So, since Valentine’s day is coming up, I thought I’d show you an easy gift idea for friends and teachers. Here's an simple and inexpensive, yet unique and handmade idea created from cotton duck canvas fabric. Why canvas fabric? Well, it's sturdy and easy to paint on...and I had a bunch of scrap pieces at my house that I was needing to recycle! Cotton duck canvas is also great for creating floor cloths, placemats and fiber art hearts. This is my favorite style of book mark because it not only holds up, but the elastic band holds the pages in place, even in large bulky books.
Here’s the supplies I used for this project-but the wonderful thing is, you can make it as elaborate or simple as you like, and it’s not limited just to Valentine’s Day. Just put your own spin on it! This would make a great gift for a best friend, teacher or classmate.
-Small scraps of 100% cotton duck canvas fabric (You can get this at any fabric or craft store that carries fabric for usually around $5 per yard.)
-Acrylic Gesso (this primes the fabric so you can paint on it)
-Acrylic paint and paint brushes
-Scrapbook paper pieces
-Gel or gloss Medium
-1 elastic headband-9 inches (I have these all over my house, but you can get them at discount stores everywhere) or just use a piece of elastic
-fabric or craft glue
-Black permenant marker (Sharpie)
-large needle and embroidery thread
-thin ribbon scrap (4-6 inches)
-Printed words or sayings
First: I started out with an approximately 4 inch by 10 inch piece of canvas material. Cover both side with a layer of gesso and allow to dry. Next, mix your paint with the gel medium and paint three even sections with different colors. I recommend selecting three colors coordinated with your available scrapbook papers. The gel medium makes the paint glossy and flexible when it dries, plus it gives it a cool painterly look. While the paint is still wet, tear up coordinating scrap book paper pieces and stick into the wet paint. Allow to dry.
Note: Since the desired look of this craft is fun and whimsical, don’t worry about doing it all perfectly. This also allows this to be fun and easy for kids to do.
Cut out one color (3 x 4 inches) and fold over so you can out a heart with a front and back-you can draw your heart on the back first with a pencil if needed and then retrace for the backside. My heart was about three inches in length and two inches wide. Cut the remaining color strip to about 3 inches wide and 6-1/2 inches long. Fold in half lengthwise and make a good crease.
Next you will need your elastic piece. I used an old elastic headband, because with three girls it seems like I can find one lying on the floor at any time. You can also use regular elastic. My band measured 8-1/2 inches long. Using a big needle and thick thread, poke two small holes in the canvas and then secure the band from the unpainted side of the canvas. I left the finishing thread ends out on the painted side so I could tie on a cute little bow.
Now glue the long sides together to cover the band. Next is the fun part; to decorate and embellish. I used a black sharpie to add designs, cut out words printed from my computer (Free Fonts by Kevin and Amanda), and added the cute little dangling heart with a ribbon. The heart is lightly stuffed to give it more dimension.
Happy Valentine's Day!