A few years back at BEA‘ or ALA Midwinter, a publisher’s exhibit gave me a great idea for highlighting books. They had bookmarks with stars above the titles which highlighted a title’s reviews and awards. Of course, by the time I wanted to make my own bookmarks, I’d long since lost the one sample I had from the conference. So I’ve had to make my own.

Since I could make whatever kind I wanted, I decided to make three different types:

  • One to highlight Award Winning titles (though I did not mention the exact award on the bookmark)
  • One to highlight New York Times bestsellers (because these titles may not be new, but they will be titles my patrons want to find)
  • One with a blank space (so that patrons or librarians could highlight titles)

I made these at the beginning of the school year, and as awards were announced and bestsellers added to the NYT lists, I switched and alternated my books on display with ease.
So, here’s a step by step to making these bookmarks for your own library.

Materials needed:

  • Bookmark template (PDF Template‘ and’ DOC Template‘ ‘ availabe here — feel free to edit to fit your library needs)
  • 8 1/2 x 11 Card stock in a variety of colors
  • Printer or copy machine that accepts card stock
  • Exact-o knife & cutting board (2 pieces of cardboard work in a pinch)
  • Laminating machine (or clear contact paper)
  • Scissors


Step 1: Choose bookmark to create and print/copy template onto card stock colors of choice.

Step 2: Using the Exact-o, cut the bookmark at all the outer lines.
Step 3: Cut the spaces inside the bookmark marked by thick black lines (U in the bootom of all bookmarks, Triangle in the Award winner bookmark, Square in the Blank Ribbon bookmark, and series of black triangles in the NYT bookmark)

Step 4: Using a laminating machine (I love my Xyron) laminate each bookmark. If you don’t have access to a’ lamination machine, clear contact paper will also do the trick, though it’s a bit more’ unwieldy. This step provides GREAT durability.

Step 5: Cut out the outlines of the bookmarks with a pair of scissors. Holes in the center of bookmarks can be cut out or left clear as you choose.

Step 6: Place bookmarks in titles you would like to highlight.

Step 7: Revel in your instant book display and wait for titles to jump off the shelves.

One last note: Teen helpers can easily do some of the work of this project. Or, you could host a workshop where students create the bookmarks to highlight their favorite titles in your library which will then be on display. While they take a bit of time to make, they easily spice up a book display and can last a long time! How will you modify these bookmarks to work with your teen collection? What other easy display pieces have you made for your library space? Tell us about it!

About Kate Covintree

Currently working as an Upper School librarian at an independent school in Rhode Island.

One Thought on “30 Days of How-To #11: How To Create Reusable Bookmarks

  1. What a great idea!!! My library system doesn’t permit genre or award stickers, so this would be a fantastic way to denote which are award winners/genres/etc. Even if we just casually put them in books in the stacks, it would catch the attention of those browsing.


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