Origami bookmarks are my favorite way to keep my place in a book. They’re cute, they stay in place, and for some reason, I’m less likely to lose them. And the great news is that you can make an origami bookmark quickly, easily, and cheaply yourself!
Last year for the holidays, I gave each of my family members a book I selected specifically for them, along with a handmade origami bookmark. It was a great way to make the gift a little more special and heartfelt. I kept it simple and just used cute origami paper, but there are a variety of ways to personalize them. Some creative ideas are linked at the end of this post.
For your crafting pleasure, I’ve created tutorials below for two types of origami bookmarks. The first is classic, requiring nothing but origami or square paper and your hands. The second cheats a little by using scissors and a glue stick, but it makes room for more creative expression.
For these bookmarks, I used this origami paper that I bought on Amazon for $6.50. You can also find origami paper at most craft stores or big box stores.
First up, let’s learn the basics:
The Classic Triangle Origami Bookmark
All you’ll need for this bookmark is a piece of origami paper (or any other square piece of paper, like construction paper, newspaper, etc.) and your hands.
- Start with a square piece of paper.
- Fold the paper along the diagonal, leaving the printed side on the outside and the blank part on the inside.
- With the triangle pointing up, fold the left corner up to meet the point at the top.
- Fold the right corner up to meet the point at the top as well. You should now have a square with a seam down the diagonal.
- Now fold the two sides back out so you can see the creases you created.
- Fold the first layer of the top point down to the bottom center and crease.
- Open the top of the paper so you can see the blank side.
- Fold the top point down to the middle crease.
- Re-fold the center of the paper back up along the crease.
- Re-fold the outer corners up, following your previous creases.
- Pick up the paper and squeeze the edges to open the pocket.
- Tuck the top left point straight down into the corner of the pocket.
- Tuck the top right point straight down into the corner of the pocket.
Hooray! You did it! You made an origami bookmark! That wasn’t so bad, was it? Your finished product should look like this:
These are easy, useful, and great to make with kids, as they don’t require anything messy. You can also add anything you want to the front of the bookmark to make it your own, like a flower, an initial, or a drawing.
The Square Origami Bookmark
Now that you’ve mastered the classic triangle, you’re ready to try out something a little different. I love the square origami bookmark because it gives you a little more space to decorate it.
Technically when it comes to origami, this one is cheating because it requires scissors and a glue stick. But that doesn’t make me love it any less.
- Start with a square piece of paper, scissors, and glue. I used a glue stick, but anything sticky works.
- Fold the paper once horizontally into a rectangle, and then vertically into a square.
- Unfold the paper. There should be creases, making the paper into four smaller squares.
- Use scissors to cut off one of the squares along the creases. Hold onto this extra square for later.
- Turn the paper so the removed space is at the top and the blank side is facing up. Fold in the outer corner of the top right square so it creates a triangle.
- Fold in the outer corner of the top left square so it also creates a triangle.
- Using a glue stick, place glue on the inside of the right triangle and stick it to down where you previously folded.
- Use the glue stick on white part of the left side of the left triangle, but DO NOT STICK IT TO ITSELF as you did on the right side. Let it stay sticky as you take the next step.
- Fold down the right triangle, the one that is glued shut.
- Take the left triangle and fold it down while still open and sticky.
- Tuck the sticky half of the triangle under the other triangle and press to glue together.
- Now, remember that extra square you cut off back at step 4? Find that.
- Apply glue to the extra square. Be sure to get the edges!
- Stick the extra square into the pocket so that it covers the white side of the paper.
- Press to stick into place.
Look at you, you did it again! Another beautiful origami bookmark, made with your own hands. You’re a crafting superstar.
Get Creative With Origami Bookmarks
Now that you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to get creative. There are some really cute ways to add onto these bookmarks. One of my favorite things about the square bookmark above is how you can make it look like a face. I made these book monster bookmarks by adding eyes, teeth, and a different colored mouth to the square bookmark above.
Plenty of people around the internet have some cool ideas (and even printable templates!) for corner bookmarks as well. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Corner Shark Bookmarks from Hey Let’s Make Stuff
- Harry Potter Corner Bookmarks from Instructables
- Octopus Bookmarks from Easy Peasy and Fun
- Pokemon Bookmarks from Red Ted Art
- Print and Fold Woodland Animal Bookmarks from It’s Always Autumn
Be sure to share your finished bookmarks or other creative ideas in the comments! And while you’re in the crafting mood, check out these other crafty ideas from your friends here at Book Riot: