Cross-stitch a bookmark to save your place for when you just have to put that book down. If you divide your free time between reading and cross-stitching, this project helps bridge those two loves. This is a quick and easy tutorial that is perfect for teaching someone how to cross-stitch. Follow the design of hearts pictured, or choose a different pattern that would be suitable to the vertical format of a bookmark.
The hearts on the sample bookmark were worked with DMC 353, 352, 351, and 349.
Equipment / Tools
- Tapestry needle
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Fabric glue
- 16-count Aida fabric
- Cross stitch pattern
- Six-strand embroidery floss
- Thin satin ribbon
Cut the Fabric
To determine the size you should cut your fabric, decide the width of your finished bookmark, and then cut the fabric twice that, plus 1/4 inch. For example, on a 1 1/2-inch-wide finished bookmark, cut the fabric 3 1/4 inches wide and 6 1/2 inches long.
Stitch and Trim
Center and stitch the design, using a different color for each pair of hearts. Clip any stray floss ends from the back of the stitching. Make sure the front of the design is neat, and there aren't any loose stitches.
Fold and Press
Fold the extra fabric on each side of the bookmark to meet in the back, overlapping slightly. Make sure that you center the design exactly on the front. An easy way to do this is to count the Aida squares on each side of the design to be sure they are the same. After you fold the sides in, iron the fabric to shape it.
Fringe the Ends
To fringe the ends of your bookmark, remove several horizontal rows of woven threads from the Aida fabric. The sample has a longer fringe at the bottom than at the top, but you can make them the same if you wish.
If you want to ensure that the fabric doesn't ravel, use a small amount of fray check or other type of adhesive on the back. Alternatively, stitch a line of backstitch or running stitch one square above the fringed edge with floss. Blend the stitching by using the same color as the bookmark background, or use a contrast color to turn the stitching into a design element.
Skip the fringe and just add stitching (or adhesive) at the top and bottom to prevent the ends from raveling.
If you want to make your bookmark with even weave linen instead of Aida cloth, create a fringed edge and hemstitch to prevent further fraying.
Glue the Bookmark
To keep the bookmark back from flapping open, use fabric glue to hold it closed. With the right side down on the table, open the flaps on the back. Choose which flap will be on top.
Dot a small amount along the edge of the bottom flap. Fold the top flap over and press gently. Place your bookmark between layers of wax paper in case there's any exposed glue, and then rest some heavy books on top to keep it flat while it dries.
Be careful with the glue—if you use too much, it will soak to the outside of the fabric and ruin your design or cause the fabric to curl as it dries.
Cover the Edge
Finish your bookmark by covering the raw fabric edge. Cut a piece of ribbon to the same length as the bookmark, excluding the fringe. Dot the bookmark seam with glue and press the ribbon on top of the glue. Repeat the wax paper trick.
Put Your Cross Stitch Bookmark to Use
Once it's finished, your bookmark is ready to hold your place when it's time to put your latest book down. Of course, a project like this also makes a great gift. Because this cross stitch bookmark is quick and easy, you can make them for friends and family, mail them along with cards, or tuck them inside a book you're giving or lending.