How To Make a Yarn Swatch Book (with free printables!)

Posted on April 09, 2020

Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links

Hey guys! Super excited to share this yarn swatch book with you! I decided to make one for my new collection of Brava yarn, and figured other people would want to make swatch books, too! Here’s a gif in all its beauty:

My inspiration is my old Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice swatch book, which I either purchased or got for free WITH a purchase…it’s so old I can no longer remember. But I referenced this thing so often over the years, it was a totally invaluable tool!

Remember Vanna’s Choice Baby?? That was my favorite line! RIP!

My panorama attempt failed but I know you’ll overlook such things, reader ;)

Just look at this glorious thing. Every single color of every Vanna’s Choice line! Sometimes I’d just look through it for no reason at all. Sometimes just seeing a color would inspire me! But now that both Michaels and Joann (ugh let’s not talk about the awful owners of that company and how I probably won’t go back to them once life gets back to normal after this virus passes right now BUT TRUST ME I’LL HAVE LOTS TO SAY IN A FUTURE POST) have stopped carrying Vanna’s Choice completely, I’m sure it’ll be discontinued soon.

However! Brava Worsted yarn is an amazing substitute, and it’s even more affordable! Granted you have to buy it online (and you can’t right now, the warehouse staff is at home because they’re a non-essential company), but if you only have a few colors you normally purchase, it’s easy to buy a few extra to get that free shipping deal!

Before we get started, I just wanna tell you a bit about the Tombow permanent adhesive applicator I’m using for this project. This isn’t sponsored at all, I just absolutely love it! So ya know, if Tombow wants to sponsor me, I’m available. ;) Haha but seriously, it’s a little glue strip pen thing and it instantly bonds paper together! Actually, instead of me telling you about it, check out this video!

If you’re interested, you can get on right on amazon (another company that’s dead to me, yet I can’t quit. Urg)

 

Supplies

  • The cover page & insert page printable (links below)

  • A printer & cardstock to print on

  • A ruler

  • A yarn needle

  • Glue (I’m using the Tombow permanent adhesive, it’s an amazing little tool, but a glue stick would be fine, too! And you could use a hot glue gun for gluing on the yarn strands)

  • Scissors

  • A collection of yarn you want to make a swatch book of (I’m using Brava worsted yarn!)

  • Regular sewing needle & thread (only if using inserts)

 

How to make the book

So let’s dive right in and make us a swatch book! I think it’s best to stick to 1 yarn line per book, but it’s your life. Live it as wrongly as you want! Hah!

First things first, download the printables!

Next you’ll need to count the number of colors for your book. If it’s 24 or less, you only need the cover page! Organize your yarn by color and write down the order you want to put them in on a piece of scrap paper. Be sure to leave space for colors you want to add, but don’t have currently on hand! Once that’s done, print the cover page and the insert page (if you need it). Print on the highest quality on matte cardstock, and use your borderless setting for maximum space!

Now line up your ruler with the middle line, then use your yarn needle to trace the line. This creates a fold indentation, and your paper will fold beautifully! There are actual tools made to do this, I can’t remember what they’re called, but…who needs one when you have a yarn needle?

And now you have a book!

Write the name of the yarn on the outside cover. I went super extra and photographed the label, edited it in photoshop, printed it onto normal paper, cut it out, and taped it on. You don’t have to go that far, but feel free to!

Now let’s talk about the insert pages. If you need to catalog more than 24 colors, you’ll need one! Repeat the process of tracing the fold line, but fold it the opposite way-with the printed side on the outside. Then insert your page into your cover page.

And now for a little bookmaking 101! Grab your needle & thread, and punch through both pages from the inside out near the top, then come back through from the outside-in near the bottom. Then cut your thread and tie the two ends together. You want to pull the thread tight so it’s secure, but not so tight you start ripping the holes you made. It’s a delicate balance.

You could break out your sewing machine and sew the two pages together if you wanted to as well! Or look up other book binding methods and try those…I just did it this way because it was fast.

Now you’ll need to glue the two blank sides together. I used my Tombow, but a glue gun would work perfectly here, you’ll just have to wait a bit for it to dry.

And now your book construction is complete! Time for the good stuff! You’ll notice I started gluing yarn in before counting, and added the page in after hahaha. So be sure to get your color count first!

On the top I wrote all of the yarn info-the fiber, the yardage, the price, and where to buy it! If you’re using a line that multiple stores carry, but each store only carries certain colors (story of my life), write down which store to buy it at next to the color name! That way you’ll never go to the wrong store again!

You can simply write it in like I have, or you can go all extra and open the png file into a photo editor, and add the text with your fav font and really make it professional looking. I would LOVE to see someone really pimp out their yarn swatch book!!

Next cut 4 strands of yarn about the length of the box. I recommend cutting all of the strands for each color block together (yellows, for instance). Either lay down a strip of the Tombow glue, or add a couple dabs of hot glue, and quickly press your yarn on top of it. And eventually…

…you’ll have a completed book! I’ve got lots of extra room, so if I ever try more colors, I’ll be able to add them!

I hope this post was useful, and that it helps you make your own yarn swatch book! Be sure to tag me on social media if you post it, I’d love to see it!


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