Send A Cross Stitch Bookmark Instead of a Card
by John Wigham
Don't you just love sending a special cross stitch gift to a friend? A card you've stitched is a great way to mark special occasions and holidays. Your friends are probably thrilled when they receive your cards and admire them for quite some time. Sadly, though, eventually the cards end up tucked away inside cabinets and drawers. Instead of a card, you may want to create a personalised bookmark the next time a special person in your life celebrates an occasion.
Think about the possibilities. Not only can a cross stitch bookmark carry a personalized message just like a card can, but it also will be used time and again. Moreover, your friends will think of you each time they settle down with a good book. What better way to be remembered?
Like any other stitching project, you'll want to consider a few suggestions before you begin creating your gifts.
Start by thinking of a pattern that in some way reflects the personality of the recipient. For instance, does your friend like to garden or have a beloved flower? How about a craft or hobby he or she enjoys? Stitching a bookmark is easy and doesn't take long because the pattern is, by necessity, small and simple. So pick just one element that signifies what this person likes and use that for your cross stitch bookmark.
Want a way to nudge children to read? How about presenting them with their own custom bookmark featuring a beloved character?
The easiest way to make a cross stitch bookmark is to buy a branded kit, choosing the most appropriate design for your friend. In any case, buying a kit for the first bookmark you make is probably a good idea, as it will contain all the necessary threads, fabric and instructions you need. You will be able to get some information from this as a sort of template for your future projects.
Traditionally, bookmarks are long and slim in shape. It is important that they are not too bulky or scratchy, as this could damage fine paper pages. You will need to consider what sorts of books your friend reads. Paperback books are usually smaller than their hardback counterparts, and therefore you need to take this into account when considering the size. As a general rule, it's advisable to make your bookmark between six to nine inches long (15 to 22cm) and two and a half inches (6.5cm) wide.
When you start making bookmarks without a kit, you'll want to cut the bookmark out of the cross stitch material, and then bind the edges with ribbon or other decorative fabric. Another pretty way to finish the edges is to create fringe. You fray the edges just enough to create a nice fringe, then use glue or spray to prevent additional fraying. You don't want the fraying to extend beyond the point where you stopped the fringe.
After you've cut out the fabric and secured the edges, you're ready to create the design. Locate a pattern you like. Magazines are a great place to locate patterns, as are books. Better yet, create your own pattern. Simply use a piece of graph paper and draw out your design. As always, each stitch is signified by a square on the paper.
To make the back as attractive as the front, carefully glue ribbon or fabric to hide the stitching. As you stitch, you want to avoid thick knots or other bumps.
To give your bookmark added interest, do consider folding the bottom of it into a triangle shape instead of a straight line. You can add a tassel, some beads or a shell to the end, to make it look unusual.
Do not forget to iron the finished bookmark carefully, between two towels, so that it does not become overheated.
Bookmarks are really easy to make, and after you've stitched one, the next ones will be a snap. The projects will take you almost no time at all.
Any friend or family member is bound to love the cross stitch bookmark you make for them. Plus, unlike a card, your personalized bookmark will be treasured and used often, perhaps for many years to come.
Read more than 150 cross stitch articles created by John Wigham with several concentrating on the humble cross stitch bookmark.
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