How to Make a Bookmark From a Chipmunk


Introduction: How to Make a Bookmark From a Chipmunk

About: We love all things outdoors!

Some might find this awesome, some might find this gross, and some might find it both! And you are right, but it is sure cool to have a chipmunk pelt as a bookmark! It is easy to do and fun. The pelt is very soft and durable. I call it the outdoorsman's bookmark. So let's get started.

You need:

  • A Rat Trap
  • Bait like seeds or popcorn
  • A sharp knife
  • Salt
  • A small piece of card board
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Disinfectant spray (optional)

Note: There are laws regarding trapping chipmunks, so please check your local laws.

Please do not comment on this instructable if you plan on saying something negative or not nice against this instructable.

Feel free to learn other outdoor projects and pursuits at

Step 1: Getting Your Chipmunk

You will need your rat trap and some bait. You might have seen some chipmunk before in your backyard. Sometimes the will pop out of the ground through a hole and sometimes they run through the bushes. Where ever you might see them chipmunks, place your rat trap in that location. Bait your trap properly by "hooking" your bait on the latch that is on the trigger. That way the bait is hard to take off. Set the trap, and leave it. Check every 4 hours or so to see if you get a chipmunk.

The videos above are mods for your rat trap, for higher chances of getting a chipmunk.

Note: It is possible to trap an animal rather than a rat trap.

Step 2: Skinning Your Chipmunk

Once you get your chipmunk, get you gloves, knife, and piece of card board. Put on your gloves and pull the chipmunk out of the trap. Then place it on the card board belly side up. Using your knife, stab your knife unto the anus and cut your knife up the belly, stopping at the chest. The guts should be exposed. Yes, yes this part might be hard, but you must remove the guts from its body, or else you will get blood all over the fur. After pulling the guts out, use your knife and slowly remove the skin off the meat. You can pull the all the leg's meat out from the legs fur. It should be very easy.Once you get to the head, pull the fur and the carcass away from each other. It should begin to pull off. Dispose the carcass. Remove what meat and fat that are left on the hide. It should now look like the picture above.

See that wasn't that hard was it?

Step 3: Salting the Pelt

Turn your piece of card board to the other clean side and place the pelt on it, having the leather facing up. Spray with disinfectant spray if you desire, to remove bacteria. Let the spray dry. Using your salt, sprinkle it all over the pelt until completely cover. The salt will remove the liquids from the skin, which will preserve it. Leave it like that for 2 to 3 days. Make sure it is dry once your done. The pelt's skin should feel like a dollar bill and the fur will be very soft.

Step 4: Your Bookmark!

Well, there you go. You very soft and fine bookmark. Just stick your bookmark in the book that your are reading. Also, using the bookmark for your Bible reading is very ideal, it works great! You can also sell your bookmark if you like too, it goes for about 3 to 5 USD dollars, but be sure to check your laws on furbearing before you do. Well, I hope you have enjoyed this instructable and enjoyed your very awesome bookmark.

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    Human life is far greater than animal life, the animal is a "useless" creature in this life, they do absolute nothing, unlike us humans! We are sorry for the way you feel. Thankd for your feedback!


    Pretty neat idea... I'm gonna have to get me one

    1 reply

    Yes it is! Best bookmarks there are. Please vote dor us in the Book It contest. :)

    Made me think of a Farside called "Tools of the common crow" Showed a crow with a spatula.

    1 reply

    ha Ha! love the far side!

    I am a trapper of problem critters and tanned some of them, thus know how to not do mistakes such as just salting tends to burn the skin than tan it. squirrels are a easy project. I alum tan (pickle tan) simple easy recipe: tiny brine recipe: 1/2 oz. alum powder spice rack at the supermarket, 2 oz. plain salt NOT iodized!!! 1/2 gallon of water in a glass jug mix ingredients. use a wooden spoon or clean stick. clean meat & fat off the skin, CAREFULLY split the tail it can pop off before you know what happend! wash the blood out, massage the skin in the brine to penitrate the skin completely, let sit stir it once and awhile. 2 days later remove skin under running water rinse and carefully tug at a edge to scratch loose a tab of fleshy membrane and gently take it off but be careful skins will rip or dig in the skin too deep you will pull fur through the hide! put back in for 1 more day. rinse very well!salt residue draws moisture!!!roll skin in a dry wash rag allow to dry without heat check the skin to see how it's drying observe it don't let it dry out cardboard! very gently bend & pull you will see it turn white keep massaging & tugging anytime it feels cold means water is still present. I have tanned squirrels and domestic rabbits (could of done a instructable myself buuuut never had a camera handy.

    1 reply

    I'm an avid trapper as well, I did not talk about tanning because I did not think anyone would spend some money on this project over a bookmark. But thank you for sharing!

    Awesome instructable! And people if you don't like the idea of killing chipmunks why did you click on this?!

    2 replies

    I clicked because I thought it was a joke with a live one...

    Thank you, Please vote for us in the "Book It" and "The Leather" Contest if you like the instructable! :)

    Do you split the tail?

    Also comment: You can use borax instead of salt and the borax will act as a preservative for the long term.

    2 replies

    Yea, I don't keep the tail normally. I said salt because everyone has table salt, I use Epsom salt, cause it is amazing at preserving and soaking the liqueds .

    I saw the borax in an old taxidermy text. 20 mule team works well.

    In our area the main critter is tree squirrels. Last year they totally cleaned out our persimmon tree, most of the time taking 10 or 20 bites out of a fruit and then leaving the rest on the ground.

    Cautionary tale: Had a friend take a ground squirrel with a 25'06 and all he was able to recover was about an inch of tail that was turned inside out.

    Counter-cautionary tale: My next door neighbor shot a skunk twice with a Colt Woodsman '22. The skunk just got PO'ed and shot back with both barrels. My neighbor lived in his garage for two weeks afterwards taking regular sponge baths of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

    Thanks. I was in a bad mood and this made me laugh (not out loud, but still...).

    1 reply

    My question is, did you cook and use the meat, or throw it away?