bookish bookmarks – how to make your own

Okayy so I showcased some cool bookmarks I made last week on my Instagram (@narrativedreaming), and said I would follow up with a ‘how to’ post, so here it is!

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you will need:

  • colourful ink pens (gel pens and biros won’t work!) OR watercolours
  • a black pen (can be biro but wouldn’t recommend)
  • scissors (if you’re starting with a large piece of card)
  • a pot of water
  • a fine, preferably non-plastic, paintbrush
  • card (can be white card or coloured. paper won’t work!) – make sure you have extra for mixing ink on! kind of like a palette.

all of these items should be readily available in a local stationary shop, although you may have to go to an art shop if you’re shopping for a nice paintbrush.

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I used a flashcard that probably should’ve been kept for revision for my palette, as you can see I take my education very seriously.

Mixing your inks with water to make them pastel and spreadable (?) is very important if you don’t have any watercolour paints (which I don’t) and it is how I get my colours spread evenly. You are essentially making coloured water, which you then transfer to the strip of card, just like painting.

To do the actual mixing, simply scribble on your palette/spare piece of card and then use your paintbrush to dab water on it. The ink from the paper will bleed into the water, and then you can spread the coloured water onto the piece of card you are actually using as your bookmark! I decided to use three colours in both the bookmarks I made. Below is an example of a red, orange and yellow gradient effect that I also made! You can achieve the cool gradient effect by simply overlapping the different inks/watercolours slightly!

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Next step is to add the quote/words your using. I chose a quote from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, in anticipation of the release of Lord of Shadows, the next instalment in The Dark Artifices Trilogy!

IMPORTANT NOTE: make absolute certain that your ink/watercolour is DRY before you start writing on it. Especially if you are using another ink pen to write!

It can be hard to find inspiration for fonts and handwriting styles to use on your bookmarks, I sometimes really struggle to come up with interesting looking letters. Don’t worry though! If this happens I have a cheat sheet for you… Just google dafont.com and browse all the fonts there! I’m particularly fond of this site for two reasons:

  • The calligraphy section! The fonts are separated into themes and in my humble opinion the calligraphy section contains the prettiest ones!
  • The handy box at the top called ‘custom preview’. This allows you to type in whatever word you want and then converts it into the selected font! It’s so so so useful!

I hope this has helped anyone wanting to try their hand at bookmark making! If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to comment!

Here are two of my finished bookmarks, so you can see what the finished product looks like (I’m sure yours will be much better than mine…) sorry for my chipped nail polish…!

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