The other day, we made a gazillion different designs for bookmarks for kids (and their moms, dads, grannies and friends). After an hour or two, our creative juices were really flowing and some awesome designs just popped out, some in a matter of minutes. Other bookmarks had more detailed designs.
Here’s the full story.
Tutorial on How to Make Paper Bookmarks
This is really the general design tutorial. I’ll tell you about each of the bookmarks a bit more below.
Step 1. Decide on the shape of the bookmark you wish to create. We decided on simple long rectangular designs, as well, that’s the shaped colored art paper we had in our paper pack. I will tell you more about that pack later. Best value in town.
Step 2. We looked for scrapbooking bits and bobs that matched both in color, hue and style.
Step 3. Once we had an assortment of goodies for a bookmark, we laid them out onto the bookmark till we had a nice composition. Then, we glued each of these scrapbooking elements on.
Step 4. We set them aside to let the glue dry. Then, after half an hour or so, we went back over each and every design and finished them off.
Step 5. When that was all done, we took out out stamp and ink set and gave some bookmark some nice edges as well as coloring all over, where that would work out. A lot were left plain without any stamping, such as the striped bookmarks ~ they did not need any further ado.
Step 6. On some, we outlined the shapes and at others we drew broken lines and boxes with a fine pointed Sharpie. A few of them begged to get some ‘affirmation’-words written on them. There is one in particular, that I’ll show you.
It’s a ‘happy accident’- story. The golden ink pad I had chosen looked like mud when it accidentally went onto the glitter butterfly scrapbooking element. Then an affirmation came to mind: on the front ‘have faith …’ and on the back ‘…no matter how muddy your road is’. I guess such is life: when the road is muddy and slippery, we need that faith that we will be fine in the end.
OK. There you have it. Now let’s look at each of the bookmark designs in more detail, shall we.
Bookmarks – Design 1: Tulip & Flowers Growing in the Field, or Out of Your Book
This is my favorite paper bookmark we made that afternoon, I think. It turned out that the colors are really nice together, and that the whimsy of those grasses spritzing out of the book is just fun. I thought to add a snail at the bottom. Or a bee in the grass. But it was dinner time and I stopped where it is now. It’s a happy bookmark, very craftsy, to give to a friend.
btw. This ‘flowers in grass- bookmark design is a matching scrapbooking layout to a CD-jewel case desk calendar that I made a few years ago.
Bookmarks – Design 2: Ever-Growing Flowers with Loads of Leaves
Make this bookmark as tall as you like. The taller the flower, the more interesting this bookmark will look. This bookmark is made by a 10-year old. So, for sure, making bookmarks IS a kids craft. There is no doubt about that. In fact, I believe that most of the successful designs were hers!!! Give that kid two thumbs up!
Bookmarks – Design 3: Balance with Love
Another one of her bookmarks. A simple triangle line and a heart at the end of it. So meaningful and so simple. Love the balance. You can’t tell from the picture, but the heart is a foam heart with glitter. The paper is Japanese rice paper with a lovely Japanese print design in gold.
Bookmarks – Design 4: For Fathers Day
Or that boy in the class. Both will like these diagonal stripes of blue/greys. Gorgeous color combination. She chose well. Did I tell you that bookmarks make fabulous gifts for Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day and the likes… Our pack came with thin, long strips. Sort of confetti-strips but made from beautiful thick art paper. They were cut diagonally and glued on. As simple as this. Beautiful, nah?! She made these in a various color combinations and they all came out looking very nice.
Bookmarks – Design 5, 6 and 7: Stamped, Cut-out and Decoupage-ed
There are just so many techniques you could use to make paper bookmarks. The green bookmark on the left is a strip of craft foam that surrounds those craft foam flowers that you can get. It was a remnant, put to good use. From a bit of other remnant, flower centers were cut and placed in the center of each flower, so that now we have new yellow flowers.
The orange bookmark next to that has pink crowns stamped randomly onto it. Be sure to go over the edges as that gives a more professional look. Make moms happy and be sure to put a piece of scrap or a surface cover under your stamping project otherwise your table gets forever marked with that bright stamp ink. This ink btw we have works really well, and I’ll recommend you the brand below.
The bookmark on the right started with a piece of a colored and pattered thick craft paper on one end. Then it looked too plain on top and she added cut out flowers in a regular pattern. Beautiful work for a 10-year-old kid, I’d say!
Have Fun and Feel Free to Experiment!
Scrapbooking Supplies Recommended
What you will need is:
- Scrapbooking Paper, plain-ish for the backgrounds, and decorated for the elements… Or the other way around…
- Stamp ink pad – you’ll need a couple of colors that match your scrapbooking set. The particular ink brand that I use is this one: Archival, who make ink pads in a wide range of colors and the ink is archival. I try to make all my artwork archival-quality, but this is not really necessary for things like bookmarks.
- A Scrapbooking Set, i.e. an assortment of scrapbooking design elements that have a similar theme, look and feel.
- A Sharpie – fine point
- Paper glue
- Paper scissors – You’ll need a pair that allows you to cut out fine detail, and if you don’t have a craft paper cutter, than you’ll need a pair of heavy duty scissors to cut the bookmarks as well.
- Scrapbooking Flowers
- Craft Paper Cutter – I have a heavy duty paper cutter which I use almost daily! It’s fast. It measures really precisely and you’ll get a more professional look with a sharper finish.
These are the materials we actually used, but I can also recommend the following scrapbooking supplies and tools. I have seen the scrapbooking projects produced by these and they look great and were really easy to make, despite the intricacies of the designs.
As I mentioned about the paper cutter, you get a much more professional looking result with a cricut machine than you will by cutting out pieces by hand by yourself. Actually, there are 2 brands of professional paper cutting/scrapbooking machines: the Silhouette brand, and the Cricut brand, of which the Cricut is the most economical. (#ad)
For my UK readers:
Placing all this in context, we were getting our minds around the bookmarks competition for world book day. So, let me tell you more.
World Book Day ~ Design a Bookmark Competition
If you have kids, are a teacher, a bookshop or are just an avid reader, than you’d know that today is World Book Day. It is all to stimulate kids (us) back into the library and the bookstore and start reading again. More, better and different books.
As part of this worldwide initiative, there is a national bookmark competition here in the UK. The winning design will be made into a bookmark and distributed to thousands of bookshops nationwide. There are also winners by age group, and all of these great, winning bookmark designers will receive book tokens for their school. So, it’s a worthwhile proposition indeed. I have a feeling that a child can enter multiple entries into this bookmark competition, but I’m not certain. All entries must be signed by a teacher.
The closing date for entries is Friday 25th April 2014.
More info: WorldBookDay.com.