How to Make a Scented Bookmark

Whether you need something to keep your place in your latest read, or you want to make the gift of a paperback more appealing, you’ll need this bookmark. It’s pretty and useful, and it can smell wonderful if you want it to. The hidden talent of this little bookmark: space inside to place a scented cardboard strip. The bookmark will perfume the pages of your book or you can hang it in your handbag, as I do, to catch a whiff of scent each time you rummage in your purse for something.

pretty bookmark


  • 2-1/2″ x 20″ rectangle of cotton lawn, such as Liberty of London, or a similar fabric
  • All-purpose polyester thread for construction in a blending color
  • Decorative embroidery thread in a coordinating or contrasting color
  • 2″ x 9″ rectangle of heavy interfacing, such as Timtex
  • Approximately 12″ of narrow ribbon
  • Perfume-infused strip of cardboard (optional)

Step 1) Stitch the bookmark body.

Fold the long piece of cotton lawn in half, right sides together, to form a long rectangle measuring 2-1/2″ x 10″. Fold back a little over a half-inch from the top on each raw end. Press.

fold fabric

Pin in place.

pin in place

With the right side of the fabric facing you, topstitch each end 1/2″ from the fold.

topstitch each end

With right sides together, sew along each long side with a ¼” seam allowance to create a long pouch.

stitch long edges

Clip the corners at the folded edge.

clip corners

Turn the tube inside out and push the corners out neatly with a point turner or chopstick. Press.

turn right side out

Step 2) Add decorative stitches.

Pick a decorative embroidery stitch for the sides. Thread the needle and bobbin with embroidery thread.

decorative stitch chart

Cut a 6″ piece of ribbon and place it inside the tube, fitting it snuggly against one side seam.

insert ribbon into tube, against one long edge

Start embroidering; the ribbon will help you guide the work evenly.

embroider edge

As you near the end of the bookmark, use the sewing machine’s Securing function at the beginning of the last repeat.

securing stitch button

Be careful! If you wait too long to press the button, the machine will do one repeat too many, as was the case for the lower line of stitching in the photo.

stitch error - past edge

Place the remaining end of the ribbon inside the bookmark, against the side seam. Take advantage of the machine’s Mirror Image function by engaging it before stitching the opposite side.

mirror image icon on machine screen

Step 3) Add a bow.

Make a little bow out of a folded 3″ piece of ribbon.

make a ribbon bow

Wrap it with another 3″ piece of ribbon.

wrap with second ribbon

Tack the pieces in place with the sewing machine.

tack bow in place

Step 4) Insert the stabilizer.

Place the 2″ x 9″ strip of interfacing inside the bookmark. Flexing the edges will help with this task. Slip a strip of perfumed cardboard into the bookmark if you’d like.

insert scented liner

finished bookmark

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