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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.


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)


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.


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. This project is great. I can’t wait to make some of my own or to make at my library.

  2. I love your page corner bookmarks. I made some for my lesson this Sunday on opposition. I blogged about it too. You can check it out on my blog:

  3. Great idea. Just love it. Can I use this to raise funds in my school library?

  4. I just love this idea. Can I use it to raise funds for my school library ?

  5. Yay for stumbleupon! I’m off to make mass piles of these with my incredibly bored and whiny kid.

  6. admin

     /  June 21, 2011

    Nicki: Sorry for the wait, but I HAVE finally made a template for these! It’s filed here http://nheilke.com/blog/?page_id=3308 (link to it also available at the top of this post), second from the top.

    Andrea: Sweet! In another more recent blog post (http://nheilke.com/blog/?p=3342) I discovered that I’d actually made those folded corner bookmarks back in junior high, but couldn’t remember how. Thanks for sharing that link!

    thetoothledmollusk: Ahaha. Hmm, wait, that’s an interesting challenge… ;)

    Margaret: I’d be delighted for you to use these for a school library fundraiser. If you do, I would really love to see/hear how it goes for you.

    Thanks everyone for continuing to find and enjoy this project!

  7. I luv this idea, I’m making one for all my avid book readers!!! And several for myself.

  8. Thanks so much!!! One more question, what material do you use for the teeth and eyes? It looks like foam from the pictures but I just wanted to make sure first. :)

  9. admin

     /  June 24, 2011

    Nicki: It’s actually just paper. And I just use a hole punch to make the pupils out of whatever tiny scraps of black paper I have around.

    Theoretically you could make the eyes and teeth out of foam, but I think the eyes especially would protrude a bit too much and your book wouldn’t close nicely.

  10. This is absolutely amazing. I’m going to make some for myself, as well as donate some to my local library. So cute!




  13. Such a great idea. So cute! I made one as a present to my friend, and she absolutley loved it.

  14. guardo tu enlace para publicarlo más adelante en mi blog muy bonito

  15. What a great project for kids this summer! They are very cute.

  16. I did this and it was gr8. I also use Dum Dum wrappers for my pretty paper. i loved and recycled at same time

  17. Nicola

     /  July 9, 2011

    I stumbled across this and I immediately got all of the items required to make it.
    I love my little monster bookmark, it’s adorable! :3 I’m going to make one for my baby cousin too, as he just got into reading books.
    Thank you for sharing this lovely idea! :)

  18. mrs.moricz

     /  July 12, 2011

    Thanks for the great idea. It reminded me of the book of monsters from HP. Our whole classroom theme is HP, so I can’t wait for my students to make them the first days of school.

  19. Thank you so much for this! My class really enjoyed making the bookmarks. I’m looking forward to trying more of your great ideas with them next year.

  20. Ema

     /  July 12, 2011

    These are absolutely fantastic!!!! am currently in the process of making about 5 of them. :D brilliant idea :) thanks :) xxx

  21. these are awesome! i have so much scrap paper from making invitations and this is a great way to utilize it. i have made about 100 so far. giving them to anyone and everyone. i keep a few in my purse. thank you for sharing. i plan to make some for my bestie’s third grade class. and to take some with me for my summer cruise. wonderful idea and excellently explained. thank you thank you thank you.

  22. Shawnabcdefg

     /  July 15, 2011

    These are so cute! I want to make them :-)

  23. This totally makes me giggle!! I love it.

    I wish all my “book worm friends” hadn’t switched to the kindle!

  24. that rly cool i like it

  25. Bookworm

     /  July 15, 2011

    I love this! I’ve made about 30 of them and I’m going to give some away at the local library!

  26. Catherine

     /  July 16, 2011

    Oh my gosh! These are way too cute! I am the reading specialist at my school, and will be starting a book club this year. How cute will these be for the kids to make?!?

  27. These are so fun! I love the monster teeth. I’m tempted to do a zombie. Or a princess with redneck teeth. Oh, the possibilities are endless… {:

  28. debi

     /  July 16, 2011

    Love this idea!! Kids will love these! Thank you!

  29. I have been making page markers from envelopes for years. I only use colored envelopes to contrast with the pages of the book. I cut a square or rectangular corner from the envelope and then cut one loose corner on one side at an angle. When I stop reading, I orient the cut corner so it lies on the page where I want to start when I next pick up the book.

  30. Humaira

     /  July 17, 2011

    Wonderful idea! They’re so easy to make and are such cute gift items! Thanks a lot for sharing! =D

  31. These are great! Thank you for sharing! :)

  32. I made a few of these a bit differently. Like the results, thank you for the idea! Direct link http://wantonlunacy.blogspot.com/2011/07/book-corners.html

  33. Kristina

     /  July 18, 2011

    I made these with my kids and they had a blast. I have to admit, I too enjoyed making them even without the kids. We must have made dozens of them! I then shared the tutorial with their teachers who in turn decided to make it a class project for the end of the year to encourage summer reading. This was a great tutorial! Thanks :)

  34. Jessica

     /  July 19, 2011

    This Idea is very cool and awesome! I love It!!

  35. Those are the cutest. I will definitly be making these with my DS8 who reads like a madman. Great tutorial too. Once we make these, and I get the time to blog about it, You’ll get the credit. :) Thanks!
    I’d love it if you stopped by: DavisDomestications.blogspot.com

  36. Okay, I have to make one of these! Thanks for posting this great tutorial.

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