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Magnetic Bookmark Display

Magnetic Bookmark Display

Once upon a time I was a crafty little cookie, hand-making cards and working on some kind of tactile creative project on a regular basis. For whatever reason I haven't spent as much time making things in the past few years, despite having the time and the tools to do so. 

But much like last summer's adventure of buying my first bike since I was a teenager and discovering it really is "just like riding a bike", I'm making more time for Making.

Magnetic bookmarks are one of the Bookstagram staples- whether you actually use them to make your page, (I can't be the only one guilty of owning a minimum of 50 gorgeous bookmarks, but who uses a napkin to save my place mid-read) or you just love looking at the artistry. 

As my collection started to grow I've yearned to find a better way to display them. Tossed into a box on my desk is...adequate.

I decided I wanted to create frame display, something I figured I could put together on the fly. If you're looking for well-thought-out and measured planning, I'm likely not your gal.

Michaels was having a frame sale (hooray!) and this lovely white frame was 60% off.
I knew I wanted to take the back off the frame and somehow secure string or ribbons across it, which meant using some kind of adhesive. Wanting to avoid drips and long drying times I decided to take a chance on the permanent glue dots, having been a fan paper craft glue dots in the past. (6/18 There is an update to this glue process at the bottom of the post! Tiny nails ended up being the answer!)

I already owned a a whole container of ribbons and strings! Why? I don't actually recall how I came to own most of them. Many spools may in fact date back to high school.

After getting down to business and unwrapping the frame I realized that I had purchased one of the frames that had the bendy bits of metal holding the back plate down.

This is not ideal- I would have preferred to have paid better attention in the store and purchased a frame with the sliding lock pieces. But thanks to my ingenious spirit I decided that I could use the bottom of the pink vase I had set up as a dash of color while taking photos of my items to bend the metal rectangles backward over the frame. I just needed something more solid than my thumb to exert some pressure. (I do own a hammer, several in fact, but as they were two floors below me at the time they might as well have been in Narnia in my mind.)

Then I needed to get a sense of how many rows of ribbon I could put on the frame. I laid a few of the bookmarks out, trying use the largest ones in my collection to see how much space they would take up. I decided that four rows would fit perfectly.

After that it was time to select a ribbon, and I went with a durable off-white spool of mystery. Then starting measuring with the frame as a guide, and began gluing!

As I went along I realized that I didn't love how unfinished the back felt, even if no one would ever see it. So to cover that up, and to hopefully provide an extra layer of support to the ribbons, I pulled out my washi tapes and selected this a gold one to create a nice finish. (After I took the picture I trimmed the little bit of ribbon fuzz sticking out from under the wash tape with an exacto knife)

Then it was time to test the bookmarks!

The finished product came out as I had pictured in my head, and from start to finish the whole project took maybe 30 minutes, including me stopping to take pictures as I went along, while also sipping my sparking berry lemonade.

If my collection grows more I could easily produce another frame and even hang them side by side on a wall instead of resting the frame on a table/my desk.

I hope that if you've been looking for a way to display your magnetic bookmarks that you might give this project a try!

UPDATE!
Two days after I completed this project, I walked into my office and found that my ribbons had collapsed! They were just heavy enough that the glue wasn't enough to keep the ribbon in place. However, the glue dots were still reasonably sticky and that held the ribbon in place while I hammered in tiny nails. 
It was a learning process! I managed to scratch the front of the frame, not noticing there was something sharp under it while I was hammering, but that was fixed by attaching a few paper flowers to the front, making it feel like a design choice instead of a flaw.
I hope that's the biggest take away from this project, that we make mistakes, we learn form them, and then we improve on our methods!

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