Friday, January 14, 2011

Make Your Own Bookmarks

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I needed to find inexpensive gifts for a large group of women. I decided on a bookmark. I found several that I liked the look of, but they didn't convey the right message. I found some with a great message, but I didn't like the way they looked. I found one that I was okay with both, but they were way out of my budget (see above). So I decided to create my own.

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I found a quotation that had the type of message I wanted. Here is a good online source for quotes. Make sure you give credit to whomever you quote.

• Script Font - I used Feel Script (outside our GLCB budget), but I found some great alternatives (like Scriptina) here for free
• A flourish or ornament - istock has lots to choose from in an inexpensive price range
• Elegant Color Palette - I chose a couple shades of seafoam green
• Background Shape - to anchor everything together (I created my own in my editing program)

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I set up my document horizontally, and taking into account my printer margins, I divided the rest of my page into fourths. To make the final steps easier, I also included trim marks.

Type your quotation and adjust the size and margins until it fit nicely within the space. I made my margins about 5/8" from the edges.

Put your shape behind the text, and adjust it so the edges are between the edge of your bookmark and the quote. It makes a nicely proportioned space without anything feeling too tight. Adjust the top and bottom to match.

Place your flourish at the top and bottom. Since mine has a "direction", I rotated it between top and bottom so both curves point to the center of the bookmark. If yours is more symmetrical, you could just center it.

My layout program allows me to make items transparent, which I applied to the flourish, giving a more dimensional look.

Print on heavy paper, trim and you're ready to read and mark your place—in style.

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Since I made these to give as gifts, I spent a little bit more, and had them laminated. Most copy shops offer this inexpensive service which makes a more professional and durable marker. I also found a source where I could buy bookmark tassels and I'm sure you could also find them in a local craft or fabric store. The finished bookmarks turned out great, or so I'm told by those who have received them so far!

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Designer. Typography geek. Entrepreneur.


  1. I made bookmarks for my dear friends who were lovely to cook my family a meal after the birth of our second baby. I did a more manual scrapbook style version with a piece of decorative paper on card and instead of laminating I used clear sticky contact. Not as professional looking but equally as effective and heart felt. I also hand wrote a thank you on the back. Everyone loves a bookmark.

  2. I like the sound of what you did. The hand written note is perfect!

  3. Great idea, how come it never occured to the book-loving me?


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