This easy wooden bookmark craft project makes great gifts, especially for those who love to read! Follow the step-by-step instructions for hand-painting and personalization. Keep your place in a favorite book with the perfect bookmark using this fun tutorial.
Wooden Bookmark Craft
A good book deserves a beautiful bookmark! My kids and I recently created these hand-painted wooden bookmarks together. It was a fun and simple craft that requires only a few items.
In the end you’ll have these vibrant, personalized bookmarks that are perfect for gifting. We’ve made this wooden bookmark craft yearly for Valentine’s Day gifts. My son has also made them to give to his friends and teacher as a first day of school present!
This article will detail all the steps to making this book lovers gift, including the best supplies, personalization suggestions, and how to finish the bookmarks off with a flourish!
Adding Cricut Personalization
You could stop the DIY project after painting, but we wanted to add personalization to our blank bookmark. Using a Cricut machine, we were able to quickly design these vinyl names, words and images.
I have a few suggestions if you decide to add Cricut vinyl to your wooden bookmark craft, that I share throughout this article. Be sure to read through for all the tips, that will make your high quality craft look its best!
My kids made this wooden bookmark craft to give for Valentine’s Day. They are a special present, especially when personalized especially for the recipient!
Prepare an area – When doing this craft with children, be prepared for a mess. We usually do our crafts outdoors, on a picnic table.
Cover tables with a plastic cloth and have everyone wear old clothes. Keep plenty of damp paper towels on hand to wipe off fingers.
Prepping supplies – Gather all the supplies you’ll need for crafting these wooden bookmarks. Consider breaking up the craft into two days – one day to paint, a second day to add the vinyl. Squeeze paint into plastic Paint Tray Palettes for easy application and color mixing.
Vinyl Personalization – The vinyl words can take some time to create in Cricut Design Space. Have the vinyl pre-cut and ready for kids to help add to the bookmarks when they have finished drying.
The following section includes the essentials you’ll need for this customizable wooden bookmark tutorial.
Craft Supplies Needed:
Many of these supplies can be found in a local craft store. I purchased through Amazon and have included easy shopping links for convenience.
- Unfinished wooden bookmarks (this is the exact version I used for this project)
- Acrylic paint in a variety of colors
- Paintbrushes, this 3/4″ width brush is my favorite for this craft
- Water cups for rinsing brushes
- Paper towels for wiping off brushes in between colors
- Cricut (Joy is what I used, the Cricut Maker and Explore are other versions)
- Cricut Vinyl, I used Smart Permanent Vinyl for the Cricut Joy
- Cricut Transfer Tape
- Cricut accessories, including weeding tool, scissors and scraper
- Tassel trimmings, including ribbons, twine, yarn, rick-rack or embroidery floss
Painting the Bookmarks
Here’s where your kid’s creativity can really shine! The lightweight, unfinished wood is easy to use with acrylic paint. The thin wood used in these bookmarks is poplar, which is more sturdy and less porous than balsa wood (which is often used in inexpensive craft projects).
All of the bookmarks shown here were painted with a single coat of acrylic paint. Add a tiny amount of water to the brush to create a more sheer color. Keep the brush more dry for denser color or when blending colors for an ombre effect.
The wood dries very quickly so you’ll be able to move onto the next crafting step quickly. I broke up the project into two days, painting on one day and Cricut vinyl decorating on another.
Easy Cricut Project
I have the Cricut Joy, which I love because of the Smart materials that don’t require a mat. That’s just one less step, making this wooden craft project even easier to do with children.
READ MORE: I used my Cricut machine along with iron-on vinyl many times for several Cricut t-shirt projects.
I designed this wooden bookmark craft easily in the Cricut Design Space. Read the instructions thoroughly to know what sizing requirements are needed for this project.
Printing and Adding Vinyl to Wood
Once the wood is dry, you’re ready to finish off the wooden bookmark craft by adding vinyl personalization. Once you have the words prepped in Design Space, print them out on permanent vinyl using the Cricut machine.
These are some of my tips for using Cricut Vinyl in this bookmark craft project:
- The design for each bookmark should not exceed 4.5″ long x 1″ high.
- Choose fonts and designs that aren’t too tiny. You’ll need to use the weeding tool to pick out the excess vinyl before transferring to the wood.
- I used a combination of personalization and images in my designs. Many designs, images and fonts are free with Design Space. Other images (like the Mickey Ears and Mickey Head) have a nominal fee.
- No need to “mirror” the image – use Cricut Transfer Tape to move the image onto the wood.
Completing Your Wooden Bookmark
To finish off the bookmark craft, use small pieces of ribbon, cord, rick-rack or embroidery floss to loop through the hole.
I like to get creative and use a variety of ribbon leftovers from my scrap bin to make beautiful bookmarks! Add beads tied with a knot or a combination of textures for a one-of-a-kind piece.
Want More Craft Ideas for Kids?
Looking for more bookmark ideas? Try one of these 32 DIY Handmade Bookmark Crafts.
Print these Valentine Bookmark Cards that allow kids to slip in one of these handpainted wooden bookmarks for the class exchange.
Bored no more, check out these 65+ Things to Do With Kids at Home.
Does your kids make a lot of art projects? Put them on display with these 42 Unique Ways to Display Kids Artwork.
Cricut Designed Bookmarks
Personalize wooden handpainted bookmarks with unique Cricut designs and permanent vinyl.
- Blank wooden bookmarks
- Acrylic paint
- Paint brush
- Cricut permanent vinyl
- Cricut Transfer Tape
- Ribbon, cord, tassel, and/or embroidery thread
- Cricut machine
- Cricut tools including picker and scraper
- Use acrylic paint to decorate blank, unfinished wood bookmarks. Allow to dry.
- Use Cricut Design Space to create image and personalization, no larger than 4.5" long and 1" high. Use simple and bold fonts/designs that will be easy to pick out at this smaller size.
- Print design onto Cricut permanent vinyl (do not "mirror" image). Use picking tool to pick out excess vinyl. Trim off excess material.
- Use Cricut Transfer Tape to move vinyl onto painted wooden bookmark. Cut a piece of transfer tape slightly larger than the size of the design. Remove backing and apply sticky side of tape onto the vinyl design. Use scraping tool and rub on top of the tape. Slowly pull back corner of the tape to ensure that vinyl is sticking to the tape. Carefully remove tape with vinyl attached.
- Transfer the vinyl to the bookmark, centering design. Use scraping tool again to burnish the vinyl to the wood. Slowly remove tape, ensuring that vinyl has been transferred to wooden bookmark.
- Finish off bookmark by adding ribbon scraps, tassels, cord, etc to the end by looping through the hole and securing with a knot.