2015_12_14-11If you’re looking for an easy craft project for a small gift, or as a fund raiser (especially for our beleaguered libraries), this is it.  Book Mice are simple to make, take a minimum of materials and you can make a wad of them for very little outlay of cash for materials.  What you need are:

1. A darning needle with an eye small enough to get the small beads over, but large enough to thread yarn through.
2. Some means of enlarging a hole in leather, such as a nail, awl or ice pick or, if you don’t mind ruining the needle, a pair of needle nose pliers, so you can get a needle threaded with yarn through the leather.
3. A pair of sturdy scissors that will cut leather.
4. A marker or ball point pen.
5. A small piece of stiff paper to make the patterns.

1. Fairly thin leather such as split cow hide or leather-like material such as Naugahyde in dark brown. (Most stores that sell leather have a scraps bin which scraps they typically sell by the square inch.)
2. Small 4.0 mm dark wooden or black or brown glass beads, two for each mouse you plan to make.
3. Pony bead size dark wooden or dark brown or black glass beads, one for each mouse you plan to make.
4. A small skein of dark brown or black lace-weight or fingering-weight yarn (size “0” or “1”).

2015_12_14-02You will need an oval or egg shaped pattern approximately 1.75 inches long by 0.75 inches wide for the body, and a small teardrop shaped pattern  approximately 0.5 inch long for the ears.

For each book mouse, you will need two “body” pieces and two ears, two small beads for eyes, one large bead for the tail and six 28-inch long pieces of yarn .

2015_12_14-04The idea is to sew the eye on through the ear, and down into the body.  With three pieces of yarn threaded on the darning needle, push the needle up from the underside of one of the body pieces, up through the ear toward the pointed end, through a small bead, then back down through the same hole in the ear and the body.  Even up the ends of the yarn so that the bead is about in the middle of the piece of yarn.

2015_12_14-06Then both ends of the yarn are brought back up through the body piece at about the “tail” position.  Now you’ve got something that looks like this:

2015_12_14-07Sew on the second eye in the same way and bring that yarn out the same tail hole.  2015_12_14-08Now you’ve got something that looks like this:

2015_12_14-09Glue the bottom body piece to the underside of the mouse, making sure the pieces are completely stuck together all the way to the edges.  Let the glue dry.  Place something heavy on the mouse body so that you can braid the tail.  Once the tail is braided, slip the large bead over the end of the tail and knot the tail to hold the bead on.  And there you have it.  One Book Mouse.