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In today’s post, a tutorial to create a book weight. Book weights are handy for bookbinding when you want to put pages under a little weight but without using a full on press. They are also VERY useful if you have limited dexterity like me, for holding open books. They weigh down the pages so you don’t have to hold them open yourself.  

Decorated Book Weight

Decorated Book Weight

You Will Need

Items needed for Book Weight project

Items needed for Book Weight project

  • Fabric 13 x 18″, choose fabric with a pile such as velvet or suede finish
  • Pinking Shears
  • Thread to co ordinate with your fabric
  • Bag of lentils (or similar)
  • Sewing machine (optional) You can hand sew this project if you prefer.
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Pins
  • Tape Measure
  • Sewing machine (you can hand sew the project if you prefer)

Method

  • Cut your fabric to size using the pinking shears. Sew a line all around the fabric 2/8″ in, all around the fabric. This is to reduce fraying.
  • Fold the fabric in half with the right sides together, short side to short side. Pin in place.
Book Weight - Shows sewing around edges

Book Weight - Shows sewing around edges

  • Sew around one short side, one long side and 1 .1/2 ” along the remaining short side. Leave a gap (for turning the piece the right way out). Sew 1. 1/2″ after the gap to the edge of the fabric.
Inner row of stitching is through both layer of fabric. Note the gap!

Inner row of stitching is through both layer of fabric. Note the gap!

  • Trim away the corners of the fabric to reduce bulk and then iron the piece flat.
  • Turn the piece right side out
  • Fill your Book Weight using Lentils or similar.

 

Filling the Book Weight with lentils.

Filling the Book Weight with lentils.

  • Turn in the raw edges around the open gap, and then hand sew the gap closed.

Your project now looks like this  

Finished Book Weight

Finished Book Weight

If you are using your book weight for bookbinding, to hold signatures flat before binding for example. Then it is best to leave the weight un-embellished. To prevent the possibility of the embellishment leaving an indent in your pages.  

Optional Extra’s

If you wish you can embellish your finished book weight using ribbon and paper/fabric flowers. This would make a charming gift for someone with dexterity problems as it can be painful and difficult to hold books open for long periods of time.  

Decorated Book Weight

Decorated Book Weight

Modify the size of your fabric for a smaller or larger book weight. You could also use these as paper weights. Make in dark fabrics for a desk accessory for the man in your life ;)  

This project is really quick to make, it took me just under an hour and that’s with me fumbling with a new machine ;) pro’s with their machine would make this much quicker ;) Great for original gifts for friends and relatives. I’d love to see your results if you have a go with this project.  

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon  

Billie :)

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