Introduction: Easy Bookmark With Line Marker

In my experience with bookmarker shopping it always seems like the nicest ones are too clunky or way too expensive for a five by one and a half inch piece of plastic. Rather then waste more plastic and money on a bookmarker that I'll most likely lose I decided to make one out of one of my empty cans.

Before making my bookmarker I had to think about the qualities that I would want it to have. I pondered the bookmarkers I liked the most in the past and wrote down why I liked them more then others. Reviewing my notes I decided that my perfect bookmarker would have the following qualities:

  • Thin
  • Won't damage pages
  • Line marker
  • Stay in place
  • Have nice colors
  • Cheap
  • Easy to make and replace

After planning I decided the best material to make it out of would be a empty can. The can I chose had very thin walls, was longer than most cans which would aid in covering more of the page, and was a very nice pink color. Next, I chose the design I wanted. In order to incorporate a line marker I knew I would have to have two separate sections that I could slide a piece of the page marker on. Because of that I was reminded of a clip like book marker, it would sandwich a page between the marker in order to hold the page and mark it.

Now after a lot of time planning I present to you my Instructable on a easy book marker with line marker! I hope you enjoy :)

I'd like to remind you to be extremely careful while working with metal and sharp tools! Make sure to avoid injury by protecting your hands and being cautious around the edges of the metal.


The supplies that you'll need for this project are:

  • A thin metal can
  • Cutting tools (small knife and/or scissors)
  • Puncture tool (I used a thumbtack)
  • Tape (a clear tape would look best, I decided to use some old leftover masking tape)
  • Eraser
  • Flattening tool (I used a keychain hammer)

Step 1: Measuring the Base

I started by measuring the area I would cut out of the can. I wanted to cut out more than I needed, the first time I attempted to only cut out what I needed but because of the roundness of the can it was very difficult to cut and I made many mistakes. Cutting more than you need gives you the material you need and then some more so you can refine the cut you will make for the actual product.

  • Start this step by measuring out about five inches on the length of the can and marking that with a marker.

Step 2: Cutting the Base

When it comes to cutting a round hollow object you can't really just slice it up with scissors or a knife, trust me I tried and it didn't end well. Cutting with a knife or scissors right out the gate caused me to get jagged and uneven cuts, it gets way too sharp and dangerous fast. While thinking about how to start the cut in a safer way I remembered a project that I did in fifth grade, we punctured cans with thumb tacks to make a light holder.

  • To start the cut puncture the start, end, and middle of the planned markings. Next use a small knife (I used my small swiss army knife) to open up some space to cut with scissors.

Step 3: Measuring and Cutting Out the Base

Deciding the width was a bit difficult for an indecisive person like myself, I wanted to have a clip so I would need to cut in the center to make it a seperate part but I didn't want the sides to be too thin. I also didn't want the book marker to be too wide and clunky. After much deliberation I decided the best width for me was 1 1/2"

  • For this step measure out the width of the book marker 1 1/2" from the bottom and draw lines in with a marker then cut it out with scissors.

Step 4: Cutting the Clip

After I had cut the base I had plenty of room to cut out a clip and have less fragile sides. I ran into the problem I had earlier with starting the cut but this time I didn't have a hollow center to puncture into. After looking around for something to hold up my bookmarker so I could start my cut I saw my eraser and decided that it would be best to start my cut on that. I punctured the start of where I wanted to cut then started with my knife so I could make room for my scissors. I soon realized that my scissors wouldn't fit in where I needed to cut so I decided to cut the outline of the clip with my knife.

  • Start this step by measuring out the area of the clip and marking the lines out with a sharpie, I measured it to be 1/2"away from the vertical sides and 1/4" away from the horizontal sides. Next put your eraser under the bookmarker and start the cuts by puncturing the corners of the measured area. Lastly cut the created lines with your small knife.

Step 5: Flattening Rough Edges

After cutting the clip out with only my knife I noticed that the edges were very jagged and had some sharp areas. I didn't want my hands or my pages to get cut so I decided to try to flatten it out. Some of the more jagged parts stuck out and couldn't be flattened with my hammer so I ended up cutting them off.

  • After cutting out the clip flatten out the jagged edges with an effective tool of your choice, if there are any remaining areas that stick out then carefully cut them off with scissors.

Step 6: Rounding the Edges

I felt happy with my bookmarker but I thought the corners were a bit too sharp so I decided to round them. This part was a bit unexpected, I hadn't really thought about the rounded edges that most bookmarkers have until I felt that I needed some.

  • For this step carefully round all the edges with your scissors. There isn't really an easy way to measure the way to round the edges because they're so small, I recommend holding the scissors still and moving the marker while you cut.

Step 7: Creating the Line Marker

Now it was time to make my favorite part of most bookmarkers, the line marker. I had to get this part to be able to slide up and down with ease to I decided to fold it around the edges. One think I was worried about while planning it out was preventing the marker from sliding off. Surprisingly after not too much thought I realized I could fold one side of the marker under itself and then fold the remaining parts around and under the opposite side. This was a bit hard to describe but I hope the pictures and my instruction help.

  • In this step you will first have to cut out a strip to use for the line marker, make it about 1/4" tall and 4 1/8" long.


  • Start with the strip's edge facing the edge of the length of the bookmarker. Next wrap the strip inside of the hole where the clip lays and fold it back up as displayed in the second picture. (it should wrap around only one side of the bookmarker)
  • Fold the srip around the other side of the book marker
  • Lastly push the end of the strip between the opposite side of the bookmarker and the other side of the clip as seen in the third picture. Make sure to not wrap it so the center part of the clip is stuck inside the strip!!

The end result should look like the last picture and be able to go up and down the book marker but not slide fully off. If the strip wont move or slides down too easily then adjust the length of the strip.

Step 8: Page Protector

The last thing I had to do with the bookmarker was to make it so it wouldn't rip up any pages, I hate when pages of my books get torn by the edges of clip on bookmarkers and I wanted to be able to prevent this with my bookmarker. This was pretty easy, all I had to do was add tape in the inside edges on the top of the bookmarker.

  • Tape the inside edges in the corners of the top of the bookmarker.

Recycled Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Recycled Speed Challenge