Have you noticed all the plastic placemats that are popping up in stores lately? There are so many beautiful patterns to choose from! The dollar store usually has a seasonal assortment. These placemats are made of a thin sheet of flexible plastic that happens to be the perfect material for a nice, sturdy bookmark! The best part is that one placemat will make about fifteen bookmarks, which works out to be about six cents per bookmark. Of course, if you decide to add ribbon like I did, you might spend a whopping ten cents per bookmark. It would be hard to beat that price for something so durable that could last for years. I made these bookmarks as a little surprise for my students. It's the little things that count, you know? If you would like to make a set of bookmarks, just pick up a few colorful placemats. Grab some ribbon and a hole punch to make them extra special. You will also need a pencil, ruler, and a pair of sharp scissors. See the photos below for all the details.
When shopping for your placemats, be sure to purchase the ones made of flexible plastic, not foam. I selected spring designs, but just imagine the possibilities for other seasons. I will probably snatch up the apples and pumpkins just as soon as they become available.
Head on over to your local craft shop for some ribbon. Get the skinny, 1/8 inch ribbon. You will need about 24 inches (in length) of ribbon per bookmark.
I tried to cut my bookmarks on a paper cutter at first, but that did not go so well. Maybe you will have more success if your blade is sharper. Instead, I just used a ruler and pencil to mark 2 inch strips on the back of the placemat.
It was easy to cut through the placemat with a pair of sharp scissors.
Once all the long strips were cut, I then cut each one in half. My bookmarks are 2 inches wide and 5 and a half inches long. Of course, you can make them any size you like.
Punch a hole at the top of each bookmark. I used a rectangular hole punch, but a regular circle shape would work as well.
Cut your ribbon into 8 inch lengths. I used three, 8 inch pieces for each bookmark. When folded in half, the three pieces look like six strands of ribbon. Be creative with your color combinations. Mix the colors or make solid tassels.
The following pictures will show you how to attach the ribbon. First, gather three strands of ribbon and fold them in half. Insert the folded ribbon through the hole from the front of the bookmark.
Use your finger to make an opening in the folded ribbon. Bring the loose ends of the ribbon over the top of the bookmark and through the opening.
Pull the ribbon tight. Then, trim the top if you would like.
Repeat this process for each bookmark, until you have a nice variety of color combinations.
Tah-dah! Now the job is complete.
Be sure to save one for yourself! :-)
Also, check out these reading resources that may be useful in your classroom.