In my latest batch of art mags I noticed a number of cuff-type mixed media bracelets that I thought were interesting, especially the designs that incorporated old textiles. That got me to wondering if I could make a cuff that turned into a bookmark instead of a bracelet, which lead to my second design, the BookCuff.
For this project I used an old cutter quilt piece I picked up at a garage sale, two glass buttons and a scrap of tapestry yarn. First I cut a strip out of the quilt with pinking shears (this prevents fraying) in a length that was a little over 15". To provide the means to close the cuff, I thought of the old interoffice envelopes we used in the old days with the two circular fasteners and a bit of string. I duplicated that fastener with the two buttons and the tapestry yarn, sewing one button to each end of the quilt piece. I also added a third button to the end of the yarn to have something to hold onto when winding the yarn.
Here you can see the finished product holding my place in Marjorie M. Liu's The Fire King. It's a bit too wide because I was trying to preserve the quilt block design, and while it held my place in the book perfectly the look of it didn't make me happy; I felt it covered up the cover art too much. As a bookmark the piece is really too floppy, too.
What doesn't work for one thing sometimes serves nicely for another purpose. I often give away sets of series books as gifts for friends, and I also like to shelve series books together and sometimes take a set with me when I travel. Usually I just put them in a tote bag, but I discovered that my BookCuff makes an excellent strap for more than one book:
This is very customizable, since you can cut the material you use for your bookcuff to whatever length you need for however many books you want to strap together. You can also use whatever materials appeal to you or relate to the books; leather, lace, tapestry, fun fur (wouldn't that be great for were novels?) along with whatever little bits you want to use for the fasteners (and if you write steampunk I'd definitely check out some art mags for inspiration.)