Washi tape ideas - make upcycled folder bookmarks

Washi tape ideas with washi tape bookmark tutorial

Months ago I bought some washi tape after seeing some great washi tape ideas over on Pinterest and other blogs.  My intention was to make some bookmarks amonst other things, but it’s only been recently that I got round to finding some time to do it.  Usually when I read books, I just grab whatever bit of paper is around, but it is nice when you use a proper bookmark, especially as then there’s less chance of it being removed by accident by someone else, as it’s obvious it’s a bookmark.

upcycled folder bookmarks

You don’t need much to make these washi tape bookmarks

What you need:

  • Plastic folders – I struggled to find some of these, so ended up paying more than I wanted.  You can use any type of stationery folder, clear or coloured, but obviously coloured ones will impact how opaque or transparent the washi tape is.  You want the bookmarks to last, so nothing too flimsy.  But nothing too stiff or they’ll be hard to cut out.
  • Washi tape
  • Scissors
  • Card or something to cut a template from if you’re not good at cutting freehand.  I used random card N had already drawn on, but you could use cereal boxes, or the insert card from new clothes (tip, I always keep these as they’re great for painting or drawing on).
  • Ribbons (optional).  I used ones from my stash.  I also collect the ones cut out from clothing, although it’s hard to find enough that aren’t black!

How to make your bookmarks:

1. Cut out templates from card.  I did a couple of standard bookmark shapes and an owl template for something  a bit more fun.  If you’re adding ribbons or tassles, remember that you’ll need somewhere to put a hole at top or bottom that’s big enough.

plastic folder bookmark templates

2. Use templates to cut out your plastic bookmark bases.  From one folder you should be able to get loads, so this could be a great activity for a children’s craft party or for a child to make as gifts.


3. Decorate with washi tape.  I tore and cute tape as I fancied, and only covered the front of the bookmarks.  Make sure you stick down well – I found one piece of tape just doesn’t want to stick, but all the others have been fine.    The bookmarks I did stripes.  With the owl I did almost a decopatch effect with the tape.  It’s less transparent, but because the tape was too narrow to fill the shapes of the owl’s features, I needed to fill in gaps with smaller pieces. 

washi tape ideas - see through bookmarks

4. If adding ribbon, use a hole punch to put holes in the top.  Cut ribbon to size and tie

5. Finish off details with Sharpies if wanted,

washi tape bookmarks with ribbons

Then just admire and use.  I think they’re really effective and they look great poking out of books.  It’s a simple craft and something a bit more substantial than making them out of cardboard.

If children are making them and you don’t want to waste lots of washi tape, you could use stickered ribbons, or double sided tape to make paper collages, or simply use stickers.

Are you a washi tape fan?  If you’ve got any washi tape idea for easy crafts then do share below.  Or if you’ve used plastic folders in your crafting – I’ve got lots to use up so tips are welcome.

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  1. There are so many different handmade bookmarks using washi tapes. Never thought of using plastic folder. Another project to try out! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yay, glad you like them. I really should do some more and let N loose on them, because I think the remaining folders are floating round somewhere.

  2. What a great idea. I have some wash tape arriving soon and have been trying to come up with ideas so will definitely give this a go. Thanks so much for sharing with the Monday #pinitparty. Have pinned and shared 🙂

  3. I love me some washi tape, the creative ideas are endless really. these are super cute, the kids will have to make some for school.

    1. Washi’s quite addictive though. I had to limit myself based on the amount of crafting I will actually get done, vs how much I can buy!

  4. You did a great job. There is no way I could have done that owl. I may have been able to do the straight book marks but anything other than that I would have been in trouble…lol

  5. I can’t believe I haven’t hopped on the washi tape bandwagon yet. Although with these bookmarks, I may do it sooner rather than later.

  6. What cute and easy idea. I love the way you can put them in the window like a little stain glass piece.

  7. It’s possible to be a washi tape fan even though you’ve never used it, right? If so, I’m def. a fan. 🙂

    Nice job on your bookmarks!

  8. This looks cool, I have never heard of Washi tape and we visit our crafting stores at least once a week. Thanks for sharing I will be sure to search for it!

  9. These would be a really fun craft to do with the lil ones. I love it and so will the kids. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Those are so cute! I wish I was a little more artistic, I can never seem to pull any ideas out of my head. These are great!

  11. Fun craft! We always seem to be short of bookmarks, even though I tend to grab some on each library trip. I bet my kids would love making some bookmarks with washi tape!

  12. That’s a good idea to use a plastic folder or some other firm material as the backbone of the bookmark to make sure it doesn’t get bent up or anything. Very cool!

  13. Love this idea – I’m definitely going to try this with the kids. Luckily, with school starting soon, plastic folders should be easy to find for a while!

    1. Yay, another washi tape fan. It’s so much fun and so versatile. Not sure I’d let N loose on my tape – or maybe the plain ones I have.

  14. Can I just say how awesome you are for posting this craft!?! We love making bookmarks for our long distance pen-pals all over the world, and currently have an over abundance of folder I can up-cycle. Thanks so much! =)

    1. Aw thanks. Sounds like a perfect craft for you then. Always handy when you’ve got the supplies needed to hand as well. You could laminate them afterwards if you wanted to make them really last.

  15. These are so cute! What a great idea! As my girls get a little older, I think I will make this with them. I hope they love to read like I did when I was young. I am in love with the owl one!

    1. Thanks for your comments. Hope that you’ll enjoy making ones like this when they’re older. I’m the same wanting my son to enjoy reading like I do too.

  16. What a cute idea! I need to make me some of these. I am constantly looking for something to mark my books. Thanks for the idea.

  17. This would really encourage people to be more creative in making book marks. This can also be excellent tokens since it has a personal touch into it.

  18. You has just created something adorable right there. This inspires me to make my own bookmark. Thanks for the instruction.

  19. Your bookmarks look really lovely! I have been seeing a lot of crafts involving washi tape on Pinterest, but have not bought any yet!

    1. I bought some ages ago, but just choosing was hard enough. Let alone finding the time to use them. Not sure I want to let N near them, but he didn’t want to join in even though I had stickers out for him too.

    1. Thanks. I really like the owl one too. You could do any animal. I reckon a seahore or mermaid would work well as they’re a good shape for bookmarks

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