I am constantly on the lookout for used photo frames to repaint, insert my own photos and hang on my walls.
As a result, I have become quite familiar with the types of images that people are happy to spare with their frames.
Posters, of course. “cute” sayings. Embarrassing family photos. Amateur oil paintings.
Cross stitch images, lovingly made by a loved one somewhere, matted and professionally framed.
The latter touches me every time. Mind you, I don’t cross stitch myself, and I don’t like the kind of landscapes or flower gardens or teddy bears in overalls that make up many of these given finds. Nevertheless, I know how much work is spent in cross stitch, how much time and how much it is a labor of love. So even though the frame it’s in looks ugly, I take every cross stitch piece I find and give it a new home.
There are many interesting, easy, and useful ways to recycle cross-stitch pieces, but one of the most interesting, easy, and useful is the cross-stitch bookmark. To do this you will need:
cross stitch piece to recycle.
cutting and sewing supplies.
eyelet tool or buttonhole foot on your sewing machine.
1. Remove the frame and mat from the cross stitch piece. This can be a tricky procedure, because if the piece has been professionally framed like this, there may be adhesive holding the cross stitch attached to the rug. If so, remove it slowly and carefully, being careful not to allow the fabric to warp.
If it ends up looking crooked, you can spray it with just a little water, iron it just a little on low heat, and straighten it again.
2. Measure and carefully cut the piece to size. Measure nice dimensions for a bookmark (I usually find a bookmark I already own and measure it to make a template), but make your cuts based on what will look the prettiest on a bookmark.
For example, with this particular room, I saved the house and the tree for different projects and focused on the flowers.
3. Apply fray control. You’ll want to do this as soon as you’ve cut out your bookmarks; otherwise, we do not know where these are cut embroidery thread the ends will go. Apply fray control to the raw edges of each bookmark, allow it to dry, then turn it over and repeat.
4. Satin stitch around the edges of each bookmark. Technically, this isn’t necessary after checking for fraying, but the satin stitch hides the stiff edges of the bookmark and gives it a more finished look.
5. Place an eyelet or buttonhole at the top of the bookmark. I like either option the same as they both give a little hole, finished with no raw edges.
6. Tie some embroidery floss around the top of the bookmark. Cut several pieces of embroidery floss that are at least double the length of your bookmark, push them through the hole you made, and tie them around the top of the bookmark with a simple overhand knot.
Remember you can, of course, add your own embellishments to these recycled cross stitch bookmarks. The beads would like to be threaded tightly onto the embroidery floss, a felt backing could be placed on the wrong side of the cross stitch, then sewn in satin, and it would be an easy thing to add your own cross stitch or embroidery to. the front of the bookmark.