Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book Thongs

[This blog was first published by Romance Novel TV. I'm reposting it here with their permission.]

These book thongs aren’t skimpy covers for your books, nor is there a blush factor in owning one.

A book thong is simply jewelry for your book. It’s a beaded bookmark where the part that is inside the book is a wire or a string, hence the name, and the embellishments hang outside the book above and below the spine.

Book thongs don’t scar the spine; they don’t fall out; and they snugly hold your spot on the page where you last stopped reading. As with all jewelry, they make your books sparkle when stacked together and add beauty to your bookcase.

The sturdy thongs are made of thin, rounded metal wires, crocheted cotton thread, waxed linen cords, leather, ribbon, hemp, or vinyl. The beads are of glass, wood, semi-precious gemstones, seeds, metal, plastic, and Swarovski crystals. Some have quotes and brightly colored designs on them, and all the accoutrements of costume jewelry that you can find in a bead store. If you use impossibly tiny glass beads, you could make the thong out of them, too. The basic idea being that the thong should be thin enough to not damage a book.

Book thongs are easy to make and are great handmade gifts to give to the readers you know. They can be included with books, as party favors, hostess gifts, souvenirs… The list is endless, as is the creativity that can be brought to such a simple project.

You can design your own signature in beads for the bottom portion that you can include in all pieces. You can craft flirty romance-themed pieces, serious non-fiction ones, journaling markers, and funky children’s pieces. Whether you’re a serious jewelry designer, or someone who wants to try making jewelry but is intimidated, this is a fun way to experiment with beads and cords, because you cannot go wrong here.

Start with about two feet of cord and assorted beads, such as this collection on the left. The tools you require are clear nail polish and a pair of sharp pointy scissors. Tie a firm knot at one end of the cord. Trim the excess cord with the scissors and set the knot with clear nail polish. Slide beads onto the cord and tie a knot after the last bead, setting it with the polish. Determine the length of the cord needed for the book and tie and set a knot where the bottom set of beads will start. Add the beads and tie a knot at the end. Trim off the excess and set the knot. The final result could be like this bookmark on the right.

And there you have it. The secret to Book Thongs.

Have you designed bookmarks? If so, what materials have you used? Would you be interested in creating a book thong? To whom would you give it to, and how would you present it?