Create Bookmarks in 5 Easy Steps

Does your kid need to increase their reading minutes? Do you want to get your child excited about reading after a summer slump? Try making a customized bookmark for your child or student! Bookmarks help children in multiple ways:

Keep Track of Reading
Sometimes kids, especially those who aren’t fast readers, can loose track of what pages they are on. Using a bookmark can help kids learn to mark and organize their reading time.

Helps Keep Books in Excellent Condition
Rather than placing books face open on a table or floor, leaving a cluttered floor to get stepped on, bookmarks make it easy to store books. And kids will also avoid smashing a pencil to mark their spot in the story or bend the corners.

Bookmarks are Fun
There are many bookmarks available whether they are free at the library or purchased at a bookstore. Many of the bookmarks today are designed with the latest trends, pop culture or can be something unique and original. Or a child can create their own! This is a great opportunity for your kiddo to show off their personal style.

This can also be a fun activity in schools or at home! In this tutorial, we’ll be using Canva. Many professional designers and marketers use Canva. It’s much easier to learn that Adobe Photoshop and there are lots of options for creating images, including bookmarks. In this article, you’ll learn how to make a bookmark using this free online tool.

Step 1: Set the Size of your Bookmark

Once you have created a free Canva account, you can get started on your bookmark creation. The first step is to set the size for your image. To set a size for your project:

1) Click on “use custom dimensions” in the upper right hand area of the screen (right under your user name).

2) Type in your width x height in pixels (or select pixels, inches or millimeters in the drop down menu).

For our bookmark project we are going to use 3 x 9 inches, but you can experiment to find what size you like best.

Step 2: Your Work Space

Once you have an image size selected, you will see a blank screen. Don’t panic! You’ll be able to fill it with your beautiful creation in no time.

Screenshot Canva Starting Point
Starting with a blank slate in Canva.


There are lots of options for creating a background, but for our bookmark we’ve kept it simple. In the “background” tab on the left, you can select a pattern (or plain background).

screenshot of background image options
Background tab on on Canva.


It’s simple to make your background any color of the rainbow. When you select the bookmark, box lines appear around it. Below the bookmark, a pop-up bar will appear with a color circle on it. Click on the color circle and then click on the “+” sign. You’ll see a color wheel appear and you can click on the color of your choice. You can also put in the hex number (if you have one) into the box under the color wheel.

Selecting your background in canva
You can select your brand colors for the background in Canva.


Note! Selecting the color is something you can customize with your child or student. They’ll love having input and will give them ownership in the creation.

Step 3: Adding & Customizing Images

Now that you have a background color, it’s time to spruce up your bookmark creation. How about adding your own images? Under” Upload” you can simply click on your image to view it in your workspace.

If you don’t have a great image you want to you, you can use the “search box” to look through Canva’s library of photos.

screenshot of the search box.
Use the search function to look through Canva’s vast library of photos.


Note! Each photo only costs $1 (and you can download your bookmark as many times as you like within 24 hours).

In our example below, we selected a frame from the “search” tab. We wanted to put in a photo of the child that would be using the bookmark. What a better way to personalize than having the child’s photo on the bookmark! Once the frame is in the bookmark, it’s a simple task of uploading the child’s photo and then dragging and dropping it into the frame.

Selecting a frame
Selecting extra items for your bookmark, like a frame, make it more interesting.


Step 4: Adding Text

Text is a great way add a goal for the child (that they helped come up with, of course), share an inspirational note, or have the child tell you a quote to put on the bookmark.

To add text, click on the “Text” tab. You’ll have the ability to type in any words you’d like, adjust the size and position.

Screen Shot 2015d-08-12 at 3
Use the “text” tab to get typography style ideas or click “add text” to create your own style.

There are two options for adding text:

1) Pre-created font templates (seen below “add a little bit of body text”). This bookmark has a pre-created template at the top that says “Push Yourself to the Limit: Don’t Quit” at the top so when the bookmark is peeking out from the top of the book, kids might be inspired to read.

2) “Add text”. Use these when you want to create your own customized copy. You can also see where “add [subtitle] text” was added. This can be customized to be the color and font of your choice via the gray bar that automatically appears when you are manipulating the text.

Adding Text in Canva
There are lots of options available when adding text: font, size, color, etc.


Note!  If you are an author or illustrator this is especially useful if you want to add a quote about your work or share something with your fans!

Step 5: Downloading & Sharing Your Design

Once you’re finished with your design go up to the right hand corner and you’ll see the download options. You can download an image (to a .pdf) and print straight from that program. You could even keep the crops and bleeds if you want to send to a professional printer. Or you can download as a .jpg or .png and paste them into a word doc and print. You can also share your designs via email, Facebook or Twitter and create images together with your family, co-workers or friends!

Screen Shotd 2015-08-1s2 at 3

Do you have a favorite program for creating bookmarks? If so, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

How to Create Bookmarks


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Kid Lit TV Commenter Muriel

What a fun idea! Making bookmarks was a great activity that I did with students when I taught in the school library in Brooklyn, N.Y.. Not only did they enjoy creating them but they were proud of them and loved using them as well.
When I retired many years ago, my husband, a stamp and first day cover collector, suggested that I put all the beautiful bookmarks that I was given as gifts from teachers, parents and students into a collection. Well, many years have gone by and my book mark collection has grown from one loose lief to 8 large books filled with bookmarks. I’ve enjoyed the creative aspect of designing pages for each bookmark and displaying them with stickers and interesting comments. I now have four books of bookmarks made in America and 4 large volumes of bookmarks from all over the world.
Currently I am working on a bookmark quilt and am featuring many of my favorite children’s bookmarks mostly containing poetry. It’s fun!
Muriel Feldshuh
EarlyChildhood and Author Board,
Books for Kids Foundation
Traveling Exhibit…Celebrating Children’s Books!

Kid Lit TV Commenter Emma

Your article has proven useful to me. It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. This topic has interesting and solid content.


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