Bookmark Tutorial 3 Ways

Having a little fun today sharing a Bookmark Tutorial 3 ways. This is a play on “book” as these bookmarks are inspired by my September Bullet Journal Setup. As part of the bookshelf theme, these bookmarks are a super fun accessory to use throughout the month, or even after. I’m sharing 3 different bookmarks that you can make, ranging from simple with minimal supplies, to all the supplies with some advanced techniques. I have the video tutorial for you too (with time stamps for specific bookmarks), and the detailed instructions below! Let me know which one is your favourite!

Bookmark Tutorial 3 Ways

Bookmark Tutorial 3 Ways – Supplies and Instruction

I am sharing each bookmark with it’s own tutorial and own set of supplies. The only thing they have in common are the books, colour palette, and they all start as the same size.

Using card stock, I cut 4 strips of paper, all measuring 2 inches by 8.5 inches. I trim the bookmarks as I go, and of course, you can make your bookmarks as long/short/wide/narrow as you want.

Bookmark Tutorial 3 Ways: Bookmark 1 – Quick and Simple

Bookmark Tutorial 3 Way - Bookmark 1


Bookmark 1 – Steps

1. Choosing Your Design

  • Since this simple design is based on the bookshelf setup from my September Bullet Journal design, I am drawing in books along a shelf lengthwise down the strip of paper
Sketching Your Design

2. Sketching Your Design

  • Draw in some guidelines to help visualize how your bookmark will look
    • In my bookmark, the bookshelf and the white space at the top of the tallest books are the same width to help maintain balance
  • Draw a bookshelf along the bottom
  • Sketch out books lengthwise, alternating different heights and thicknesses for your books
  • Use or ruler or just sketch the notebooks since you’ll be colouring them and outlining them later
Colouring Your Design

3. Colouring Your Design

  • Make sure you’re waiting for paint to dry if using paint or paint pens
  • If using markers, use a gold gel pen to add gold accents to the books
  • Add black outlines for more definition

4. Finishing Up the Bookmark (optional)

  • Use a corner punch to round the edges of your bookmark
    • Or carefully round corners with a small pair of scissors
  • Laminate the bookmark for extra weight and protection from elements

Bookmark Tutorial 3 Ways: Bookmark 2 – A Little Less Simple

If following along in the YouTube video, you can skip to the 7:27 minute mark.

Bookmark Tutorial 3 Way - Bookmark 2

Bookmark 2 – Supplies

Bookmark 2 – Steps

1. Deciding on Design Elements

  • Decide what you would like to include on your bookmark
  • I’m adding stamps from a Studio Calico set
  • Instead of lengthwise like Bookmark 1, I am adding bookshelves widthwise across the strip of paper
  • Since I am stamping, I am adding the stamped images first
  • Trim the bookmark if needed
    • The stamp I’m using looks better if the sides of the bookmark are trimmed
Deciding on Design Elements

2. Sketching the Rest of Your Design

  • Just like in bookmark 1, sketch in your design, based on where your extra elements are
  • I’m sketching my shelves and books widthwise, breaking them up into smaller shelves
  • Adding the stacked books on one shelf to create more interest in the design

3. Colouring Your Design

  • Same as before, I’m using my Acrylographs paint pens to colour
  • Once dry, taking a gold pen to draw accents on the books
  • Final step is the black outline for more definition
  • Adding some colour to the stamp to tie it into the rest of the bookmark

4. Finishing Up the Bookmark (optional)

  • Keeping the corners sharp (instead of rounded) as it fits the design better
  • Laminating it to make it stronger and last longer
Colouring your Bookmark Design
Easy Bookmark Tutorial

Bookmark Tutorial 3 Ways: Bookmark 3 – A Lot Less Simple

Bookmark Tutorial 3 Ways - Bookmark 3

The final bookmark as part of our Bookmark Tutorial 3 Ways. I do hope you give this a try, using whatever supplies you have. This is such a fun way to experiment and play without too much pressure.

If you’re following the video as well, the time stamp is 10:40.


Bookmark 3 – Steps

1. Deciding on Design Elements

  • Start gathering supplies you think you want to use
  • Limit what you want to use but don’t limit your creativity
    • It’s a fine line between feeling uninspired and feeling overwhelmed
    • Start with limited supplies and then add where and when you feel you want
  • Start to think how you want to use your supplies

(You can think about a general design and then grab some supplies, or you can grab your favourite supplies and then think how you want to use it. Whichever works best for you.)

2. Start Piecing Your Design Element Together

  • Start playing with your supplies
  • Using the brown printed scrapbook paper with type, I start tearing pieces to size until I find something I like
  • I do the same with the doily, until I find a size and spot I like
  • Before gluing everything in place, I start building my background
Distress Oxide Background Building Technique

3. Building Your Background

  • Distress Oxide ink is one of my favourite products to use so I experimented with a new technique
    • (I saw Tim Holtz use this technique)
  • Grab an ink pad and smear it all over a surface
    • I use glass but it dries very quickly – by spraying it with water, I’m able to reactivate the ink and build texture
  • Place the bookmark paper down onto the ink
  • Lift and let it dry before placing it down again
  • Keep repeating these last 2 steps to build an interesting background
  • Once happy with my background, I trim the bookmark to get rid of the unfinished edge
Building a background and placing pieces

4. Adding Design Elements to Bookmark

  • To add texture to my bookmark, I use different supplies to adhere my design elements to my bookmark
  • Starting with the scrapbook paper and doily, I glue the scrapbook paper down with a tape runner, placing the doily beneath it
    • This keeps the doily piece in place without glue seeping through the lacy design of the doily

(Instructions follow below)

Placing the Elements on the Bookmark
  • Next I sketch the books and bookshelf onto the scrapbook paper, adding colour with Acrylographs – same as the first 2 bookmarks
    • Gently touch the tip of the pen to the paper and guide it lightly across your sketch lines and you won’t have bumps in your colouring, or drawn lines
  • To tie into the stamping in my journal theme, I add stamped images to the bookmark
    • Using a Phrase stamp, I stamp on cardstock, cut it out, and then add it to the bookmark
    • Same for the next stamped element – stamp on cardstock and cut it out, leaving a small border of white around it
    • I glued the stamped phrase and stapled the heart in place for added texture and visual interest
Finishing up the Bookmark

5. Finishing Up the Bookmark

  • Trim the cardstock to size and round the corners (optional)
  • Using a single hole punch, I punch a hole through the top middle of the bookmark
  • Grabbing some twine and tying it into a slip knot into the hole I just punched
  • To fix a mistake – I got some stamp ink on my bookmark, I grab some lined washi and add a strip to the top to cover the spot and trim it to size
  • Lastly, using the Ground Espresso Distress Oxide ink pad, I distress the edges of the bookmark to give it an aged look
Adding more flair

6. Taking It Over the Top (Optional)

  • Using lace ribbon from the Dollar Store, I add an extra bit of flair to the bottom of the bookmark
  • Since the lace is very wide, I fold it in half and staple it in place
  • To keep the raw edges from fraying, I use tape to stick the edges to the back and keep it in place
  • You can sew it as well – if you are able to
Book Themed Bookmark Tutorial 3 Ways

Bookmark Tutorial 3 Ways – Final Thoughts

These little projects make great gifts, or add-ons to gifts. As you can see, you can make it as easy or as involved as you want. While it took a lot longer, I had so much fun putting the 3rd bookmark together. As a form of mixed media art, it can be so freeing to get lost in the creative process.

I hope you enjoyed this Bookmark Tutorial 3 Ways. If you try any of these tutorials or techniques, I would love to see it. I would also love to hear which tag is your favourite! Please tag me on Instagram @natashamillerletters, comment down below, or on YouTube.

Thank you so much for your time today!

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