How to Make Leather Bookmarks

Written by ruth o'neil
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Leather bookmarks hold up much better than card stock-type bookmarks. Paper bookmarks can tear, but not leather bookmarks. Personalise leather bookmarks and give them away as gifts to all your friends and family members that are avid readers. Leather bookmarks are also a great craft activity for kids. Children can make their very own bookmark with whatever letters or stamps they want on them.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Unfinished leather
  • Heavy-duty cardboard
  • Utility knife
  • Pencil
  • Cutting mat
  • Ruler
  • Rag
  • Leather punch stamps
  • Stain
  • Plastic cup or bowl
  • Clear finish

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  1. 1

    Buy leather that is sturdy such as tooling leather (142 to 170gr.). Make sure to purchase leather that is unfinished.

  2. 2

    Make a bookmark template out of heavy-duty cardboard that measures 2 inches wide by 8 inches long.

  3. 3

    Trace around the template onto the back of the leather using a pencil. Butt the tracings right up against each other to save you leather and cutting time.

  4. 4

    Lay the leather on a surface specifically for cutting such as a cutting mat. Use a straight-edged ruler and the utility knife to cut out the bookmarks, following the traced lines. Make sure to use quite a bit of pressure to completely cut through the leather.

  5. 5

    Dampen the leather with a wet rag. Use leather punch stamps to add letters or pictures to the bookmark. Arrange the stamps on the leather before making any punches to make sure you have enough room and the proper placement of the stamps. Start punching with the middle stamp first if there are a lot of stamps going on the bookmark, such as for a long name.

  6. 6

    Pour some stain into a small plastic cup or bowl with a wide mouth. Dip a rag into the stain. Be careful because a little stain goes a very long way. Wipe the stain onto the bookmark, making sure to get the stain in all the crevices from the punches. Allow the stain to dry.

  7. 7

    Put some clear finish on a rag. Wipe the bookmark with the rag, again making sure to get it in all the crevices. Allow the finish to dry completely.

Tips and warnings

  • Pre-stained leather is available. This is good especially if you want different coloured bookmarks instead of traditional brown leather.
  • Pre-cut bookmarks are also available. These bookmarks come in different shapes. These may be a little more costly than just purchasing leather, but they will save you time if you are in a hurry.
  • You can purchase leather and leather stamps from leather crafting stores or online companies.

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