Fun Ways to Paint Your Own Bookmarks

Bookmarks come in different forms, shapes, and sizes. They are great for giveaways, gifts, or just to serve as a token of appreciation or gratitude to someone who deserves it. Many people who love to paint love to read books as well. If not, we all know people who love to read– family members, friends, and colleagues. So, as a special treat for them, wouldn’t it be a great idea to give them a hand-painted bookmark created by you? It’s not only a fun way to surprise your loved ones but it is also a way for you to practice and improve your painting skills. If you’re looking for ideas on how to paint your bookmarks, you’ve come to the right place because we’ve got some creative ideas that you can follow. Keep on reading to give you new ideas and a boost of creativity!

A photo showing an outstretched photo of four multi colored ornaments

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Painting and reading are two very similar activities in a way that they’re both relaxing, calming, and entertaining. They take you to new depths of unexplored dimensions by helping you escape reality, even for a few hours. These activities also allow you to forget about your problems and live in the present moment to enjoy and appreciate the things around you. Although not everyone is a fan of reading books, everyone's an artist deep inside. To prove that, we encourage you to practice your artistic skills by participating in this challenge: to paint your bookmarks. 

Unlike painting on a canvas, painting your bookmarks requires a smaller surface to paint which means you don’t have to get intimidated with the space that you have to fill with colors. Moreover, it doesn’t require a lot of details and it only needs a few minutes to create one bookmark, depending on the style and design that you prefer. 

Bookmark designs don’t have to be complicated! You can create simple designs such as chevron patterns, abstract minimalist faces, plain gradient colors, and many more! Build up your skills and start with simple ones and as you improve your skills, you can start painting more complicated designs. We hope that we inspire you to paint your bookmarks and with that, let’s take a look at some of the designs that you can recreate as a beginner.


Materials You Need to Paint Your Own Bookmarks

You’re now a step closer to painting your bookmarks but before we look at the designs that you can follow, let’s see the materials that you need which are listed below.

    1.  Suitable type of paper for creating bookmarks: Cardstock Paper or Vellum Board:

These two types of paper are very similar, the only difference is that cardstock paper is heavier than vellum board. You can choose between the two, depending on which is more accessible to you and you can purchase these at any arts and crafts store. Moreover, they’re printer-friendly which allows you to print a layout if you want to do so.

A photo showing an open book with a sketch art painting and a cup of coffee by the side

    2.  Medium: Acrylic paint, Oil paint, Gouache, or Watercolor:

You can paint your bookmarks using the medium that you prefer the most. If you want a quick-drying medium so that you can create as many bookmarks as you like, acrylic paint is the best medium for you. However, if you wanna take your time to blend and create small details, oil paint is a great option. Watercolor and gouache, on the other hand, are preferable if you want to create illustrations in your bookmarks.

    3.  Pencil, ruler, and eraser:

These three will be your best friends to measure, line, and create a shape for your bookmarks, especially if you want them to be sized evenly.

    4.  Masking tape:

Also known as painter’s tape, this type of tape is very useful to mask off the sides of the bookmarks and areas that should not be painted to keep it clean.

    5.  Paintbrushes:

What is painting without brushes? These will be your magic wand to help you create your designs. It is important to use brushes that are appropriate for the size of your bookmarks, preferably smaller ones.

    6.   A cup of water and rags:

These will be useful when cleaning the brushes as you transition between colors and after painting.

    7.  A pair of scissors:

Lastly, you’ll be needing these to cut your bookmark outlines.

Designs that You Can Follow to Paint Your Own Bookmarks

    1.  Leaf-shaped bookmark:

Many people love to use leaves as their bookmark, especially the ones that they see on the ground of their favorite park, etc. Though there is nothing wrong with that, leaves rot over time so they wouldn’t last for a very long time. Instead, you can shape your paper by tracing your favorite leaf such as maple, oak, willow, etc., and cut it. Once you get your desired leaf shape, you can paint it realistically or paint it with fun colors–make it gradient, holographic, rainbow, and other styles you prefer.

A purple and brown multi colored leaf placed at the middle of a book

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    2.  Inspirational quote: 

Create a bookmark that has your favorite inspirational quote, bible verse, movie line, or your favorite line in a poem, depending on what you desire. This will be a great way to remind you of positive affirmations when you're feeling down or a reminder about your beloved books and movies that will take your mind to wander somewhere. Creating bookmarks of this type will not only improve your painting skills but also your hand lettering skills.

A photo showing an page of the holy book placed on a brown cardboard box

    3.  Florals:

Another object that bookworms love to use as a bookmark is flowers. Similar to leaves, they don’t last for a long time and the petals deteriorate as time goes by. So, as an alternative, practice your brushwork by painting your favorite flower on a bookmark. It could be any style– minimalistic or detailed, any color, shape, size, and type of flower— rose, jasmine, peony, sunflower, or you can paint different types to make it look like a bouquet.

    4.  Your favorite fictional character: 

As we read books and live a different life each time, we also fall in love with the characters from a different place and time. We love and feel them even though they’re non-existent. To create a painting of them on your bookmark. They don’t have to be perfect, you can do it in different styles that are beginner-friendly such as chibi style, or trace them from a book cover or through your phone using paper, then cut and paste it in the cardstock to be painted.

A photo showing the widely acclaimed harry potter and the deadly hallows book

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    5.  Galaxy-inspired painting:

Galaxies are one of the most common subjects for painting. The combination of bright and dark colors, the moon, stars, and other celestial bodies make it a perfect subject for beginners who want to practice their blending skills and brushwork. The process is fun, simple, and easy. Plus, you can use unconventional painting tools such as a sponge and toothbrush to help you blend, imitate textures, and create stars.

A photo showing a painting of a mountain landscape a painting of stars in the sky and a painting of a river

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Key Insights

We hope that these designs help you paint your bookmarks. So have fun, relax, take out the materials you need, and practice your painting skills. Don’t forget to wrap them nicely and give the finished hand-painted bookmarks to your loved ones who love to read books as a way of showing appreciation to them even though it’s not their birthday or special occasion. 

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