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page corner bookmarks

This project comes to you at the request of Twitterer @GCcapitalM.

I used to believe that a person could never have too many books, or too many bookmarks. Then I moved into an apartment slightly larger than some people’s closets (and much smaller than many people’s garages) and all these beliefs got turned on their naïeve little heads.

But what a person can always look for more of is really cool unique bookmarks. Placeholders special enough for the books that are special enough to remain in your culled-out-of-spacial-necessity collection.

Page corner bookmarks are cute, practical and deeply under-represented in the world.* They’re easy to make, easy to customize, and will set you apart from all those same-same flat rectangular bookmarks. Corner bookmarks are where it’s at.

If you like this tutorial, here are a couple others that might be up your alley. First, try making paper plants as lovely, lasting handmade gifts. You can even stash some goodies or small presents in their pots.

If you’re loving the toothy monster vibe, check out these simple monster heating bags, filled with rice or wheat and entirely microwavable, to keep toes or fingers or tummies warm during the chilly winter months. If you want a monster you can wear, try making a cozy bug-eyed fleece monster hat or some fingerless fleece monster gloves.

For the monster-loving adults in the room, try some googly-eyed paper monster wine charms.

 

*This is probably no longer true, given the astonishing number of you who’ve found your way to this post and made your own page corner bookmarks. Go you! I’m fairly certain that something this adorable and functional can’t be over represented in the world, though, so just keep right on making them.

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What you’ll need:

  • pretty paper of cardstock weight OR a combination of plain cardstock and pretty, decorated lighter weight paper
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • mechanical pencil
  • glue stick
  • [optional] other decorating tools, such as crayons, markers, stamps, stickers, ink pads, embossing powder, etc.
  • page corner monster bookmark template  number 3. under “Paper patterns and templates” (or you can make your own using the instructions below)

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Putting it all together:

Below, I’ll teach you how to make two similar-but-different types of corner bookmarks. The first is a square overlapped by a triangle , the second is a triangle overlapped by a smaller triangle.

If you are making your own template from scratch, follow all the steps below. If you’re using the PDF template linked to above, cut the pieces out and skip to step 5.

1) Ok, the very simplest thing to do is to cut a triangular piece off the corner of an envelope, and use that. Decorate it if you wish. If you want to get a bit more in depth, ignore the envelope method and move on to step 2.


2) On a piece of plain scrap paper, draw a square. Use your ruler so its sides are perfectly straight. Don’t make it too big – mine measured 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches, though you could go larger than that. Draw second square exactly the same size on the right side of the first square (so they share a side) and a third square exactly the same size on the top of the first square. You should end up with 3 squares that compose an L shape.


3) Using your ruler, draw a diagonal line across the uppermost square, from its top right corner to its bottom left corner. Scribble out the upper left half (now a triangle) of the square, as you won’t be using that part.


Next, draw a diagonal line across the bottom right square, from its top right corner to its bottom left corner. Scribble out the lower right half (now a triangle) of this square.


4) Cut out all parts of the entire shape that have not been scribbled out. This should be a square with two triangles attached to it, one on the top and one on the right. This is your template.


5) Trace your template onto your pretty piece of cardstock (or onto the plain piece of cardstock that you intend to decorate), and cut the shape out.


6) Using your ruler and the tip of your mechanical pencil with no lead showing, score a line (make an indent) along the edges of the square that connect to the two triangles.


  • 6.5) [optional] Cut a square of pretty paper slightly smaller than the one you used for your template and glue it onto the square portion of your shape. I generally do this if the paper I’m using is quite plain.


7) Fold one triangle inwards, so it covers the upper half of the square.


8) Apply glue to the underside (the side still facing up) of the second triangle, and fold it over onto the first triangle.


  • 8.5) [optional] As in step 6.5, if you’ve used plain cardstock and want to glue fancy paper on top of it, cut out a triangle of the fancy paper that’s slightly smaller than the folded-over triangles of the bookmark. Glue the smaller triangle on top of the larger, folded-over ones.


9) Add any decorations or illustrations you wish. Use by slipping over the corner of the page you wish to mark, like a pocket.


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Now, here’s how to make a triangular bookmark, where the back is a triangle and not a square.

1) Follow steps 2 and 3 from above.


2) Use your ruler to draw a diagonal line across the remaining, center square, from its bottom right to its top left. Then draw another line, parallel to the one you just created but about 1/2 inch lower down. Erase the first line.


3) Extend the shape’s bottom line and the two side lines so that they meet up. You should now have a shape that looks like a castle flag: a rectangle with a triangular indent at one end.

4) Cut the shape out.


5) Trace the template onto your nice paper. Be sure to make a little mark on either side where the corners of the two outer triangles meet the inner triangle , and extend this mark onto the inside of your shape.


Cut the shape out. If you want a fancy bottom edge, cut that line with fancy scrapbooking scissors.


6) Now follow steps 7 – 11 from above, scoring along the appropriate lines, folding the two outer triangles in on top of each other, gluing them down and adding any fancy paper or other embellishments.

(I actually turned mine over at this point and folded it the other way, so the colours were switched. See below.)

 

EDIT: Here’s another take on monstrous page corner bookmarks, from another artist who thought it up completely separate from me, long before I even thought of thinking about doing this project or writing this post. Great minds, eh?

2nd EDIT: Many people have seen this blog post over the past months, and many have commented very kindly on it, and many have used the tutorial to make their own page corner bookmarks. A number of the links following the comments below lead to wonderful images of other people’s creative takes on this project. I wanted to post one image in particular here, which I take from the Priestthorpe Primary School Blog. There, a whole classroom of kids made their own page corner bookmarks, and they look fabulous! I love all the different personalities displayed.

Thanks to all of you who’ve shared your own page corner bookmark results, and all of you who’ve said such kind things about the project. It’s heartwarming to think about all the books around the world that are having their page corners nibbled at this very instant.

3rd EDIT: Yet more thanks to all the folks who continue to make use of this tutorial and post your own wonderful versions. Here’s another idea: This crafter decided to use small round stick-on jewels for the pupils, which I think looks great. The downside of course is that they protrude a bit, so your book won’t close flat, but if they’re fairly small jewels it shouldn’t be too bad. Stickers, sequins or paper buttons could also make great pupil substitutes.
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1,111 Comments

  1. I love these cute little bookmarks! I made one for everyone in my house. I would like to show you mine so if you want, please go to the link in the bottom.

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000029928416#!/media/set/?set=a.189110451099951.50056.100000029928416

    Reply
  2. These were great! My little brother and sister loves them.

    Reply
  3. I my goodness these bookmarks are so fun and easy to make. I just made two using this tutorial, a pretty in pink one and little monster in camo for my kids. I will making more for sure. As a homeschooler I don’t think there is such a thing as having too many bookmarks and this bookmarks are going to make it so much fun to find my place time after time. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Reply
  4. I MUST make these. They are super adorable. And your site is so much fun! I’m a first timer here, but this won’t be my last!! Such talent!

    Reply
  5. Hi! i just wanted to say wonderful post!
    And ask if its okey that i steal this post to my blog? linking to yout blog in it, telling that there is where i got it. :)

    Reply
  6. This is fabulous! I love it! I am a digital scrapbooker and I would love to use your tutorial (the part about the envelope and the monster decoration) to make a layout for hybrid scrapbooking to share with my friends online. I was wondering if that is ok. Please let me know. I would credit you, of course. Thank you.

    Reply
  7. admin

     /  May 21, 2011

    To Jenya, Johanna and anyone else with the same question: I’m totally happy for you to share any of my craft ideas and tutorials on your blogs or wherever else. I simply ask that you link back to my blog, and that you don’t just repost my tutorials in their entirety. And of course anyone is welcome to take any of my ideas and techniques and try something different with them. That’s what all crafters do, after all.

    Thanks for visiting!

    Reply
  8. Thank you so much for getting back to me! I’ll have to find out how that would work. We are not supposed to link to outside sources on the site I post my layouts on. But if I start a thread and link to your blog in it it might be ok. I’ll find out. :)

    Reply
  9. Wow thank you for mention me in your post :)

    Reply
  10. I am going to make one as some as I come home from school tomorow and the way the person made it was brilliant.

    Reply
  11. Hello, it’s very nice ! I’ve made one quickly and I’ve put it on my blog, so you have a link !

    Reply
  12. I was wondering how you make the teeth for your bookmarks. i have the hardest time trying to make them!

    Reply
    • admin

       /  May 27, 2011

      Nicki: once as the mayhem of moving house has subsided, I’ll do up a PDF with an actual template on it, and I’ll include my exact pattern for the teeth and eyes.

      Elizabeth: no problem! Happy to see you enjoying the idea and sharing it around.

      Reply
  13. Hi! I absolutely love this tutorial and made my own little print-cut-paste version here http://indirox.deviantart.com/art/Make-Cute-Monster-Bookmarks-210466128
    I gave you credit for the original tutorial, however if you’d like me to take it down I’d completely understand

    Reply
  14. I love this idea. Though I haven’t made yet I know I’ll do it easily. I’ll make some interesting designs which I will give away for my students when they have reached the required points in our classes. This is a very bright idea to make school and reading fun. By the way I have several bookmarks but this idea never came into my mind. THANK YOU for sharing!

    Reply
  15. Awesome!!! Thank you!

    Reply
  16. i think im more amused with your pencil than the bookmark.
    that pencil looks epic.

    Reply
  17. I found your site from StumbleUpon. I love the bookmarks they are so cute! I have a craft draw packed with stuff I haven’t touched in years but this has inspired me to get the draw out and see what I can make. :) Great site, keep it up! *bookmarked*

    Reply
  18. This is brilliant, and most definately because I read all the time; but I’m very much tired of the usual bookmarks.
    Thanks so much!

    Reply
  19. Great tutorial. Definitely using some of mine. This is not spam just proud of my work, take a look if you want. photobucket.com/coolbookmarksbro

    Reply
  20. By the way, what kind of camera are you using? My pictures like this always come out all blurry.

    Reply
  21. Beautiful work. Congratulations! =)

    Reply
  22. really cute! loved it.

    Reply
  23. I love these bookmarks so much! I have them pinned on Pinterest, and I just featured the ones I made at my blog Nest Candy. I show the ones I made and I link back to this page for directions and your Etsy shop also. Thanks so much for the idea! http://nestcandy.blogspot.com/2011/05/book-corner-page-corner-bookmarks.html

    Reply
  24. Great idea! thanks

    Reply
  25. Me encantan!! They are nice, it is great idea y very useful!!

    Reply
  26. Omg, I just made one of these, it was so simple and easy and they’re really cute! Thanks for this!

    Reply
  27. This is fantastic! I made one just now while listening to an audiobook. Great way to pass time in the summer :D

    Reply
  28. I would like to share this post into my blog, it’s lovely!!! Any where I could email you?
    Thanks, nicole.

    Reply
  29. Great idea and perfect directions – love the little monster and I must try this myself – thank you – I happen to ‘stumple upon’ your site, it’s bookmarked so I can follow future posts!

    Reply
  30. Thanks for a wonderful idea.By the way,I have done a vampire,it looks awesome.

    Reply
  31. Such an adorable idea! I made some of my own and they are so cute!! Perfect gift idea!!

    Reply
  32. Awesome idea! And those are the most hep bookmarks i’ve seen! let me try making some :)

    Reply
  33. So cute and super easy for my daughter and I to make!! Thanks for sharing! My daughter is going to link to your tutorial!! Thanks!

    Reply
  34. I was wondering if you’ve been able to do a PDF of the eyes and teeth templates yet?? Thanks :)

    Reply
  35. You can also make them by simply folding a square piece of paper, like so:

    http://www.ehow.com/how_4563591_origami-bookmark.html

    Reply
  36. I’d like to show you my bookmark. Thank you for the idea, It’s lovely & awesome!!! :)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/aliby/5835202071/in/photostream

    Reply
  37. Will this work on my Kindle?

    Reply
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