A simple tutorial on how to make your very own bookmarks.
- Laser Printer Paper (preferably 28lb, but 24lb is also fine)
- Pretty Poster Board or Scrapbooking Paper
- Glue Stick
- Scissors & Paper Trimmer
- Laminator (if you don’t have one, you can buy one at WalMart for $20. They’re SUPER useful to have, especially if you make artsy stuff a lot.)
- Bookmark Tassels (Optional)
- 1/8 Inch Hole Punch (Optional)
First, determine the size of bookmarks you want to make. (Mine are typically 2″ x 6.5″.) When you’ve decided on a size that you like, create a new canvas in Photoshop with those dimensions, and make sure it is set to AT LEAST 300 DPI.
Draw your bookmark design! Make sure all of your important stuff doesn’t get too close to your edges because you want to leave a tiiiiiny bit of room for error just in case you mess up when you cut them out.
After your bookmark design(s) is done, create another new Photoshop canvas that is 8.5″ x 11″ and set to the same DPI as your bookmarks.
Drag and drop as many of your book mark designs as you can onto your new 8.5 x 11 canvas. Don’t put them very close together, though, as you want to leave enough room to comfortably cut them out later.
Assuming you don’t have a laser printer, we’re gonna take a little trip to Staples/Office Depot/Office Max!
Save that canvas with all your bookmarks on it as a JPEG and put it on a flash drive. Grab a small stack of your own paper and put it in a folder (make sure you have a way to show the printer what type of paper it is. You may just wanna bring the whole pack with you, because I know some stores want to make sure you’re giving them laser printer paper to print on, as other paper types will mess up their machines).
Note: I’m not sure about Office Depot/Office Max, but I KNOW Staples will only charge around $0.50 per page to print your image out if you bring your own paper! ♥
Take the flash drive and your paper with you to your nearest office supply store.
Ask the printer there to print out however many copies you want. If you’re very particular about the size of the bookmarks, make sure to tell them to not have it set to “Fit to Size” and instead let it print at 100%.
Once your bookmark copies are printed, it’s time to cut them out!
The best way to do this is to use a paper trimmer. You can get a cheap one from WalMart or Michaels for about $5. They’re SUPER useful to have and make cutting straight edges a million times easier.
The reason you want to cut them out before you glue them your poster board/decorative paper is because you want to be able to fit as many bookmarks as you can onto the posters so that you don’t waste any.
Time to glue them to your poster(s)/scrap book paper!
I try to buy really unique posterboard that catches the eye and matches the colour schemes of my bookmarks. I usually end up getting metallic colours or holographic poster/paper because that’s what I personally like. I would advise staying away from anything that has textures, though, since you’re going to laminate these later.
Make sure you’re gluing your bookmarks to the BACK of the poster board.
Also, make sure you coat all edges and corners, as you don’t want anything to curl up. A good tip I find is lining any of your bookmark edges up to the edges of the poster board. That way it’s just one or two less edge(s) you have to cut off.
Time to cut out the bookmarks again!
Get as close to the bookmark’s edge as you can so you don’t leave any white poster board backing hanging off the edge. If you have to, it’s totally fine to cut off a millimeter of your bookmark design just to make sure you have a clean trim.
Laminate! Since I already have some Mettaton bookmarks laminated, I’ll use them for this example.
Make sure that when you slip your bookmarks into the lamination sheet, they have a decent amount of space between them. If they get too close, the lamination might not seal all of the way around each bookmark.
Once you get all of your bookmarks laminated, we once again have to cut them out.
It’s very important to leave about a third of a centimeter of lamination on the edge of your bookmarks. If you cut right along the edge of the bookmark, the lamination will eventually peal off, and we don’t want that. We want to keep it nice and sealed.
Be sure to trim the corners a little bit, since they can be kinda sharp and poke you pretty bad.
This part is completely optional, but I love to take an 1/8 inch hole punch and punch a little hole in the top of the bookmark and add a little tassel decoration.
You can find these tassels online from China on Ebay or Aliexpress for pretty cheap. The prices are all about the same no matter who you buy from, so I can’t really give a specific vendor who has the best prices. (Note: pretty obvious, but if you buy them within the US, you’re gonna pay a lot more.)
If none of my instructions have made any sense, this video does a wonderful job of explaining the process of bookmark making for artist alleys and whatnot.