Here is what you will need:
A sheet of 7 mesh plastic canvas (the mesh count refers to how big or small the squares are. 7 mesh is easier to work with.)
a tapestry needle
a sharpie marker
yarn (as many or as little colors as you would like)
Here's how you do it:
1. Cut a piece of the plastic canvas that is ten squares across and 44 squares down. (It will end up being just under 1 3/4' by 6 1/2". But when you are working with plastic canvas, it is easier to use the squares as a measuring tool).
2. Use the sharpie marker to draw in your design along the lines of the canvas. Remember that everything is at an angle, so round shapes will not look as round as if if you were drawing on paper. I drew hearts on this bookmark, but you can draw anything you want, or leave it blank.
3. Use one color yarn to fill in your design. Thread your needle with the yarn (This may take a lot of tries if you are not used to of threading yarn into a needle, since the yarn is so thick. But keep trying. You will get it!) Start at the uppermost corner of your design. Pull the needle from the bottom up, leaving a piece of yarn hanging on the back side. Then push the needle down from the front on the next closest corner in a diagonal direction. Then bring the needle back up from the back into the next closest corner to where you started. Going in a diagonal direction, push the needle back down in the next diagonal corner of your design. Continue this until your design is filled in, remembering to stitch at an angle. When you have completely filled in your design, stick your needle underneath the yarn on the back side and pass it underneath a few of the stitches until it comes out on the other side. This tucks your yarn into place so that it does not unravel.
this is the first stitch coming up
this is after going back down across that angle
your back should look like this after the first stitch
this is the second stitch, starting at the closest corner and working up to the next angle in a diagonal direction
This is the back. Notice how the piece of yarn that was left hanging in the back is getting wrapped with each stitch. This way, there are no knots, but the yarn gets secured in place.
4. After your designs are filled in, you can fill in the background with the color of your choice. Use the same technique you used to fill in the design.
5. When everything is filled in, you can cover your edges. For this, you will find a starting point on the border of your book mark. A corner usually works best for me, but you can choose wherever you want. With your threaded needle, pull the yarn through the hole, leaving a piece of yarn hanging. With your finger, hold the hanging piece of yarn in place and continue to stitch around the border. You can let go of the hanging piece of yarn after it has been covered. Continue this step until your border is completely covered. When your border is done, stick your needle into some of the previous stitches and pass it underneath a few of the stitches to secure your yarn in place.
6. To do your tassel, find the middle point at the top of your book mark. With a threaded needle, bring your yarn in one square and out the next (straight across, no angle). Leave a generous amount of yarn hanging from the back of both squares. Repeat this with as many pieces of yarn as you want in your tassel. Go in and come out of the same squares as the first piece of yarn each time. When you are satisfied with how many pieces of yarn you have, pull the stitch that the pieces of yarn formed. Pull the stitch out just enough to make one loop with all of the pieces of yarn. Then pull all of the excess yarn, that you left hanging on the back, through the loop. Then you can braid the pieces of yarn together, about an inch or so long. Make a knot at the end of the braid. Then you can cut off some of the length of the pieces of yarn, making sure to leave about an inch and a half after the knot for the tassel. With your needle, separate the strands of yarn.
Your bookmark is now complete and ready to use!
the back - it is not as neat as the front, but it is still mostly neat
OK, now it's your turn! See what fun designs you can come up with to send your little ones off on their reading adventures with!!!