Don’t you dare dog-ear that book! That’s what bad people do.
To make it even easier to not deface great works of literature, you can make yourself a set of bookmarks out of my *other* favorite genre of reading, the comic book. Comic books, or any other upcycled papers, are easy to turn into sturdy, fun, useful bookmarks. Here’s how:
1. Source some comic books. Our local comic book shop has a back room full of comic books that are a quarter each. There are no diamonds to be found in this rough, you can be sure, but it’s pretty easy to find a bad comic book featuring your favorite characters (you can’t tell how 70s cheezy Tony Stark is drawn if he’s in his Iron Man suit!), or a comic book so awful that it’s awesome again (those dinosaur mercenaries *might* have seemed cool to kids, but they also dated strippers, soooo… yeah) there.
Another great place to find comic books is any garage sale, anywhere, and that’s also where you can find other great books that would also make good bookmarks. Seriously, wouldn’t you love a bookmark made from a page from Sweet Valley High? Or that Harry Potter with its cover ripped off? It needs to be made into bookmarks!
2. Fussy cut bookmark fronts. On a piece of scratch cardboard, draw a simple rectangle that’s about 2″x6″. Cut it out, round the corners if you’d like, and use it as a template to trace and cut out bookmark fronts.
Cut outside the lines of the bookmark fronts, and you’ll be able to neatly trim them after they’re attached to the bookmark backs.
3. Adhere the bookmark fronts to cardstock backs. The quickest, easiest method is to stick the bookmark fronts to adhesive-backed cardstock, then cut inside the lines of the bookmark to cut out the complete bookmark, front and back together.
You’ll have more options for cardstock, however, if you use glue or adhesive spray. You could use the cardboard from cereal boxes or other food packaging, record album covers, file folders, or anything with cardstock consistency that will give the needed sturdiness to the paper bookmark fronts.
Once the fronts and backs of the bookmarks are attached, and you’ve given enough time, if needed, for any adhesive to dry, cut just inside the lines of the bookmark front to neatly trim both front and back together.
4. Add a tassel. Use a hole punch with a small diameter to punch a hole in the top center of the bookmark, then add a tassel. Options for the tassel include embroidery floss, yarn, twine, necklace chains, or strips cut from T-shirts or plastic grocery bags.
No matter the material you use, cut it to twice the length of the bookmark, thread it through the hole, then double knot it at the top of the bookmark. Pieces such as embroidery floss or yarn will also need to be knotted at the other end to keep them from unraveling.
5. Seal the front? Maybe! If you’re worried about the fact that your bookmark front is likely made from a non-archival material, you may choose to seal it. I wouldn’t worry about it too much, though.
I think it’s better to have too many bookmarks rather than too few, so make as many of these bookmarks as you’d like, and to get buy-in from the kids, be sure to make some bookmarks out of their favorite things, too–that’s how our bookmark collection now includes Harry Potter, Thor and Iron Man, Garfield, G.I. Joe, Sherlock Holmes, and Spider-man.
And I’m always on the lookout for a super beat-up copy of Hunger Games, if you’ve got one.