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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. Ma. Alejandra

     /  August 30, 2011

    I already made mine! But with a little difference. Look! http://i56.tinypic.com/21ajv4w.jpg

    Thanks for charing the idea! (:

  2. Lynn

     /  September 1, 2011

    Love it. I was really in need of a bookmark because I’d recently began reading a few books and your idea is simply brilliant. It’s so much simpler to make than the other bookmarks I’ve seen and so pretty , too!

  3. Just wanted to let you know that this was in the top 5 projects on Fun Family Crafts for August! Congratulations! http://funfamilycrafts.com/august-2011-top-posts/

  4. Abbie

     /  September 4, 2011

    I really love this! Im going to make thousands of these! <3 Thanks for posting!

  5. Stumbled upon your site. I love it!

  6. admin

     /  September 5, 2011

    Thanks everyone! So pleased that people are continuing to enjoy and use this tutorial.

    Amanda: Thanks for the news! I’m delighted that the readers over at Fun Family Crafts like this project so much. I’d love to submit some more of my tutorials at some point.

    Ma. Alejandra: Love the froggy tongue with the fly on it. :)

  7. I love bookmarks, and I’ve never seen one made like this. Sooooo cute, too.

  8. Can’t WAIT to make this with my after schoolers!!!

  9. Stumbled this page. i like it. ;)

  10. CharLesie

     /  September 15, 2011

    You are a GENIUS!

    Love the tutorial, gonna make some this weekend, Thank you for the inspiration!

  11. hayley

     /  September 16, 2011

    thisis a really cool craft!!!

  12. hayley

     /  September 16, 2011

    thats a cool craft!!!

  13. Oh, yeah, totally adorable! My kids would LOVE this project! Stumbled, Tweeted & bookmarked!

  14. Whyshouldi?

     /  September 21, 2011

    My bookmark fell in-between my bed and the wall so I looked up online how to make this it’s so cool

  15. Just found you. Adorable idea. And put it to great use right away. I have a 6yr old learning to read… He loves bookmarks even though we finish most books in one sitting. He loves his new bookmark. :) Thank you or sharing!

  16. patricia cabot

     /  September 23, 2011

    thanks 4 sharing, i made 100 of these and sold them at the school fete, made $50, thx again

  17. Christy

     /  September 27, 2011

    Thanks so much for posting this-found it via interest and my girls an I had such fun today making them for ourselves and their teachers. We’re going to attach a little note that says -“take time today to devour a book!”

  18. I had so much fun making this for my bookmworms (my nephew and my little girl). they love love it…. I even made a post abt it.


    Thanks so much for sharing :)

  19. Heather

     /  October 11, 2011

    Please would you sell these at your Etsy store? I’m not very crafty, but I love these. Someone else is selling them on Etsy but they are not nearly as cute as these.

  20. Ashley

     /  October 12, 2011

    O my gosh…. just made it, and i love it!!!!!!!!!!

    it works to anyone reading this you have to make it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. şevval

     /  October 22, 2011

    çokk güzelll olmuş

  22. admin

     /  October 23, 2011

    @Heather: I’ve sold some of these in my Etsy store previously, and I promise that when I have a chance I’ll make and list some more. I’m pretty swamped right now, so it may not happen right away, but I promise to write it down so I won’t just forget! :)

  23. This is GENIUS!!
    Tried making it and now I have a clan of nibblers!! Thank you SO SO MUCH for the idea! It’s simply amazing!!! :D:D:D


  24. This is GENIUS!!
    Tried making it and now I have a clan of nibblers!! Thank you SO SO MUCH for the idea! It’s simply amazing!!! :D:D:D

    Posted them here: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=250276195019745&set=a.187263157987716.46530.187057464674952&type=1&theater

  25. What a terrific tutorial….thanks so much for the ideas. I have to try that monster bookmark.

  26. I feel a strange mixture of emotions at the passing of Jimmy Savile. Mainly sadness but also a slight guilt that I hadn’t seen more of him in the last few years.

  27. the bookmarks are fantastic!!! Given me some inspiration for Christmas. For the big kids (adults) who like reading. Iam from the land downunder!!


  28. M.

     /  November 9, 2011

    Awww! These are so cute! Am totally going to make one for myself and my sister’s christmas present!

  29. Michele

     /  November 11, 2011

    I was looking for a bookmark for my daughter and came across this. I LOVE these! I can’t wait to make them!!!! So clever and cute!

  30. I blogged about these tonight, at this link

    These are so great for both kids and adults, depending on the paper used. Thanks for this!


  31. Sondra McDermott

     /  November 16, 2011

    Love this idea! I know a lot of friends and family that would love one of these! Thanks so much for this tutorial!

  32. Love it! Thanks a lot!

  33. Angela

     /  November 25, 2011

    Loved it!!
    So, I made one for Xmas!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing the idea!!

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