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  • Writer's pictureEllen Adams

A Perforated Paper Bookmark

If you attended our paper marbling/bookmark workshop last week you got to see this delightful little bookmark in person. It's a wonderful example of perforated paper needlework, which was a very popular craft in the second half of the 19th century. It uses many of the same techniques as needlepoint and cross stitch on canvas or fabric, but the sturdier paper can also be turned into three-dimensional objects. We thought you might enjoy making your own version of this item to give to your special "deer"! Just click the button at the bottom of the post to download a full-color PDF chart.

The Alice's punning bookmark was stitched on very fine perforated paper with 22 stitches to the inch. The lettering was done with tiny bronze beads, and the deer with what appears to be a single strand of thread using a tent stitch. If you would like to try stitching the pattern yourself, 14-count perforated paper is the most widely available (and what we provided at the workshop). Two or three strands of standard six-strand embroidery floss works well at this size if you are doing a full cross stitch, rather than a tent stitch. This pattern can of course also be stitched on any type of even-weave fabric or canvas.

If you're looking for tips on how to get started with cross-stitch, there are tons of tutorials out there on the internet, including videos. Stitching on paper isn't that different from stitching on fabric, but there are a few things to keep in mind, which are covered in this blog post:

To learn more about the history of perforated paper needlework and see some more examples of the craft, visit

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