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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. Love the bookmarks! I just created 4 of them. I can’t wait to go switch them out with my old bookmarks. Thank you so much.

  2. Jeanette

     /  February 12, 2012

    Very cool! I’m excited to make these with my students. Thanks for the idea and the EXCELLENT tutorial.

  3. Álefe Guerra

     /  February 13, 2012

    So adorable *_*

  4. Hey! I found your pattern via pinterest and decided that I abolutely have to make some of those cute little monsters.
    So I gave sets of two or three bookmarks as christmas presents. Everyone liked them!
    (my blog entry about them, sorry that it is in german: http://eingefaedelt.blogsport.de/2012/01/20/lesezeichen/)

  5. QGirl

     /  February 16, 2012

    Wow! So creative. My books’ll look great with this beauty in it! And not that hard to do.

  6. Shannon

     /  February 19, 2012

    What a fantastic post! Thank you.

  7. i love it.

  8. I found your pattern via pinterest and decided that I abolutely have to make some of those cute little monsters.

  9. corrie

     /  February 22, 2012

    Hi Tally
    I made your bookmark for a workshop.
    This workshop come`s in a magazine cald Art specially
    may I mensian your template link in this magazine?
    You can see older magazines at this link http://www.artspecially.nl/Magazines
    Thanks and waiting for your anser at e.mail: [email protected]
    Greetings Corrie

  10. Thanks for this great idea!! I have posted a picture and link to my blog.
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. I love these! Thanks for sharing how to make the cutest bookmarks ever. I feel like this might actually get the kids excited about reading books.

  12. jgadrin

     /  February 25, 2012

    what a simple, cute idea that can be created in all different styles. thanks for sharing a neat idea.

  13. its unbeliverpoole its wicked

  14. Michelle

     /  March 5, 2012

    Thank you for posting this with directions for the craft-impaired like myself. This is a perfect activity for me, the librarian, to make with students for a break during testing week! Also thanks to Mrs. Brookins for showing me most of all!!

  15. Deborah Murphy

     /  March 5, 2012

    fun site I will enjoy

  16. Patti C

     /  March 5, 2012

    TFS these are great! My dtr will enjoy them as she always loses the traditional kind.

  17. I LOVE this idea! I had a lot fun making my own little monster army.


  18. I love the corner bookmarks! Easy to make and great use of scrap paper. Excellent gifts! Thanks for the tutorial!

  19. Cristina

     /  March 6, 2012

    Great love this. Website it orks.really good and u learn how to make beautiful book. To keep ur place where ur at when ur reading any book

  20. Tally

     /  March 6, 2012

    Wow, Jen, “army” is right – SO MANY MONSTERS. They look great!

  21. Kim

     /  March 7, 2012

    What a great gift idea for book club friends!!!!

  22. Elizabeth

     /  March 9, 2012

    My kids loved these! We called them Monster Marks and they got real creative. Thanks for the idea!

  23. cecille

     /  March 11, 2012

    Just wanted to let you know I was inspired by this!

  24. Becky

     /  March 13, 2012

    Such a cute idea for school kids that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!

  25. Thanks Tally! :-)

  26. Sally

     /  March 18, 2012

    Thanks for the amazing idea they are soo cute

  27. i really like your bookmark cuz it is awesome~~!! thanks for the ideas ^ _ ^

  28. stocking stuffers

     /  March 19, 2012

    Super cute idea and I agree they would make great stocking stuffers or a fun craft. Great illustrations. Thanks

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