Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

Every book deserves a bookmark. And creating your own signature design is a fun and easy DIY book craft that doesn’t require tons of materials or cleanup! Just like children often eat more vegetables when they help prepare a meal, kids can feel more invested in books when they personalize them with special bookmarks all their own.

Try this quick craft project, inspired by Somewhat Simple, to engage your kids with the titles on their bookshelves. A custom bookmark with a shiny ribbon might be just the thing to encourage them to crack open that new book. Of course, a great story’s your best bet to keep the pages turning once they do.


  • Scrapbook paper or other patterned paper (or paint or color your own) 
  • Old book or magazine pages
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Fun ribbon
  • Standard round hole punch
  • Optional: Craft punches (I used a star and heart shape, but there are endless choices!)
DIY Book Craft: Bookmarks for Kids

A Word on Book Page Crafts

You need to cut up pages of print for this DIY craft. As a book lover, I understand that cutting up a book can feel wrong. But I celebrate the idea of upcycling truly outdated and obsolete books to give them a second life and fresh purpose. Outdated law, science, or medical texts and irreparably damaged books of all kinds are great candidates for upcycling—guilt free.

Now, let’s begin!


1. Pick fun, bright paper for your designs! Let kids choose their own paper to get them engaged in the activity. You can also use cardstock craft paper for sturdier bookmarks. If you don’t have any scrapbook paper or patterned cardstock lying around, take this craft to the next level by coloring or painting a pattern on plain paper.

DIY Book Craft: Bookmarks for Kids

2. Cut your scrapbook paper and book or magazine pages to the size you want for your bookmark. I traced a small box, but you could use a ruler instead, or trace a bookmark you already have. Cut two pieces of your scrapbook paper and one piece of the book/magazine for each bookmark.

DIY Book Craft: Bookmarks for Kids
DIY Book Craft: Bookmarks for Kids

3. Use decorative punches if you have them, or a regular hole punch, to punch out a design on one of the pieces of your patterned scrapbook paper. Get creative! The best surprise is what your pattern looks like with your book page behind it.

4. Put glue all over the backside of your punched scrapbook paper, then place it on top of your book or magazine page. Press firmly to secure. Put a generous amount of glue on your other piece of scrapbook paper and press to the backside of your bookmark.

DIY Book Craft: Bookmarks for Kids

5. Add a small hole with your regular hole punch at the top of your bookmark. Loop some ribbon through, tie it off, and you’re done!

DIY Book Craft: Bookmarks for Kids

Now you and your children have beautiful bookmarks to hold your spot as you read. 

This DIY bookmark craft is as versatile as it is easy, and there are endless ways to use the bookmarks you create. Think inexpensive favors for a birthday party, shower, or wedding—or gift tags during the holidays. So many possibilities!

Will you try this DIY book craft with your kids? Let us know what you think!

Kelsey Nickerson creates abstract paintings with rich color, texture, and movement, and enjoys a good book craft. She oversees web production and photography for MayaSmart.com.

DIY Book Craft: Bookmarks for Kids