Saturday, 16 June 2012

Free Tutorial - Charm-ing Book Thongs

These bookmarks (or book thongs as I like to call them) are a great way to use those beads you have left over from other projects, no matter what their size or shape. An easy project for beginners, they use simple wirework and a bit of knotting.

You will need:
1.5mm waxed cotton cord
A selection of leftover beads
2 6mm jump rings
Headpins or wire
Round nose and flat nose pliers
Wire cutters
Sharp pair of scissors

Take the end of the cotton cord (don't cut any from the length at this point) and make a fold about 2½” to 3” from the end. Pinch the fold to crease it. Keeping the 2 strands parallel, make an overhand knot near the end of the fold.

Pull the knot tight leaving a loop at the end to hold a jump ring. To make sure that you leave it large enough you can insert a thin knitting needle or the end of your scissors into the loop while you tighten the knot.

Trim the end of the cord a few millimetres away from the knot.

Decide on the length of the bookmark you need (between the knots) and add 1½” to this measurement. Measure the cord from the knot and make a fold at this point. I’m making an 8” bookmark so I’ve measured 9½” from the knot and made my fold. Form a knot as before, again leaving a loop for the jump ring. When you’ve pulled the knot tight, trim the remainder of the cord. ***Make sure you are cutting the correct end!*** Many times I’ve trimmed the bookmark itself instead of the cord end, it's easily done!

Take one of your leftover beads and thread it onto a headpin. Trim the headpin to about 8-10mm from the top of the bead.

Push the headpin over with your fingers to create a 90 degree angle...

...and make a loop using the round nose pliers.

Repeat for as many beads as you need. I’m using 10 beads for each of my clusters.

Open a jump ring and thread on all your beaded charms. I’m using slightly larger and thicker gauge twisted jump rings but regular jump rings will do just fine.

Then finally add the loop of cotton cord before closing the jump ring tightly.

Repeat for the other end and then you’re ready to pop it in your favourite book!

  • If you want to be really thrifty, you can use wire instead of headpins. To get the most out of your wire, leave it on the reel and thread on your bead. Using just the tip of your round nose pliers turn a tiny circle. Slide the bead down, then trim the top as before and make your loop.

  • You can add metal charms too if you like, just loop them onto the jump rings with the other beaded charms.

  • Never used a book thong before? Lay the book thong on your page top to bottom, with the charms hanging on the outside and close the book...easy!


Sarah said...

Great Tutorial, Liz!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! :)

Gemma said...

Fab tutorial Liz Much prettier than the random scraps of paper/receipts/sweetie wrappers I end up using. Must make me one soon