Introduction: Magnetic Bookmarks

i found a set of four monkey bookmarks at the bookstore a while back, little monkey heads with magnets on the back, and i have loved them. perhaps a little too well. some of the monkeys aren't doing so well anymore, so i thought i could make some of my own. it turned out so cool, i also thought i'd share~

Step 1: Gather Your Goods

step number one, of course, is to gather supplies. they are as follows:

images (this is what will be on your bookmarks in the end)
printer paper (this is what you'll be printing on. *gasp*)
cardstock (this is what you'll be transferring your images onto)
ruler (i like t-squares, but straight rulers are fine too. anything with a straight edge will do)
pencil (mine's awesome, but you might have a less awesome one, that's fine too)
bone folder (or the back of a spoon, or a dull kitchen knife, something you can score and burnish with)
thin magnets (you'll need two, a positive and a negative)

if you're going to use the xylene transfer method, as i did, then you'll also need some xylene (i used a chartpak colorless blender, but you can also find it in certain orange cleaners, and in some other brands of colorless blender markers) and a laser printer (dinosauric HP laserjet 4+ not pictured. it's camera shy (^_^) )

oh yeah. tea. trust me.

Step 2: Print!

this step requires software, and since i don't know what kind of software you may/may not have, i shall leave this mostly to you, but the plan is this:

gather your images
mirror them (flip > horizontal will usually do the trick)
print them out

you will need to use a laser printer, because inkjet doesn't work with the xylene transfer method. (of course, you could just print directly on the cardstock with whatever you please, or indeed color on them or scribble or even leave it plain if you happen to particularly enjoy the paper you're using. if you're going to do any of that, you can skip to step 4.)

Step 3: The Journey From D to B

once you've printed out your designs, cut them out. remember to leave yourself a little handle so you can hold on to the paper when you're coloring over it.

if you're picky like me, use your ruler and pencil to draw a few guide lines on the cardstock. my images were one inch square, so i had a line one inch from the edge and another one two inches from the edge.

lay the mirrored print out over the card stock. general printer paper should be thin enough that you can see through it. the guidelines i drew really helped at this point.

with your finger on the little handle (you did leave yourself a little handle, didn't you?) color over the printed part with the marker. be sure to get the whole image. the paper will turn slightly translucent, like onion paper, when the xylene soaks in.

without shifting the paper, grab your bone folder (or other burnishing device) and gently (gently) rub over the image to be sure the printer ink transfers to the cardstock.

carefully lift up the image, and -- voila! transferred image. the image with look a tad out of focus, a little vintage, that's fine. that's the way xylene transfer looks. if you'd like something more crisp, try printing directly on the cardstock.

Step 4: Score!

once you've got your entire set done (i was doing an international theme, but of course you may have monkeys, or office furniture, or even those silly punctuation marks i've been hearing so much about. !#$@%) cut them out. you'll need to make them twice as long as they are wide. in my case, with my images being 1 inch square, my bookmarks were 1 inch wide and 2 inches long.

then take your ruler and your bone folder (or other scoring device) and score a folding line right along the middle of your bookmark. this is where you'll fold it in half in a second.

so. fold it in half already. (^_^)

Step 5: Insert Attraction Joke Here

we're almost there! you'll now need one set of magnets for each bookmark, one positive side and one negative side (or you could find one of those magnetic adhesive business card things and chop it up, just make sure the two sides will line up, and hold through a page of a book). i got my magnets at the local scrapbooking store, they're from basic grey, but of course you can find super strong little jobbies on the internets.

in order to be sure that the magnets lined up, i did the following:

joined the magnets together
peeled the paper backing from one magnet and adhered it to the bookmark
peeled back the paper from the other magnet and closed the bookmark on it

then you press it together nice and firm, and voila, you now have a magnetic bookmark!

Step 6: Read! Read! Read!

and you now have a bookmark fit for use in any book with pages. it's small and unobtrusive, but still leaves a little seperation between the pages so you can tell roughly where you are, and the magnets make it heavy enough that flipping to that page is a breeze. and when the bookmark wears out, you can salvage the magnets and make another one. if you're concerned about the fold wearing out too quickly (although in my experience, the monkey bookmarks lasted me through several years of books before even one of them threatened to give out) you can always apply that fix-all master, scotch tape~ (it's less unsightly if you put the tape on the inside of the fold.)