It was only a matter of time, friends. Given my life-long love of both reading and stitching, I’m actually surprised it’s taken me this long to come up with a craft project that puts them together!
Lately, my daughter’s been showing more interest in sewing ventures, and I thought it’d be fun to encourage her stitching skills with some very simple patterns she could follow on paper.
So with Valentine’s Day around the corner, I had the idea of stitching simple hearts onto paper for Valentines cards this year. But alas, we all know what happens to all those boxes and bags of Valentines cards that come home from school each year–by March, most of them have found a tragic demise in the trash bin!
That’s when I came up with the idea of bookmarks. I figured that if we made Valentines that are actually useful, that would increase their chances for survival!
I started rummaging through my supplies of embroidery thread from old cross-stitch projects and picked out all the shades of pink and red I could find. A quick perusal of my ribbon stash rewarded me with Valentines hues as well. And I still had kraft paper on hand from a notebook project I did a few months ago.
(Yes, I have a pretty significant craft stash at this point in my life. I’m pretty sure I even have leftover purple cardstock somewhere from the wedding programs we made for our wedding 18 years ago!)
With all the supplies I needed on hand, I set to work. I decided to punch holes in the paper with a push pin so my daughter would be able to easily follow the pattern and have an easier time sewing. And since I have Photoshop handy, I designed a quick template I could follow so I wouldn’t have to freehand all the designs. (And you can grab it as a free download below!)
I ended up with three designs, printed them off and set to work punching out holes and stitching up our photo-types. Pre-punching the paper made the sewing part easy-peavey, and I’m so pleased with how cute they turned out!
My daughter and I decided the striped pattern would take too long to mass produce for classmates, but we’re in the process of stitching up some three-heart and hearts-on-a-string designs that she can give to her teacher and friends.
Want to give these bookmarks a try yourself? Just grab the free templates by clicking the box below and read through the simple directions that follow. You can add your own creative twist by stitching with different colors or using different colored cardstock for your designs.
(Downloads are only available to More Like Grace subscribers: So with downloading, you’ll be opting in to our email newsletter with more encouragement and freebie news. Unsubscribe any time.)
- embroidery threads (I use DMC floss)
- kraft paper, or colored cardstock
- large-size needles
- downloaded pattern template
- thumbtacks/push pins (If you don’t have push pins on hand, the end of a paper clip works too. Just unbend so you have a sharp point.)
How to Make:
Step 1: Cut out the templates and cut your kraft paper/cardstock into bookmark size. (I made mine 6-3/4″ by 2-3/4″.)
Step 2: Place your paper template over your cardstock. Using your push pin, poke little holes through both pieces of paper, following the template design. I placed a scrap piece of cardboard under my paper to help protect my work surface.
Step 3: Cut a length of embroidery floss and make a knot at the end. Depending how thick you want the stitches to look, you can use from 2-6 threads. (I stitched the “hearts-on-a-string” pattern, and the stripes with 2 threads, but used 6 threads for the three-heart pattern and the large heart on the striped design.)
Step 4: Stitch the design going down one hole and then up through the next. (This will leave a space between every stitch on the front side of your bookmark.)
Step 5: When you reach the end of your shape, reverse direction and stitch back the way you came, filling in the spaces. At the end of your stitches, tie a knot on the back side of your bookmark and weave your thread through a few of the stitches on the back before cutting the thread.
Step 6: Punch a hole in your bookmark.
Step 7: Add ribbon. To attach the ribbon, cut a 6″ length of ribbon and fold in half. Pull the two ends of the ribbon together through the hole of your bookmark toward the front side. Pull through about an inch. Now pull the loose ends of your ribbon through this loop.
That’s it! Now you have a fun Valentines bookmark you can tuck in your favorite book or share with a friend. Hope you (or your kids) enjoy this fun little project and have fun spreading some love!