neighborhood FedEx store and used their machine. They charge you per sheet of laminate used. I was able to fit four bookmarks per sheet, so I only had to pay for three sheets. (It cost about $6.)

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Step Five:

Cut them out again! (And yes, the guy working there did look at me like I was nuts for taking pictures while I did this.)

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This was their handy cutting thingy.(No, I don’t know what they’re actually called, and yes, I’m lame.) The guy taught me how to use it and took off. He said to make sure you leave a slight edging around these when you’re cutting as well, about 1/8 of an inch or less.

Step Six:

Punch a hole in the top middle or corner of the bookmark. This is actually harder than it sounds at first. You have to get it just right: not so high as to break your “hole” but not so low as to punch the words. It’s a fine line, people. (Yes, I’m being dramatic.)

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Step Seven:

Cut your ribbon. It can be any length you like, just in case you wondered. (Although I’d air on the side of too long, or else the next steps get hard.) Then fold ribbon in half.

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Step Eight:

Put the loop end through the hole.

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Step Nine:

Put the loose ends through the loop, and pull tight! (This image below is what it should look like right before you tighten it.)

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Step Ten:

Hand the finished bookmarks out to the fabulous women and men in your book club! (Aren’t they cute? AND USEFUL. I love useful.)

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This is super easy, and kid friendly too. My little worker bees even helped finished these up.

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For a variant on this project you could consider doing the following:

-A bookmark with your favorite quote on it, or a friend’s favorite quote and then give it as a gift.

-Printing out your personal TBR list for the month/year (depending on how long it is and how many you want to make).

-Or printing a summer reading list out for students/your children/friend’s children/anyone…. Bueller? Bueller?

Hope you enjoyed this! If you make some, I’d love to see how yours turned out:)