I think it’ll give you an idea of the sort of child I was if I tell you I used to think bookplates were glamorous. The height of desirability.
Not for me a sandpit or a doll, no, I could think of nothing better than a quiet corner and a new book, with the pleasure of sticking a bookplate to the front and filling in my name under “this book belongs to” in my neatest possible handwriting.
To be honest, not so much has changed in the 30 odd years since then. That still sounds a pretty auspicious start to any Saturday. (Not least because, with a six-month-old, there isn’t a hope in hell that I’d get to start a Saturday in that way…)
But having rather forgotten about the existence of bookplates in the intervening years, I’ve been pleased to notice them popping up all over the shop recently…
You can buy them from a few different places, but of course they’re really simple to make too.
I whipped up a few sets for my Mum and my sister-in-law (both voracious bibliophiles as well) as mini presents back at Christmas.
There are quite a few different templates available out there on the internet (oh, internet, how I love you), but I settled on favourites from three places:
From Design Sponge, these lovely snake, head and hand designs.
From Besotted Brands, these old-school profiles.
And from the Graphics Fairy, these children reading.
To see some more designs, as well as lots of other great vintage images, check out my Pinterest board Free Graphics.
Once you’ve selected your pictures, just print them out and cut them to size (I did this with a craft knife and ruler, which shows the level of care I give to my books, where I would normally just stick to good ol’ scissors).
As these were a present, I decided to make some cute little envelopes to house each of the sets. I made a basic template and then cut each envelope from cardstock and glued together.
As a final touch, I traced round the envelope tip and cut a liner out of some printed out hat images. (Which you can find here on Vintage Printable, if you’re inclined to do the same…)
I then stuck a bookplate to the front, so you know exactly what’s inside in each envelope.
And held each set of four envelopes together with ribbon.
I’d love to say this was really quick to make, but actually the envelopes and all the finishing touches took a little while. But hey, the devil’s in the detail, right?
Of course, you’ll also need some glue (or double-sided sellotape) to put the bookplates inside the books once you want to use them.
Simple, inexpensive and sure to put a smile on the face of any booklover (especially my eight-year-old self)…
Yes, if you’ve checked in to these parts before, you’ll know I have a great love of projects that use vintage images. Here are a few more: