If you’re looking for easy handmade Christmas gifts to make for your friends and family, look no further. These DIY leather bookmarks can be customized for anyone and everyone on your holiday shopping list.
Handmade Christmas gifts….it sounds exhausting just thinking about it, right? You’ve already got the house to decorate, gifts to buy and wrap, baking to do, parties to host…I get why some people think that they don’t have time for DIY Christmas gifts. But here’s the deal…making your own Christmas gifts usually saves you money and they are so much more appreciated then the gifts you pick up at the big box stores.
These DIY leather bookmarks are super simple to create…no crafting skills required. I love that you can customize the design on the leather bookmark so it works for literally anyone on your list…male or female, young or old!
I never knew that you could wax leather until I came across these adorable leather luggage tags. I thought it was so genius how they stained the leather with dark wax that is typically used on furniture. I thought “hey, I’ve got that! It’s worth a shot!”
UPDATE: Check out a video tutorial at the bottom of this post!
This post contains affiliate links, but nothing that I wouldn’t wholeheartedly recommend anyway! Read my full disclosure here.
Supplies for DIY leather bookmarks:
- Leather (each bookmark is 1.5” x 6-7”) – here’s how I got tons of FREE leather or you can buy it here
- Dark wax
- Clean cloth you don’t mind ruining or a staining rag
- Stickers and/or adhesive shelf liner aka contact paper
- Paint pen
- Leather cording
- Rotary tool, cutting mat and clear acrylic ruler
Step 1. Cut leather.
I used a rotary tool, cutting mat and ruler to cut my leather down to shapes approximately 1.5” wide and 6” to 7” inches tall. If you don’t have a rotary, scissors will work too. Just be sure to mark the shape with a ruler on the backside first so you can get nice, straight lines. I was making 4 different bookmarks and on a couple of them I cut the bottoms at a diagonal.
Step 2. Apply sticker.
Since I made four different designs of DIY leather bookmarks, I had lots of room for creativity here. I used different various stickers I had on hand to create my designs. For two of the bookmarks, I made my own stickers with contact paper (the mountains and cross). Plan out your own DIY leather bookmark designs while keeping in mind that the part you cover with sticker will be a lighter shade than the rest of the bookmark.
Step 3. Wax over stickers.
Using a clean cloth you don’t mind ruining (or staining rag), gently wipe dark wax over the front of the bookmark…yep, right over those stickers. This will stain the leather that is exposed. One coat is fine, but if you find that you want it darker you can try two coats.
Step 4. Remove stickers & let dry.
After you’re done waxing the bookmark, remove the stickers. Then give the bookmarks time to dry. I left mine overnight and it was perfect.
Step 5. Decorate leather bookmark.
Here’s the fun part! Decorate your DIY leather bookmarks to your hearts consent! I found the paint pen worked well writing on the leather, which I already knew because I had used it to make my leather banner on this rustic fall wreath.
You can also decorate by painting part of the bookmark with acrylic craft paint, like I did on this heart one.
Step 6. Add hole & tie string topper.
Next, add a hole to the top of the bookmark. If you have a leather hole punch, you could use that, of course. Since I don’t have one, I just used scissors to make a small X. It worked perfectly! Lastly, cut a piece of leather cording about 10 inches long and loop through the hole.
Simple as that! These DIY leather bookmarks are such easy handmade Christmas gifts. Bookmarks are also an extremely versatile gift, so they really do work well for anyone on your list! The fact that you can design and decorate your leather bookmarks any way you want makes them easy to personalize for the giftee. Customize with their name, initials, favorite quote or bible verse.
What would you write on your DIY leather bookmarks??
Let me know in the comments below.
Here’s a replay of my live video for this project. If you like videos, please check out my videos page for more.
If you liked this leather craft, be sure to check out my other leather crafts: