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I love projects that involve using my scraps and leftovers, so these watercolor style no sew fabric bookmarks were a must-make craft!

DIY No Sew Fabric Bookmarks

Grab some old drop cloths and inexpensive acrylic paint to make these beautiful watercolor no sew fabric bookmarks.

Summertime is here, and I have a pretty ambitious poolside reading list. The kiddos are old enough to play at our community pool without needing me in the water every single moment – although, I do still love taking a trip down the water slide!

That means I’m going to have plenty of free time to work on that summer reading list. I knew I needed new bookmarks.

DIY watercolor painted fabric bookmarks

It may sound weird to use drop cloth fabric, but trust me – it’s cheaper and easier than using most other fabrics. Plus, the drop cloth material is thicker (and therefore stiffer) than many cotton fabrics.

For these bookmarks, I’m going to walk you through how to make them in a pretty watercolor design.

Why use drop cloth?

First and foremost, fabric can get pretty expensive when purchasing it for home décor projects. Not only does it depend on the type of fabric you would want to use, but you also have to take into consideration the variation of prices per square foot.

When it comes to drop cloth, this is the fabric that would typically be used to protect the floor when painting. I (and many other crafty fanatics) have figured out that there are many more ways to use this type of fabric.

no sew fabric bookmarks made from drop cloth fabric

How to Make No Sew Fabric Bookmarks

For this project I used some scrap drop cloth. I always, ALWAYS keep scraps in my craft room and it’s in moments like this when they come in handy. If you don’t have scraps, no worries, just grab a piece and keep reading.

Follow this quick video, or red the step-by-step directions below:

Supplies You’ll Need

Supplies used to make No Sew Fabric Bookmarks
  • a scrap piece of drop cloth (big enough to make a few standard sized bookmarks)
  • 1″ wide paint brush
  • masking tape
  • acrylic paint in various colors* (I chose several shades of blue)
  • paint tray
  • a dish of water
  • paper towels
  • parchment paper (or something that will protect your work surface)
  • scissors

*I use watered-down acrylic paint for a more vibrant color and design. It will take lots of paint to get a nice color if you use watercolor paint.

Paint used to make watercolor fabric bookmarks

Directions for Painting

1. Attach a piece of parchment (or wax) paper to your table with the masking tape. Make sure it is fairly bigger than the piece of drop cloth you’ll be using.

2. Use your paintbrush and dish of water to get the entire piece of drop cloth a little wet. (Tip: start at one side and work your way across).

use a paint brush to wet the fabric

3. Start mixing your paint. Put a dot of acrylic paint in your paint tray and begin watering it down.

begin painting light paint at the top of the fabric

4. Time to get creative! You can do whatever you want, but I start with the light colors at the top and gradually get darker as I paint down the drop cloth fabric.*

layer darker paint at the bottom of the fabric

5. Once you have it painted to your liking, lay it out to dry.**

*If you find an area where you’ve put too much paint, just add straight water to help dissipate the paint. Also, if things get a little too wet, take a paper towel and wipe underneath and around the fabric.

**I laid my drop cloth on a paper towel to dry overnight. When I woke up the next morning, the colors weren’t as vibrant as I wanted so I went over it again. You may or may not have to, want to, or need to do this.

This is a fun project that you can play around with. In my first round of making these fabric bookmarks I painted all the way down to the bottom and started mixing colors in different variants. In the areas where two colors met, I added more water to give it more of a blend look.

Directions for Making the No Sew Fabric Bookmarks

Once your drop cloth fabric has completely dried, it’s time to turn it into bookmarks. Use fabric scissors and begin cutting strips in the width of your choice. Again, use your own creative touch. You could do skinny bookmarks, wide bookmarks, or another pattern.

cut the fabric into strips

Now that you have your strips cut, you’ll want to fray the ends. Using a safety pin or weeding tool (from the Cricut tools stash), start pulling strands horizontally. You only want to fray the tops and bottoms of your bookmarks. Honestly, this part gets a little tedious, so you may want to do it while watching a movie or listening to music.

fray the short ends of the fabric
DIY watercolor painted fabric bookmarks

DIY No Sew Fabric Bookmarks

Yield: 3-4 bookmarks

I love projects that involve using my scraps and leftovers, so these watercolor style no sew fabric bookmarks were a must-make craft!

Materials

  • a scrap piece of drop cloth (big enough to make a few standard sized bookmarks)
  • 1" wide paint brush
  • masking tape
  • acrylic paint in various colors* (I chose several shades of blue)
  • paint tray
  • a dish of water
  • paper towels
  • parchment paper, wax paper, or something that will protect your work surface
  • scissors

Instructions

  1. Attach a piece of parchment (or wax) paper to your table with the masking tape. Make sure it is fairly bigger than the piece of drop cloth you'll be using.
  2. Use your paintbrush and dish of water to get the entire piece of drop cloth a little wet. (Tip: start at one side and work your way across). use a paint brush to wet the fabric
  3. Start mixing your paint. Put a dot of acrylic paint in your paint tray and begin watering it down. begin painting light paint at the top of the fabric
  4. Time to get creative! You can do whatever you want, but I start with the light colors at the top and gradually get darker as I paint down the drop cloth fabric.* layer darker paint at the bottom of the fabric
  5. Once you have it painted to your liking, lay it out to dry.**
  6. Once dried, use fabric scissors and begin cutting strips in the width of your choice. cut the fabric into strips
  7. Fray the ends. Using a safety pin or weeding tool (from the Cricut tools stash), start pulling strands horizontally. You only want to fray the tops and bottoms of your bookmarks. fray the short ends of the fabric

*If you find an area where you've put too much paint, just add straight water to help dissipate the paint. Also, if things get a little too wet, take a paper towel and wipe underneath and around the fabric.

**I laid my drop cloth on a paper towel to dry overnight. When I woke up the next morning, the colors weren't as vibrant as I wanted so I went over it again. You may or may not have to, want to, or need to do this.

Notes

*I use watered-down acrylic paint for a more vibrant color and design. It will take lots of paint to get a nice color if you use watercolor paint.

And that’s it! Now you have cute little custom water-colored style bookmarks made from scrap drop cloth fabric. This is a super fabulous, upcycle craft project that you can get really get creative with.

Below are a few more ideas of projects you can do with drop cloths.

More Drop Cloth Project Ideas

No-Sew Drop Cloth Curtains

I’m embarrassed to say how long I went without having curtains in my living room. But then I turned the need into a DIY curtain project with – you guessed it – drop cloth fabric! Check out this post to see how easy it is to make no-sew drop cloth curtains.

Drop Cloth Sharpie Pillow Curtains

You’d be surprised with what you can do with drop cloth and sharpies. I put the two together and made some drop cloth sharpie pillow covers. This is another project that is very open to creativity.

Other Creative Drop Cloth Project Ideas

Last but not least, I did a nice little roundup of drop cloth project ideas. You’ll find ideas for table runners, a play tent, aprons, rugs, and more!

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a unique project using your drop cloth scraps, this one is it. You can use your new drop cloth fabric bookmarks for personal use or gift them out to others. Regardless, don’t hesitate to let your creative juices flow!

Don’t Forget to PIN these No Sew Fabric Bookmarks for Later:

dropcloth no sew fabric bookmarks

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