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I love making cross stitch bookmarks, no lie. They are a wonderful, useful, easy-to-travel-with project, and make fun gifts for the bibliophiles in your life. But the snag is always in the best ways to finish the back and h ice away all of the pesky ends and not-so-niceness.

This is my second installment in the series on how to tackle this problem. In the first installment I used craft felt sewn onto the back, which was a quick fix, but a bit of a clunky one.

This time I find a bit more finesse using HeatnBond UltraHold Iron-On Adhesive.

What I’m working with

The Heat n Bond allows you to create your own iron on patch with just about any material. It comes in different weights for different uses. The purple package (the one I used) still requires you to sew. However! The red package (“Ultrahold”) doesn’t!

My first step was to take a piece of scrap fabric (just some cotton I had lying around from an up-cycle project; I think it was the lining to a skirt…) and cut it to size.

Then I cut a probably too generous piece of Heat n Bond and with the paper side up (rough side down) iron it onto my piece of fabric:

After trimming away the excess material, you peel back the paper to reveal the second sticky side.

Then all that was left was to iron it to the bookmark itself. Ta-dah!

Because of the awesomeness that is Heat n Bond you don’t have to be as careful with what fabrics you use (like the fraying that cotton usually lends itself too is not an issue since it is in effect glued on, but in a lovely and flexible way.

Things I love about this:

  • The final product is thin and flexible, and doesn’t have added bulk.
  • You can customize the colors/patterns of the backing so easily to compliment your stitching, and its so easy to up-cycle for the win.
  • Super fast project! And with the super strong “ultra hold” Heat n Bond you, in theory, don’t need to add any additional stitches to make sure things stay in place.

In reality, I did run the bookmark through my sewing machine just for peace of mind (also because it was recommended for the kind I used). But this is, I think, my new favorite method! I’m going to keep experimenting with the HeatnBond UltraHold as well as other types of fabrics. But this certainly does the job quickly and beautifully!

Let me know if you try this and what your experiences are! And my Smash the Patriarchy bookmark pattern is available now through my Etsy shop!