Photo provided by Save the Children
Thank you for taking the Students Rebuild Literacy Challenge!
To participate, make and mail in a bookmark. For each bookmark you send in, the Bezos Family Foundation will donate $1—up to $300,000—to Save the Children’s Literacy Boost program in Latin America (Peru), Africa (Mali) and Asia (Nepal). The more bookmarks you send, the more children you’ll help! It’s really as easy a 1-2-3:
- Register for the Literacy Challenge so your bookmarks will count!
- Follow the easy instructions below for how to create a bookmark.
- Mail in your bookmarks by following the instructions on our Mailing Bookmarks page.
How to Make a Bookmark
Follow these easy instructions to create a bookmark for the Students Rebuild Literacy Challenge.
Any kind of paper—magazines, newspapers, origami paper, maps and even plain paper that you decorate with paint, markers or crayons can be recycled into colorful, sturdy bookmarks—but you can make a bookmark out of anything! You can even knit or sew bookmarks. We just ask that you send us intentional, personalized bookmarks; random or blank scraps of paper will not be counted.
The simple instructions below are for making standard paper bookmarks, but please feel welcome to create different shapes and use alternative materials–see our suggestions below under “Get Creative.” If you decide to have a bookmark-making party, we encourage you to make bookmarks yourself first. That way, you’ll be comfortable with the process and can better help your event participants!
- Paper (any kind of paper will do!)
- Pencil or pen
- Markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
- Glitter, sequins, etc.
- Ribbon, string (for tassel)
- Laminating material / Mod Podge
- Select the kind of paper you would like to use, then measure and cut out a long, narrow rectangle (between 4-6 inches long and 1-2 inches wide is ideal). Alternatively, you may print and cut our handy bookmark template. As you create, please remember you’re making bookmarks for students around the world, so very small or over-sized bookmarks may not be useful.
- Optional: Do you want to embellish your bookmark with a tassel made of ribbon, string or other soft material? If so, now is the best time to create a space to attach your tassel by making a small hole with a hole punch or scissors (see template for example) at the top of your rectangle. Although you make the hole at this point, don’t actually add the tassel or cow hitch until the very end—after you’re done decorating your bookmark. This will protect both your tassel and the design.
- Decorate your bookmark! Draw pictures, write words—anything you like! You can make any design you choose, but here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Design the bookmark to look like the cover of your favorite book!
- Take a moment to consider the young student who may be receiving your bookmark and what he or she might like to see. Research what life, art and design look like in the countries the Challenge will benefit (Peru, Mali and Nepal) and design something representative of that culture.
- Write your favorite quote, poem or book passage on your bookmark.
- What are you interested in? Draw something personal to share with your peer, like your pet, a self-portrait or your favorite place.
- Experiment with art styles—try going totally abstract, impressionistic or geometric.
- Is the front of your bookmark designed? Consider including a meaningful note or message on the back of your bookmark as well!
- Optional finishing touches: Attach your tassel, add glitter or other embellishments or laminate / clear seal your bookmark if desired. If you use sealant, please allow the bookmark to dry before putting it with other bookmarks and / or mailing it. We sometimes receive items that are glued together and unfortunately can’t use them!
Did you know that bookmarks have been used since the medieval era to hold readers’ places in the stories they love? With such a long history, the basic bookmark has evolved into a functional piece of art many have put their own personal, creative spins on. Below are a few examples of the imaginative and original types of bookmarks you can use for inspiration…
- Embroidered bookmarks
- Pickle-shaped bookmarks
- Bookmarks made from photographs
- Leather bookmarks
- Dried banana leaf bookmarks
- Fabric / sewn bookmarks
- Balsa wood bookmarks
- Beaded bookmarks
- Delicate paper-cut bookmarks
- Collaged bookmarks