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When I want to make gifts with the materials I have at home, my go-to is always these adorable customizable vintage bookmarks. Plus, I included the free printables I designed so you can make them, too!
I love a good DIY project - who doesn’t? They’re perfect for giving as gifts or making for yourself in some free time. One of my favorite DIYs has been making vintage bookmarks. They’re so easy and cheap to make and customize. At the end of this post, I even included a free printable with the base designs I used! Here is a step-by-step guide to making vintage bookmarks yourself!
Optional: Hole punch, ribbon/charms, laminating sheets or packing tape, cardstock
The best part about these bookmarks is that you can make them as simple or as elaborate as you would like! If you don’t have many materials lying around, all you need is the paper and some scissors, or you can add a bunch of embellishments! You can even add stickers and personalize them as you wish. Here are some options for materials:
Cardstock will provide more structure for the bookmarks. If you're not going to laminate, you're going to need cardstock.
I used double-sided Scotch self-adhesive laminating pouches. Be careful not to purchase the sheets that require a heat sealing machine if you don't have one already! I found my laminating sheets at my local craft store in the scrapbooking aisle for around $12. You don't need laminating sheets, but they are great to make your bookmarks look polished and to prevent them from bending and tearing.
If you don't want to use laminating pouches, you can use clear packing tape! The tricky part with tape is it's very difficult to avoid air bubbles and creases.
This is totally optional, but this printer really changed my life. I NEVER used to print anything in color because it would literally drain my ink cartridge just printing one thing! If you do a lot of crafting or printing for your job, it's so worth the initial investment! One ink pack (which costs around the same amount as a single replacement cartridge for a standard printer) lasts up to 2 years! It's been about a year since I put ink in it and it's not even close to empty. I used this printer to print these bookmarks in color no problem!
Print out your desired bookmarks. I used a size of 2.5" x 7.5". It's a larger bookmark, but I wanted a little wiggle room to trim off some of the edges. I made my templates in Canva and you can do the same for free! I used the "Real Estate Flyer" size template because it is the same size as a standard piece of paper. Then, I sized a single grid to 2.5" x 7.5" and dragged the photo I wanted to the grid. If you like the images I used, there is a free download of them at the end of this post!
Cut out all the bookmarks and throw out the scraps.
If you want your bookmark to be double-sided like I made mine, pair each bookmark with another.
Make a double sided piece of tape by folding a single piece of tape on itself. Tape 2 bookmarks right sides out and do your best to line up the edges.
Trim off any excess overlap on the edges.
There are a few different ways to laminate your bookmarks! I personally used Scotch self-adhesive laminating pouches which I got at my local craft store, but you can also use clear packing tape! I didn't have any left on my roll at home, but I've done it before. The laminating pouches are a lot easier to use than packing tape in my opinion. There are less air bubbles and creases, so it just looks a lot nicer. To use the pouches, follow the instructions on the package. You basically line up the bookmarks inside the pouch and peel the paper off the back part of the pouch. You don't need to worry about them being super straight because we are going to cut them out anyway! You can use your hands, a debit card, or a ruler to press out any air bubbles. Press down hard on the borders of the bookmark to avoid peeling. Cut out your bookmarks, leaving about 0.5" or so from the edge to avoid the lamination from peeling off. It doesn't have to be an exact science, but just try your best!
I bought some ribbon and charms at my local craft store. I also used some ribbon I found in my craft pile. Luckily, I found these super cute charms on the clearance rack...How perfect are they?! It's optional to add charms but they sure are cute. I can't find my single hole punch, so my 3-hole punch will have to do!
There are two main ways to tie a ribbon to your bookmarks it a simple double knot. For the other, put both ends of the ribbon through the hole punch and bring the ends around and back through the loop that you created. To add charms, I just looped them on the tails of the ribbon. Since I used thicker ribbon, I didn't feel like I had to tie them on since they are held on by the ribbon, but you could add a little ball of hot glue to the back to make sure they don't budge.
I LOVE how these turned out! I want to make a bunch more with my friends' favorite book quotes on them! They're great for gifts!