Anyone who knows me well, knows I NEVER make “just enough” food for dinner. When I make chicken soup, you would think I planned to feed the villagers… and, in fact, sometimes I do 🙂 But here is my philosophy… it really doesn’t take that much more time to make a pot of soup for 20 as it does for 6. Then, after we have dinner, and eaten to sate our appetites, I’m on easy street for the next few days. I now have enough cooked chicken to make chicken casserole, chicken cacciatore, chicken salad sandwiches, and… well, you catch my drift. And, I have something on hand to feed unexpected visitors AND the expected wee ones that grace my table on a regular basis. Some people might look at my dinner table and say “excessive”. I look at it and say “brilliant” 🙂
Well… I have basically the same philosophy when it comes to designing and crafts. Why make a design you will only use once? If you put the time into designing something you like, look for other ways to make use of the design. Just makes sense! Example: take our basic gnome design. We’ve put that puppy through the paces. It’s been featured in felt, woven fabric, wooden pegs, cut wood, and yarn. Today, I’m adding paper.
I had a copy of the pattern that I had used to make the Old World Wooden Gnomes sitting on my desk. While on the phone, I was doing my ubiquitous doodling. I colored the little gnome, when I thought, Hey, this would make a cute bookmark. So, I simply blew the design up 200%, and wah lah, a pattern for a bookmark.
You can make the bookmarks out of heavy cardstock and color with pencils or markers. (You could you crayons but you do run the risk of smearing wax on your book.) I chose instead to do mine on 140 lb. watercolor paper. One 9″ x 12″ sheet will make 5 bookmarks if you lay them out close together. I then used watercolor pencils to color the gnomes, and then used water to paint over them. You could also use regular water colors. Here are the simple directions, using watercolor paper and watercolor pencils.
Make a copy of the pattern found HERE. Cover the pattern with packing tape and cut out the front and back pieces. The tape will make the gnome firm, making it easier to trace. And you can then use them as templates over and over again.
Trace on the FRONT of the watercolor paper. Note: It is very important to trace on the front of the paper… the bumpy side. This side will give the best results when you watercolor, and since you will be looking at the front more than the back, make the front side the nicest 🙂 You should be able to get 5 gnomes per page if you place them close together and flip flop them, top, bottom, top, bottom, top.
Cut out the bookmarks.
On the back side of your pattern pieces, rub pencil lead on the lines. Tip: hold the patterns against a sunlit window to see the designs through the paper.
Place the front template on top of the front side of the bookmark. Using a ball point pen or blunt, pointy object (knitting needles work great) trace the lines of the pattern. When you remove the template, there will be a light marking of the pattern on the bookmarker. These were made from the pencil lead you rubbed on back of the pattern. Do the same to the back of the bookmark.
Using a fine tipped, water proof marker, copy over the tracing lines. Do this to the front and back of the bookmark. Make sure the sign and date the back of the bookmark 🙂 Then proceed to color the bookmark, front and back, using watercolor pencils. Use darker colors to highlight the design.
Then, using a brush and water, “paint” the bookmark, front and back.
To prevent the bookmark from curling, when the bookmark is partially dry, I place it between 2 pieces of clean paper and weight it down, and let them finish drying.
If you would like, you can cover the front and back of the bookmark with clear contact paper to make it more durable. I personally prefer to leave it natural.
Now, go find a good book, and get reading!
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