My inspiration for these handmade bookmarks come from a dislike for the bland white background on most bookmarks. The backs of most bookmarks are pretty bland or white in general and not much to look at.
These bookmarks are very decorative, larger than most and have a handsome back to jot down notes when needed.
The tools in general to make these are not difficult to obtain and are pretty simple to use. This could actually be a project you could let the kids help with for some of it.
Tools of the Trade for handmade Bookmarks
Your basic tools will include:
- Paper cutter. We use an X-ACTO but you can use any brand you have available as long as it will cut a 8.5" X 11'" piece of paper
- Ruler or something with a flat edge to smooth down the edges after glueing.
- Scissors. Get a good pair.
- X-ACTO Knife
- Hole Punch
- Glue. Stick glue, 3-1 Glue, Clear Tacky Glue, any glue that is fast drying and clear for paper will work.
- Card Stock Paper
You will find my tools I used in the photo below.
Sources for your Bookmarks
You will need to find a source for printing out your images. We used Pixabay.com. There are many other sources online to find free photos to download.
Many of the images on Pixabay are designated for commercial use and have no attribution required. You just have to look for them. You will also need to resize them after downloading.
We use PicMonkey to edit our photos and create our designs. they have a free subscription or a paid like we use.
Depending on your needs a free might do you fine. If you need more graphic design features then the paid is a very nice option and very affordable.
I would recommend taking a screenshot of the page you download your photos from. Another web owner was fined for using one of the photos from this site after the owner took their photos down and notified him several months later. He could not prove they had been on the site or he would not have had to pay for the photo.
Pay attention to the red arrows, this is the information you need to know if you are ever questioned about a photo you have downloaded.
Resizing your Images
After finding and downloading your photos, you will need to resize them. You may have to crop some to get the exact size you need.
As stated, we used an 8.5" (638 pixels) X 11" (825 pixels) sheet of card stock paper and printed out 7 images per sheet.
Our bookmark size is 4" (300 pixels) X 2.5" (188 pixels). This allows up to put 3 across the top and bottom in a vertical position and one in the center in a horizontal position. This pretty much uses up the entire sheet of paper with little waste.
The photo above is just an example of some of the photos available. There are many, many varieties and depending on your taste or need, you should be able to find something to meet your expectations.
Assembling the Handmade Bookmarks
After you have printed out your images on your paper, you will use your paper cutter to cut them out. I generally cut the top and bottoms off first then work my on the sides then cut both the top and bottom off leaving the middle piece.
This does not take a long time but everything you do handmade has some degree of time dedicated to it.
After cutting them out, pair up the fronts and backs to your liking. The back needs to have some space to take notes.
in my opinion, the fronts and backs do not have to match in color as they are never seen together at the same time. Be creative!
The next step in assembling these cards is gluing them together. As stated above we used the roll on glue. This worked fine and was very easy to apply. Children can help out here if you want to involve them in the process.
Line the cards up as even as possible after applying the glue. The less you have to trim the better. If you have to trim, use the scissors or X-ACTO knife. The paper cutters do not do a good job on very narrow trims.
After gluing, be sure your edges and corners are stuck together. These tend to want to separate if not pressed. I use the ruler after gluing to press lightly and scrape the edges and corners while the cards are flat on the work table. You can use any kind of item with a flat surface to do this.
Finishing the Handmade Bookmark Project
After the glue has taken hold, lay your bookmarks on a flat surface until they dry. With the double thickness of the cards they will be very efficient for using without fear of creasing them like the small cheap ones do if mishandles just a bit.
After they are dry, use the hole punch to punch holes just below the top of the bookmarks. You want to leave a little space so your string does not pull through the card. Next add your string and just run it through as you see it here. See the photo below for an example.
We used Jute String for our project because of the nature and look of the bookmarks. This seemed to work very well.
This is the finished product and we really liked them a lot. You can do this but it will take a little effort.
We are giving some of these away here on the web site on our Giveaway Page.
Decorative Handmade Bookmarks
We have more plans for these designs and bookmarks. The ones below were made using vintage jewelry, lace and ribbon.
Of course, there are different tools and supplies needed to make these.
There will be a video on this one also in the near future!
We have included a video below with some visual help in making the handmade bookmarks. I know sometimes a visual helps me understand things more than just reading the instructions.
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