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Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

By Mikee Mapalo


If you’re looking for a cute and inexpensive stocking stuffer, you can make your own Christmas bookmarks for kids using our free printable template. These color-your-own bookmarks make a sweet little gift to encourage children to read and a fun holiday activity to do with them on Christmas eve or the big day. They’d make a creative addition to a family Jolabokaflod celebration (an awesome Icelandic Christmas “book flood” tradition we’re trying this year). And they’re also a good option as a homemade gift for kids to make for their loved ones.

Helping your child make a personalized bookmark is a fun way to encourage them to pick up their favorite books and read them. And that’s one of the most important habits they can learn in life, since reading is a key to everything from academic success and career prospects to building emotional intelligence. Then, once they’ve got their bookmarks, make sure they have something enticing and inspiring to put them in, by providing some new reads, whether from the bookstore or the library. Our list of winter holiday books by black authors is a great place to start.

Our free bookmark printable consists of three Christmas-themed bookmark designs that kids can color in. This helps younger children develop their fine-motor skills and their creativity (and serves as a simple and easy-to-make favor for last-minute holiday preparations). Scroll down for the printable files and tips. You can also get ideas for more DIY Christmas gifts in our post about 6 easy crafts that support literacy and make great stocking stuffers. And don’t miss making our free printable Christmas alphabet book, our holiday lights craft spelling activity, and DIY Christmas ornaments that support reading (well, at least the recipe does…).

Box of crayons, scissors, black-and-white Christmas bookmarks

Materials:

  • Printer
  • Cardstock paper
  • Coloring materials
  • Scissors
  • Self-laminating sheets/contact paper (optional)

Cost: $1-5

Book Pairing: We love starting any activity with our children by pulling them close and sharing a good book together. That said, with bookmark crafts it can also make sense to save the reading for last, so you can put your new bookmark to use! With a picture book that you read straight through, you can use the bookmark as a tool to draw attention to print rather than to mark your page. Just put it under each line of text as you read, sliding it along the line as needed. 

We recommend pairing this DIY bookmark activity with the book The Real Santa by Nancy Redd. Alternatively, browse our list of winter holiday picture books by black authors for some other awesome Christmas reads for kids, or snag your favorite holiday book and snuggle up for story time. 

Step 1: Begin by printing out the printable color-your-own Christmas bookmark template on a piece of cardstock paper. A sturdier paper like cardstock is ideal to make bookmarks more durable. You can also just print it on normal paper and then laminate your bookmarks after coloring them.

Black-and-white Christmas bookmarks

Step 2: Next, cut out the template to make your bookmarks. Optional: If you have a corner puncher, you can also use that if you want to make your bookmarks with rounded corners.

Black-and-white Christmas bookmarks and scissors

Step 3: Color them in! If you’re laminating your DIY Christmas bookmarks in contact paper/self-laminating sheets, do that once they’re colored in. Alternatively, for a giftable activity, skip the coloring and put the plain bookmarks inside your child’s Christmas stocking or stick them on top of a gift to someone else. On Christmas eve or Christmas day, the recipient can color in their bookmarks.

Tip: You can also add colorful tassels to your bookmark by punching a hole at the top and tying a bunch of yarn through the hole.

We hope these Christmas-themed bookmarks will be a good tool to encourage your kids to read more books. 

Want to make more bookmarks? Try our other easy make-your-own-bookmark tutorials: cute DIY cat bookmark, DIY fruit-slice corner bookmark, DIY chunky tassel bookmark, DIY elastic bookmark, DIY cut-out-shape bookmark. Or get access to all of our bookmark printables when you sign up for our free VIP (Very Intentional Parent) Vault of resources.

And remember, MayaSmart.com is your one-stop-shop for raising a reader, from evidence-based advice (like answers to parents’ top questions about teaching kids their ABCs) to fun activities that support key literacy learning and recommendations of great reads. Browse around the site for more tips and tutorials, or message Maya with your questions or activity requests!

We’d love to see how your craft turned out! Feel free to connect with us on social media to share some pictures.

Mikee Mapalo is a clinical psychology graduate student who loves graphic designing and creating arts and crafts content for kids. *Photos by Mikee Mapalo