Even if you’ve got a favorite passage from a favorite book, you don’t have to go through the trouble of cutting up that favorite book just to make a bookmark out of it.
Instead, make your bookmark even more special by using your own handwriting to write out that favorite quote on upcycled paper. Whether your handwriting is awesome or ugly, Tolkien’s best is still the most meaningful when written in your own hand.
To begin, source out a truly special piece of upcycled cardstock-weight paper; the back of the bookmark will remain unembellished, so this is a nice place to use an old record album cover that has a lovely graphic, or the box that contains your favorite brand of granola (unless your favorite granola is homemade? This granola recipe is pretty awesome).
If you don’t mind the back of your bookmark being blank, you can use an old file folder, and if you want total creative control even over the back of your bookmark, you can sand down even an existing graphic and paint or embellish it however you’d like.
I think the most pleasing dimensions for a bookmark are 2″x6″, but, of course, the dimensions of your own bookmark are up to you. Measure out your favorite dimensions and cut the bookmark out by hand, or make yourself a template so that you can make tons of bookmarks for everyone in your life who has ever wanted a bookmark.
Using a miniature hole punch, you can either punch the hole at the top of your bookmark before you write your quote or after. You might like to punch your hole before, so that you don’t punch through any of your writing later; I like to punch after, so that my writing doesn’t get misaligned by trying to avoid that hole.
The most important part of this bookmark, however, is the writing! Choose a pen or pencil that is archivally safe, if you don’t want your writing to fade over time–it’ll happen more quickly than you think! I like to use a black Flair pen, but if you’re feeling extra fancy, calligraphy is always an option.
If you want the entirety of a particular passage on your bookmark, practice it in advance in the approximate space. Otherwise, you can just continue until your space runs out. I write pretty small, and I was able to write just about one entire page from a paperback on the particular bookmark in the photo above.
To make the bookmark’s tassel, cut twice the length of the bookmark from embroidery thread or yarn, then thread it through the hole punch and tie it around the top of the bookmark. Knot the ends of each thread and yarn piece so that it doesn’t unravel.
The only problem with this bookmark is that whenever I’m reading a book that’s NOT Harry Potter (it happens less often than you’d think…), glancing at my bookmark as I find my place always makes me want to stop what I’m doing and read Harry Potter again.