Introduction: Wooden Bookmark of Map and Quote

This tutorial shows you how to make a wooden book mark from a paint stick.


Paint stick

Saw and clamp (or vice)


Sand paper

Computer with printer




Wood burner

Leather (or other stiff fabric)

X-acto knife or other sharp knife

Step 1: Preparing the Wooden Book Mark

Using a hand saw, cut your paint stick roughly in half. I find it easier to clamp the paint stick while cutting but it is not necessary.

Take the half you want to use as a book mark and sand it so that the paint has been removed on both sides and it feels smooth to the touch. I used 150 grit sandpaper. Sanding can be done by hand or with a small palm sander. I find it easier to do by hand, but it will take longer. If you so desire, round the sharp edges of the paint stick.

Drill a hole 1/4 inch from the top of the bookmark using a 1/8" drill bit.

Sand one more time to ensure smooth finish around the drilled hole.

Step 2: Burning Designs

Find a picture of the world map and copy it into a program that allows you to manipulate the image size and ratio. This bookmark measured 5.8 x 1.05 inches so I adjusted the map picture 5 x 1 inches so that it would fit without running onto the rounded edges. I also typed a quote in a 5 x 1 inch text box.

After printing the map and quote graphics, use the pencil transfer method (described below) to transfer the text and world map to the wooden stick.

Using a wood burner, trace over the transfer lines to burn the design into the stick. For sharp edges/text, use the chisel tip on the wood burner.

If you want, the book mark can be finished with polyurethane or shellac to give it a nice shiny, smooth finish. The bookmark pictured in this tutorial was left unfinished.

Pencil Transfer Method:

Print out the adjusted world map and quote. The type of printer and paper does not matter. Using a graphene pencil, color the entire backside of each of the 5 x 1 inch graphics

Cut out the 5 x 1 inch graphics and tape them onto the wooden stick where you want the images to be.

Using something sharp, such as a pen or sharp pencil, begin tracing the words and the outline of the continents on the paper.

When you have traced everything, remove the paper and inspect the transferred marks to ensure you can easily see where the words/countries should be.

If necessary, fill in missing spots.

Step 3: Finishing the Bookmark With Tassel

Using an X-acto-knife or some other cutting tool, cut a strip of leather (or other stiff fabric) 0.15 inches wide and approximately 6 inches long. Use a metal straight edge for straighter, crisper cuts.

Fold the leather strip in half and put the two ends through the hole at the top of the bookmark. Slide the bookmark halfway onto the leather tassel. Take the two ends and put them through the loop at the other end of the folded tassel and pull them until a tight knot is formed

Maps Challenge

Participated in the
Maps Challenge