A Token of Affection

I love to browse through craft books, and feel that I can’t watch TV without a stack of these books at least two feet tall nearby, for browsing in case the program gets dull. I browse a lot of books this way. The latest was American Needlework Treasures by Betty Ring, in which I came across a picture of some perforated paper bookmarks. My crafting antennae went up. Victorians made these bookmarks as sentimental tokens of affection, and as an easy and inexpensive craft, perforated paper stitching was wildly popular.

Wool on perforated paper, c. 1840-1850.

Soon I found myself sending away for some perforated paper, which is a sturdy paper punched with small holes. I gathered together my odds and ends of embroidery thread, a pair of scissors, a length of grosgrain ribbon, and then mulled over which sentimental motto to embroider. The result is above, and I’m already mulling over my next creation.

Perforated Paper Bookmark

Supplies: Perforated paper (see below for suppliers), a length of 1-1/2″ wide grosgrain ribbon, embroidery floss, embroidery needle, scissors, sewing thread.

How to: Cut the ribbon to a 9-1/2 inch length. Cut a piece of perforated paper 6 x 7/8″. Cut between the holes, not through them, which would form a jagged edge. Following the diagram, and using 3 strands of floss, embroider the motto and heart. To orient yourself, start stitching in the third stitch down from the top, in the fourth row. There will be two blank rows of holes on top and bottom of the stitched motto. Tack the embroidered strip to the ribbon, using cross stitches and sewing thread, tacking in each corner and once along either side.

I have collected some words and mottoes that could be stitched: *Love to Mother* May We Meet in Heaven* With Love’s Greetings* From a Friend* Friendship* Truth* To My Grandma* Happy New Year* Or, of course, use a word that has special meaning for you.

Note: Perforated paper is quite sturdy, but it is just paper, so stitch carefully, not tugging or yanking the thread as you pull it through the hole.

One of the “fishtail” ends of the bookmark. To make, fold ribbon end length-wise, and snip from the bottom edge on an angle to the folded edge. Open.

I used some grosgrain ribbon purchased at a garage sale, but you can purchase ribbon at local craft stores. I know my next step will be to look for real silk ribbons, or even antique silk ribbons.

If you live near a store that specializes in cross-stitch and embroidery, they may have perforated paper. If not, I purchased mine online from Erica’s Craft & Sewing Center.  It came quickly and only cost about $5.00, including shipping. This was for two sheets of perforated paper, possibly a lifetime supply. To design your own patterns, a book called “Design and Chart Your Own Needlepoint,”” is available at Amazon for one cent (plus shipping).

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