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How To: Handmade Hardwood Bookmark.

by on Feb 18, 2008

I was squaring up a block of mahogany, and I shaved off several “scrap” strips: thin, almost flexible sheets of hardwood. I couldn’t let something so interesting go to waste. “Business cards?” I thought… No, I don’t really have a business. “Name plaque for my office door?” No, I don’t really have an office. “A bookmark, perhaps?”


A block of wood attached by a cable to a flat piece of wood operating as a bookmark sticking out of a paperback book.

o Thin sheet of wood (see below for ideas)
o Small 1x1x1/4ish” wood block
o Permanent markers or wood burner
o String, yard, or cord
o Wood stain and paste wax or polyurethane clear coat
o Electric drill and 1/8” and 3/8” drill bit

1. The body of the bookmark is a thin sheet of wood. If you have a table saw, shave off a 1/16” strip of hardwood using a featherboard. If you don’t have a table saw, you can buy thin strips of soft wood at the craft store, or small sheets at a woodworking shop. Look in their scrap bin, or in the veneer section.
2. Cut your bookmark to size. Then use the 3/8” drill bit to drill a hole in the top to attach the string. Sandwich your bookmark piece between two scrap pieces of wood to prevent tearout when drilling.

" Making a ready woodwork  in a faster using type"

3. If you want, apply a design using a permanent marker, or, if you’ve got the skills, use a wood burner.

Drawing three stem pods on a piece of wood with a thin black sharpie.

4. Instead of a tassle, I opted for a wood square. I cut the square from the same mahogany block, but you can buy small pieces like this from the craft store. Carefully drill a small hole through the block to accept the string, then add a coordinating image.

A wooden piece with the hole used for book mark.

5. Finish the wood as you please. I used a Danish oil and rubbed paste wax.
6. Lastly, tie your string through the hole in the bookmark and attach the wooden square.

There is a handmade wooden hardwood.

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  1. I did this and gave the bookmark as a gift (to an adult.) mine was walnut and I used a polycrylic finish. Not 5 minutes after I gave it the recipient returned it, broken. “It’s brittle.” So how do you prevent this. I have a wooden bookmark my daughter gave me and I’m careful of it so this doesn’t happen. But I wonder if I did something wrong. Or is my friend just an idiot?! 🙂