DIY bookmarks

June 30, 2015

When I was 17, my mother bought me art lessons at The Manchester Art Center, Manchester, Vermont the Summer between high school and college, 1965.  Those classes proved to be very memorable.  My teacher was a watercolourist I deemed to be old, who was probably a good several years younger than I am now…heh heh.

He advised me to choose my medium carefully and stick with it my whole life, saying, “You’re unlikely to master even one medium, much less a few.”  When I told him I wanted to paint in watercolour (because I so enjoyed his), he said, “Ok, good….but now always adhere to the 20 to 1 principle…..for every watercolour you keep, throw out 19.”  (IOW, don’t frame often, and if so, make sure it’s worth framing. I think now you know why they were memorable, lol.)

Thus, we come to what to do with the 19.  And I cut ’em up and make bookmarks.  They sell from between $3 to $5 — $3 for the bookmark alone; $5 for a gift card-type sleeve with gift tag.

Here we go…..


Discarded/cropped portions of paintings…


Bookmark part of rejected painting is cut out and also artist signed on front; 2 pieces of protective lamination paper from the dollar store are then cut a bit larger than the bookmark…


the bookmark is laminated on both sides ….


once the laminated edges are trimmed, a paper punch is used to make a hole…..


a title (in this case ‘Raven Moon’) and artist info can be written on the reverse before laminating….and the hole is punched at the top


dollar stores also sell embroidery yarn which is then used to make a tassel…



The materials come to practically nothing, cost wise.  It’s your time requiring compensation, but I do these watching Netflix, so hey….

Next time I will demo how to make and attach the tassel and also how to make the gift card-type sleeve and gift tag.

14 Responses to “DIY bookmarks”

  1. […] via DIY bookmarks — weisserwatercolours […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. nimi naren said

    This is such a cool idea.


  3. Janie Teague-Urbach said

    nice, Lance!!!

    On Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 2:13 PM, weisserwatercolours wrote:

    > weisserwatercolours posted: “When I was 17, my mother bought me art > lessons at The Manchester Art Center, Manchester, Vermont the Summer > between high school and college, 1965. Those classes proved to be very > memorable. My teacher was a watercolourist I deemed to be old, who was > pro”


  4. Jackie said

    What a great story and brilliant idea! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Janette, it is great to hear about how you proceed with making your own bookmarks, and I never even thought of using the printer! And here I am looking right at it as I write. Thank you for contributing to the process. Lance


  6. Victor, you world traveler you, I would imagine about the last thing on the planet you’d have time for is to make bookmarks!!! How I LOVE seeing where the wind blows you through your imaginative eyes.


  7. ‘createarteveryday’, you’re an inspiration to me and those who follow your creations and I thank you again for coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Victor Ho said

    My my, how wonderful. I just save all my rejected images. No where to send them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are lovely! I like making book marks, too. I use a different method. On my iPad: I crop some artworks, print them onto an A4 sheet of paper or card, laminate them, then cut them out… it’s a fun way to share some art. I reckon I also have plenty of works on paper, that may well be improved by chopping them up and making them into bookmarks. 🙂 A great idea; thanks for sharing your processes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for this inspirational and informative post! I love your bird. I’m getting ready to send a painting to a friend who’s an avid reader (as am I), and I know she would love one of these. Looking forward to tomorrow’s episode! :))

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Cynthia the magnet design is a grand idea–genius really, because I lose bookmarks (which is why I make them). And now I am going to treat myself by looking up Ambrose Bierce again. It is great sharing these ideas. Thank you.


  12. These are wonderful, Lance! I cut up my “unsuccessful” watercolors and make bookmarks too! Since I am such an amateur, I couldn’t sell them, but I use them myself, since I am an avid reader and have several books going at once. Usually they’re just abstract colour and since I love the heft and texture of watercolor paper, I don’t laminate them, as the only one handling them is me.

    In the years when I had a calligraphy studio, I used to make bookmarks with wise or funny inscriptions on them, and sell them at craft fairs. Quotations from Ambrose Bierce’s “The Devil’s Dictionary” were very popular. I used to make them folded, then I would cut up tiny pieces of magnetic material from those magnetized blank business cards you can buy by the package, and mount a piece to each side. The bookmark, if you can picture it, folded over the top of a page and would cling to the front of it by the little magnet on the bottom…and never fall out of the book!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. why thanks Barry, very much.


  14. Very nice story and result.

    Liked by 1 person

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