How to Design Custom Bookplates

Written by leslie howerton
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How to Design Custom Bookplates
You can make custom bookplates from your home computer. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Homemade bookplates are an elegant way to customise your books or keep track of children's books that go back and forth between home and school. You can design bookplates using shipping labels, either printing them on your home computer, or decorating them with art supplies. Most bookplates say "Ex Libris," meaning "From the library of" in Latin. You can also say "This book belongs to" or choose no saying at all. Traditionally, you would sign the bookplate in pen, but you can type that as well. The beauty of custom bookplates is that they can be anything you want them to be.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 4" x 4" shipping labels
  • Computer
  • Colour Printer
  • Microsoft Word

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  1. 1

    Open Microsoft Word on your computer and click on the "Tools" tab at the top of the page. Scroll down and click on "Labels." A pop-up box will appear.

  2. 2

    Click on the "Options" button on the middle-right side of the pop-up box. Another pop-up box will appear. Click on the drop-down menu for "Label Products," and choose the brand of labels you're using.

  3. 3

    Click on the product number for your labels. You should be able to find it on the front of the label package. Then click "OK." This will bring you back to the first pop-up box. Click the "OK" button in this box. A page of labels will appear.

  4. 4

    Click on the "Insert" tab at the top of the page and scroll down to "Picture." A menu will pop out to the side. Click on "Clipart." Now you can search for and add clipart to your bookplate.

  5. 5

    Type in any text you want on your bookplate, and adjust the font style and size using the "Font" tab at the top of the page. Design each individual label on your page, or copy one label and paste it onto all the labels on the page.

  6. 6

    Print your labels. Make sure you insert the blank labels faceup or facedown depending on your printer. Then peel the labels off and place them in your books.

  7. 7

    Draw your own bookplates. You can also turn shipping labels into bookplates without a computer by drawing or decorating the labels with markers, crayons or coloured pencils.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also insert photos and word art on your bookplates from the "Insert" tab.
  • Microsoft Office and Avery Labels offer free downloadable bookplate templates on their websites.
  • Print one page of labels first to make sure everything lines up so you don't waste labels if something is wrong.

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