Upcycled Fabric Selvage Bookmarks

3 Materials
1 Hour

Creating these fabric selvage bookmarks was a lot of fun and it’s a great way to upcycle those odds and ends of leftover fabric.

This project idea came to me rather organically while I was looking through my fabric selvage stash one day recently.

I was pulling out some colors and patterns that I liked, hoping to get a jolt of creative inspiration… and it happened.

When I laid them down on my craft desk they suddenly looked like bookmarks to me.

But even though they had the look, they needed some help to actually become usable bookmarks.

Here are the fabric selvages that I pulled from my stash. Since I wasn’t sure which ones I was going to use I kept them all out as options.

Cutting cardbord strips for bookmarks

To create my fabric selvage bookmarks I’m using some thin white cardboard that I kept out of a picture frame a while back. I never throw cardboard that’s in good shape away because it can always be reused or repurposed some day.

You’ll find a list of the rest of the supplies farther down in this post.

Since the cardboard was rather thin I used a handy dandy paper cutter to get nice straight cuts.

You could mark and cut by hand but this paper cutter makes the job so much easier. The inch marks on the left are the measurements from the cutting blade.

So I positioned my cardboard at about the 1 1/2″ mark.

To cut I just pressed down on the orange cutting blade and pulled it across the cardboard, while holding the plastic piece down with my other hand. I stopped the blade half way down so I could take a pic.

Then I measured and marked my cardboard strips at about 7 in length”, placed them in the cutter, lined my mark up, and cut.

Assembling the fabric selvage bookmarks

To create my fabric selvage bookmark you basically make a sandwich by adding some Deco-Art decoupage medium to one side of the cardboard piece.

And onto the wrong side of the first fabric selvage piece.

Then you press the cardboard piece and the fabric piece together, making sure the fabric hangs over the edge a little bit. That will be trimmed later.

Apply decoupage medium onto the other side of the cardboard, making sure to get it all over the fabric piece as well.

Then add the medium to the wrong side of the second piece of fabric selvage.

Then press it all together, smoothing it out to make it as flat as you can.

The fabric should seal the cardboard in on all sides.

This is a good time to trim any long edges, but don’t do the final trimming just yet. That comes later.

Using a small binder clip, I hung the bookmark to dry.

Once it was dry I placed it under some books, and added a heavy briefcase on top. I left it like that for a few hours and went and did other things.

Then I trimmed the fabric around the cardboard underneath.

You can definitely feel where the cardboard is inside the fabric sandwich. The trick here is to cut close to the cardboard, but not too close.

I lightly sanded both fabric sides with a sanding block. This is just to sand down any fabric particles that may be sticking up. Be careful to brush away any particles that the sanding leaves behind.

Then I did that process all over again; decoupaged both sides, hung it up to dry, put under books, sanded both sides, brushed particles away… and then one final top coat.

Supplies needed for Fabric Selvage Bookmarks

  • thin cardboard
  • fabric selvages
  • decoupage medium
  • foam brush
  • paper cutter
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • sanding block
  • E6000 glue
  • jewelry bits & pieces

Fun and colorful fabric selvage bookmarks

Here are my five fabric salvage bookmarks that I made.

And here’s what the other sides look like.

You could certainly leave them like this, but I wanted to bling them up a bit.

Dressing up the fabric selvage bookmarks

I chose my favorite sides of the bookmarks, and using E6000 glue I dressed them up with bits and pieces from the costume jewelry crafting stash.

A couple of clip on earrings, and pieces from a few different bracelets.

You could dress up both sides if you like., but I didn't feel the need to.

The decorations stop the bookmarks from sliding down inside the books, and I think they look pretty too. The fabric helps keep the bookmark in place too, unlike paper or cardboard bookmarks which tend to move around.

I’m currently reading the book on top, and I love opening it up to that pretty pink floral bookmark. It just makes me smile.

These would make great gifts with a book, or all by themselves.

The actual making of these bookmarks took about an hour, not including drying times, and since I had everything I needed in my stash it cost next to nothing.

Looking for more fabric selvage projects? Check out these decoupaged peanut butter jars that I’m using for pretty storage.

It would be greatly appreciated if you would pin this project to your favorite Pinterest board, and also share it with your friends.

Thanks so much for reading and until next time,

keep on keepin’ on!


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  1 question
  • MEG MEG on Mar 08, 2022

    Is there any reason that you can't use regular fabric rather than the selvage end? If so, can you recommend specific fabrics that would best lend themselves to creating successful bookmarks? Thank you.

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  • Flipturn Flipturn on Mar 11, 2022

    We are starting to see pretty flower crafts. 🙂

    Does that mean spring is just around the corner.........? 🤞

  • I know this works better with salvage ends but I think I will add extra mod podge and try this: using scraps of my mom & dads shirts (deceased) to make bookmarks. Just small reminders of them. I have a pillow made from scraps but a bookmark would be great! Thanks!