Sunday, July 10, 2011

Reinventing the Bookmark Idea #3

I have a small collection of string-and-bead type bookmarks that are lovely . . . and pretty much useless, because they all tend to fall out of my books. This is because I am not especially careful when I pick up, put down or carry books, and a single length of string with pretty beads on either end offers no way to anchor it in place (unless you tie the ends in a knot, which you would then have to pick out every time you want to move the bookmark.)

I wanted to address this problem with my third and final design while keeping the same simple components: a length of string and beads. I also thought I could use a variation of the cinch-type looped knot I often use for things I want to secure, as that sort of knot is easy to release. Fiddling with a few of the corded pendants I sometimes wear resulted in the BookLoop.

For demonstration purposes, here's my BookLoop alongside Marjorie M. Liu's novel A Wild Light:

To make one you'll need a piece of cord, ribbon or string that is four times the height of your book plus two inches (for a standard paperback, that's thirty-two inches.) Don't use anything that is too puffy or dimensional; a simple length of narrow flat ribbon or satin cord will do fine. You'll also need a large bead, button or pendant to serve as the anchor.

Put your anchor on the string, and tie the ends together to make a loop, just as you would a necklace. Once you have your loop tied securely, place it in your book like so:

Bring the top part of the loop down along the spine of the book, and pull the pendant through the end of the loop:

When you pull on the anchor to tighten it, it should look like this:

The great thing about this is you can customize it however you like (and maybe finally do something with all those focal beads or orphaned pendants sitting in your jewelry box.) It doesn't require a lot of expensive bits, it's easy enough for any writer or reader to make and use, plus when you're reading and not using the BookLoop, you can hang it around your neck and no one will ever guess that it's a bookmark.

I really had fun with this challenge, and now that I have three design ideas to play with I'm going to work on variations on the themes and see how I can improve on the original concepts. How do you guys think I did? Let me know in comments.


  1. Anonymous1:03 AM

    This was a pretty cool idea! It doesn't disappear between the pages or drop out, doesn't crumble or tear easily and has a million design variations. I love it!

  2. What a clever idea! so very simple but effective... well done!

  3. Very cool idea! I'll have to try this one.

  4. This one is my favorite out of the three! And I think I may absolutely do this with all my orphaned pendants. Plus I have been on a mission to use up much of my excess crafting supplies, so this is another great way to do that. Thanks for the idea!!

  5. I like this one best, and my God, it's within my craft abilities! I can make these with my kids, they always need bookmarks and love to do projects. Thanks for the how-to steps and the creative thinking!

  6. Anonymous3:45 PM

    nightsmusic said...

    I love this idea best of all! Cute, practical, and customizable.

  7. This one is my favorite and probably the most versatile. It would be a great project to do with kids of all ages and abilities.

  8. Thanks for this idea! I needed something to giveaway to a group of devoted fans and I can actually MAKE these and they WORK. You so rock!!


  9. Atropa Rainwater11:16 AM

    I particularly like this one. I don't know a whole lot of readers (which is odd) but I'm already planning Christmas gifts that have a pendant bookmark or the cloth wrapping one with them.

    But I used to do a lot of jewelry making, and I still love buying the pendants, but I'm one of the only people I know who wears a necklace daily.

    This gives me a new reason to buy awesome pendants when they go on sale! It won't take a lot of time, and will satisfy my crafting need. :)

    Btw, I made some bookmarks a couple years ago and gave them as gifts. I knit, and all these bookmarks were made of was leftover bits of sock-yarn. Knit it up on tiny needles (size 2 or 3 max) and you get a floppy but sturdy bookmark.

    I was using patterned yarn, and in that small of a project it led to some very interesting designs. My knitting club went nuts over the idea, so just a thought for any other yarn-addicts out there.

  10. Yep, I think this one is my favorite. It's a great use for all the extra stuff I have laying around and offers a lot of creative possibilities.

  11. My favorite part is that I can wear it when it's not in my book. I often lose bookmarks while I'm reading.


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