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Sparkly red and purple bookmarks
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Crafts using Recycled Materials

Punched Bookmarks from Recycled Paper

What you will make:

You've been cutting, folding and pasting to make your crafty creations, but now there are bits and pieces of paper left over. Recycle that leftover paper to make simple and beautiful bookmarks using a hole punch.

After a little preparation by the adults or teen leaders, it's just punch, glue and a little imagination. This project is great for family, classroom or group craft time. It requires no patterns and uses simple materials.

Related craft: Recycle your less than perfect artwork or turn your child's treasured drawings into Artwork Bookmarks!

Here's what you need:
  • White (or light color) paper or cardstock
  • Colored cardstock
  • ¼" hole punch
  • Optional: Ribbon (1/8" to 1/4") or yarn in colors to match cardstock, small novelty paper punches
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ruler or paper trimmer (for adult prep work)

This project is rated VERY EASY to do.

How to Make Punched Bookmarks

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Project Preparation

Precut bookmark blanks. Cut white strips of paper or cardstock that are about 1½" by 4½" (4cm by 12cm). Cut strips from the colored cardstock that are a bit larger, about 1¾" by 5" (4.5cm by 13 cm). The strip sizes can be larger or smaller, just be sure the white strips are smaller than the colored strips. You want a nice margin around the white strip when it is glued to the colored strip and room at the top for a ribbon to be added.

Each bookmark requires one white strip and one colored strip.

Step 2: Punch Holes

Use the hole punch to make a design in the white strip. The design could be geometric, random or just lines of punches —straight or curvy. Just don't get too carried away or you will have nothing left to glue.

You might draw your design on the reverse side of the white strip before punching it.

Step 3: Glue

Glue the white strip to the colored strip. Concentrate the glue on the corners and edges of the white strips, avoiding the punched holes.

Tip: The punched out holes can be used to decorate the reverse side of the bookmark. Use a toothpick to apply the glue.

Step 4: Add a Ribbon (optional)

Punch a hole in the top of the bookmark. Cut a length of ribbon (or yarn) that is twice as long as the bookmark. Double the ribbon (or yarn) and thread the looped end through the hole. Push the ribbon tails through the loop and pull tight. You may want to knot the tails together.

That's it! Make bookmarks anytime you have extra paper. Use them or save them to give as gifts. A bookmark tucked in a greeting card is always nice.

That's it! You are done!
Punched bookmarks from recycled paper

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Punched Bookmark - random and ordered patterns

Tip: Punch holes randomly or in a pattern—a curvy line is nice.

Punched Bookmark - decorated backs

Tip: Decorate the back with the holes punched out or with a creative design.

Punched Bookmark - sparkly cardstock with a design using 1/4" and 1/8" holes punches

Tip: Two sizes of hole punches add more creative options on this sparkly red cardstock.

Punched Bookmark - back with decorative paper

Tip: Make bookmarks in a variety of colors and decorate with any leftover papers on hand.

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