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I love cross stitch bookmarks. They are in some ways the perfect project. Small enough to carry around with you, manageable enough to stitch without a hoop, and who can’t use another bookmark?

The downside to cross stitch bookmarks? The messy back:

When stitching in a hoop there are plenty of ways to carefully and beautifully cover the back before hanging the finished work. But there aren’t many standard options for cross stitch bookmark backings. And we also have to consider the different use that bookmarks face – they are constantly being handled and moved, unlike a hung piece of art.

That’s why I have decided to experiment with different types of backings to see what would not only be most effective, but also beautiful, tailored, and easy to learn for anyone who is seeking a solution to the same problem.

Which brings me to my Louise Belcher cross stitch bookmark pattern.

If Tina is the hero we all need, Louise is the evil genius we want on our side. I just needed to stitch up her iconic hat and one of my all time favorite quotes:

And now, how to back it? For the first go-round I chose to use craft felt (which I purchased at my local Michaels) in the closest green to Louise’s dress that I could find. I also used my new-to-me sewing machine, which I picked up at a flea market for $5.

I spent another $5 getting it serviced at a local shop in town, and have a wonderfully running machine which is just like the one I learned on when I was a kid, so hopefully re-learning will be relatively smooth.

I cut a piece of felt just about the size of the bookmark and used white thread to sew it to the back of the bookmark so that the stitching would be invisible when viewed from the front.

And the result? Not bad for a first go at it!

Completely covers the messy back!
Soft and pliable

Makes the bookmark really thick
Not quite the finished look I’m looking for

I’m happy with the first attempt, but I’m going to keep looking for other options to offer the finished look that I’m really going for. And don’t forget you can get the Louise Belcher Bookmark pattern at my Etsy shop!