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Hello again! Is it the third week of the month already? Why, yes it is! And that means it’s time for me to panic, and decide what I’m showing you all to make 24 hours before it’s due to go up. However, as a lady who works best under pressure, this has been going well for me so far, and I think this months ‘Lara Makes’ may be my personal favourite so far. I’m going to show you all how to make a cross-stitch bookmark!

Now, I’m not very good at cross-stitching. I don’t necessarily follow the rules; I just do it my way. However, as I try to do with all of my tutorials, this is a really great project if you’ve never cross-stitched before. It’s really, really basic stuff.

This craft was inspired by the amazing King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters documentary. If you haven’t seen this, SEE IT. The numbers on the bookmark show the current world record high score for the arcade version of Donkey Kong – which, unfortunately, is not held by Steve Wiebe anymore. But hey, at least he’s got a better score than Billy Mitchell (booooooo)!

The score in this tutorial is missing a ‘1’ at the beginning: the score resets to ‘000000’ once you hit one million points, so it’s meant to be like that!

This is what you’ll need:

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1 – The pattern, found here. This is the first cross-stitch pattern I’ve ever put together, so I apologise for the awful-ness of it… and I say ‘pattern’, it’s more ‘something put together quickly in Paint’. But hey, it shows you what you need to know!
2 – Cross-stitch fabric. I used ’18 count aida’. You can buy the fabric in different ‘counts’: the higher the number, the more stitches you’ll get per inch. However, 18 count is really tiny, and can be quite tricky to work with: if you’re new to this, I’d recommend getting 16 count. It’ll mean your bookmark will be a bit bigger, but it’ll be much easier to stitch. Make sure it’s black! You can find it in craft shops, or online (try eBay)
3 – Embroidery thread, in red, dark blue, light peach, white, and orange (the ‘1UP’ should be in orange, but unfortunately I didn’t have any left). Again, craft shops or online!
4 – A tapestry needle.
5 – Strong glue.
6 – Thick paper or card.
7 – Scissors.
8 – And a nice, strong coffee. Cross-stitching is time consuming!
(Not pictured, because I’m an idiot and forgot: ribbon and a hole punch (optional), and an iron)

IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG.

Firstly, you’ll need to know how to cross-stitch, if you don’t know already. Here’s a link to a nice, simple tutorial: click! Now, you’ll need to follow the pattern. It’s really simple: every box coloured in = one stitch in that colour.

It should look like this when you’re done!

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Turn your fabric over, and go over it a few times with an iron to make it nice and flat. Now, carefully cut off the excess fabric, trying to keep it nice and straight (easier said than done… *bangs head off table*).

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Take your strong glue, and put a small amount along each edge on the back. Carefully stick it down on top of your thick paper or card. Push it down so that it sticks well, but try not have glue squishing out at the sides (again, easier said than done. *sobs*).

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Cut off any excess paper until your bookmark is at the size you want! This part is optional, but if you’d like to add a bit of ribbon to the bookmark, punch a hole in one end, and loop your ribbon through. Add a bit of glue to hold it in place.

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And voilà!

DONE

I really hope you all like this one. As I said, it’s my personal favourite so far, as a huge Donkey Kong fan. Also, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I’ve been thinking about retro gaming a LOT lately.

As always, if you decide to give this a go, PLEASE let me know, either here or on Twitter (@larabob)!

Until next time!

L x