Jun 8, 2011

Heirloom Bookmarks: Crafting 101 Easy To Make

I am always inspired by vintage bits and pieces.  Old lace, satin ribbon, broken bits of jewelry and forgotten lockets... Here's a great way to reuse those vintage trinkets to make unique and romantic bookmarks. 

Here's what you will need...

Flat nose jewelry pliers
Jump rings
Vintage (or new) Satin or Grosgrain Ribbons
Ribbon Crimps (roughly the same width of the ribbons you are using)
Orphaned earrings, lockets, pendants, etc.

Additional Prep work...
If you are using a vintage clip back or screw back earring for your bookmark charm, you will need to alter the piece a bit.  This can be done in a few ways. 
1.  For clip-back earrings you can use metal jewelry clippers to completely remove the backing of the earrings.  Then you can use a metal epoxy to set a bale plate on the back of the earring (effectively turning it into a pendant).
2.  Screw back earrings pretty much have the bale built in.  You just need to use metal clippers to snip the ear pad portion off, leaving enough of the original hook part to create a loop using needle nose pliers to curl it under.  This method also works well with clip-backs with the hook-like hardware.

To make a bookmark:

1. Cut your length of ribbon.  22-24" works well.  Fold the ribbon in the middle, making sure the ends are even.  I like to put a bit of a slant in my cut.

2. Use an appropriately sized ribbon crimp, attach at the place you folded the ribbon.  The ribbon crimp is set in place by using flat-nose pliers to squeeze the crimp until it is flat.  The little teeth will grab the ribbon and keep it in place.

3. Using a jump ring, you can now attach your vintage keepsake.  If you used a bale plate, you can place it directly on the ribbon crimp eyelet. Likewise, if you created a bale from the original hardware. 

You can get creative, and attach a vintage connector bead or faux pearl between the ribbon crimp and the vintage locket or earring.

Don't have these things on hand?  Check out these Etsy Sellers for inspiration and vintage supplies!

Satin Ribbon by DYSEmporium on Etsy

Destash lot of vintage jewels by LucyLucyLemon on Etsy
Destash of Art Deco Pieces by Boylerpf on Etsy
Amethyst Glass connectors by TheAtticShop on Etsy

Find loads more DESTASH CRAFT LOTS ON ETSY here.

Please visit my shop on Etsy for vintage jewelry and vintage costume jewelry


  1. This is a wonderful way to upcycle vintage items...

  2. Oh my gosh - this is wonderful!

  3. What a neat, neat keepsake and great way to recycle old jewels or single earrings! Great gift ideas, too. Wonderful post and a huge thank you for including our destash lot!!

  4. What a great idea! I love this, and want to try it!

  5. What a fabulous way to save small bits of our past. Fabulous idea Lexi, love it!

  6. So pretty Lexi - and it looks fun to make. Thank you for sharing this idea.