How To Make Quick and Easy Bookmarks

Make Inexpensive Bookmarks from Recycled Materials

For those who love to read, settling down with a good book is a pleasure that matches a fine glass of wine, a good microbrew, fine chocolates or a big shoe sale. However, because reading is not expensive and is often squeezed in between other things, readers often neglect to appreciate the event the way they should. One sign of careless reading is dog-eared pages, sales-receipt bookmarks, or battered envelopes poking out of the book instead of a beautiful bookmark. A bookmark, especially a pretty one, reminds the reader that what he does is worth the time that he spends doing it, that the ability to read is a gift and that the freedom to read what he wants is a privilege. However, bookmarks are remarkably expensive. Rather than wasting money on a generic bookmark at the bookstore, why not make a few custom bookmarks to save your place. While you are at it, make a few extra to pass on to your book-loving friends.

Step 1


  • Old greeting cards, calendar pages, playing cards or other paper ephemera
  • Clear packing tape or laminating materials
  • Hole punch, metal eyelets and eyelet tool
  • Hemp twine, cotton string, embroidery floss or ribbon
  • Buttons or beads

Step 2

Cut your paper stock to the size you want for your bookmark. One-and-a-half to two inches is a nice width for most bookmarks. The length doesn't matter. However, it is nice to pick a length that suits the style of book you read. A standard hardcover book will allow for a longer bookmark than a trade paperback.

Embellish your card with a quote, stickers or other embellishment.

Step 3

Cut two pieces of packing tape slightly longer than the length of the bookmark. Use the packing tape to 'laminate' both sides of your bookmark. Alternate: If you have laminating paper or a laminating machine, laminate the bookmark.

Trim the laminate if necessary.

Step 4

Use the hole punch to punch a hole in the top-center of the bookmark.

Use the eyelet tool to insert an eyelet into the hole.

Thread the hole with twine or other thread. Knot the string about two inches from the end. Thread buttons or beads onto the end of the string. Knot the string again. Alternate: Loop a decorative ribbon through the hole.

Step 5

Miscellaneous Information

  • It is not necessary to laminate the bookmark. However, a laminated bookmark will be more durable and last longer.
  • If you decide to give the bookmarks as gifts, personalize them by writing a quote from the recipient's favorite author on the back of the bookmark.


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