Last weekend I undertook a new handicaft and it came out rather well so I copied the instructions in my handcraft notebook in case I want to do it again. Charlotte Mason suggested such a record for her students called, "An Enquire Within," after a popular book of her day. This was a notebook wherein a student might narrate a new practical skill...how to sew on a button, or plant a row of beans, change a tire or take up a crochet hook. I actually keep a separate book for recipes and one for gardening and another for handwork...but the principle is the same: I learn to do something and then narrate it so I really know it and can repeat it. (sometimes this is harder than it sounds...really working the brain to use words for a thing it would be so much simpler to show you!)
Here is how I made the beaded book marks. They may be a fun and useful craft for year 5 students who are just starting their books of centuries. This takes less than an hour.
Cotton DMC "thread" (this is thicker than their embroidery floss and does not separate. You need 19" x 3 for each bookmark
2 "crimp" beads
Beading needle (get a spare, they sometimes break)
5 Beads (glass are nice but any with a fair hole will do)
a Charm (for the "tail" of the bookmark)
Needle nose pliers
(I reviewed several bookmark "recipes" on-line before the very helpful person at my craft store helped me settle on this version. I highly recommend such a conversation if this is your first attempt at beading.)
Measure and cut three lengths of "thread" to 19 inches Line up the three strands and thread them as one through the beading needle. (The salesperson suggested braiding them but I did not find this necessary and liked to see the three individual strands since it reminded me that "a cord of three strands is not easily broken.") String on three beads with spacers as desired and then one of the "crimp" beads (don't squeeze it yet!) Take the "tail" and double back for a loop to put a charm on and pull the thread through the crimp bead again. Adjust the bead's position until there is very little of the end of the thread showing. Remove your needle and squeeze the crimp bead with the pliers. This holds one end of the bead sequence and charm in place. Next, tie a simple knot right next to the first bead you threaded and that will hold that end of the bead train in place. You should have three shiny beads (with or without spacers a crimp and then a short loop with a charm on it.)
Now take the other end of your threads and thread the beading needle. Two beads (with spacers or without) are added and then a crimp bead with no loop. Leave a short (1-1.5 inch) tail and squeeze your crimp bead with the pliers. Tie the same knot at the bottom of the shorter train of beads and Voila!
This basic method may be employed with various lengths of thread;this one is designed for the Book of Centuries but shorter cords could be used for a smaller book. Different types of beads and charms will appeal. You might like to reuse old necklaces or significant historical charms like Grandpa's war uniform buttons or a zipper tag from a favourite garment... maybe you will even start by making your own beads....
"Ideas won't keep; something must be done about them."