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DIY leather bookmarks that double as place cards for your holiday table

Mariko has been married for 28 years to master carpenter "Bob the Builder", who she brags "really can fix anything". She home-schooled three kids K-12 and is now mother-in-law to two more, with one incredibly adorable grandson. They all ...

Send your dinner guests home from Christmas dinner with a DIY personalized leather bookmark

When the holidays roll around, we all want something extra special to dress up the feasting table, and who doesn't love to send their guests home with a little gift? This leather or faux leather bookmarker project fits the bill for both a party favor and a name card. Make them all the same or make a feminine one for the ladies and a masculine version for the guys. Or make just enough for hostess gifts to bring to those holiday parties.

If you’re looking for a little something special for your holiday table, why not try combining a guest favor with a personalized place card setting? Leather is and always has been a great textile for both feminine and masculine tastes, and I can tell you from experience the guys love this gift just as much as the gals.

Send your dinner guests home from Christmas dinner with a DIY personalized leather bookmark
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

I recently made a batch of these for an outdoor feast I put together for a group of friends, and since we were all tracking on the same book together, a combo bookmarker/place setting couldn’t have been more perfect. But I’m just as excited to use these at the holiday tables this year since they were such a hit.

For the guys, I used metal grommets to add a little detail, and for the ladies, I used pieces of leftover ribbon from my little scrap bag so everyone’s gift had a little personality all its own.

Send your dinner guests home from Christmas dinner with a DIY personalized leather bookmark
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

This is a quick and simple craft that works great if you need a big batch of gifts. I’m using real leather for the guys, scrapped from an $8 thrift store jacket that keeps on giving. And for the feminine version, I’m using vegan leather purchased from the craft store. Just the smallest scrap is all you need. If you want to add the optional paint detail, you’ll just need two colors of acrylic craft paint.

Send your dinner guests home from Christmas dinner with a DIY personalized leather bookmark
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

Using your rotary cutter or scissors cut your leather to size desired, then slice the end diagonally. Mine measure about 1-1/2 inches wide by 7 inches long each, not counting the top “ribbon” piece. I find that a rotary cutter makes it much easier to keep lines straight.

Send your dinner guests home from Christmas dinner with a DIY personalized leather bookmark
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

Mark and cut a tiny sliver of a hole at the top or use a leather punch to create a hole for the grommet or ribbon.

Send your dinner guests home from Christmas dinner with a DIY personalized leather bookmark
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

For the grommet version, install per instructions with your grommet punch tool.

Send your dinner guests home from Christmas dinner with a DIY personalized leather bookmark
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

Cut a thin slice of leather about 10 inches long to use as your “ribbon.” Fold ribbon in half, loop it back on itself and pull it nice and tight. Optional: To add a little color, paint a diagonal pattern as shown with acrylic craft paint in the pattern desired. Let dry before continuing.

Send your dinner guests home from Christmas dinner with a DIY personalized leather bookmark
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

Using your white pen, write each guest name carefully on each bookmarker. I suggest writing (or printing) it out on paper first, then putting your pattern right above your bookmarker so you have a reference for forming the letters. This also gives you an idea of how wide your names will each be, allowing you to place the names correctly and avoid running out of room.

Send your dinner guests home from Christmas dinner with a DIY personalized leather bookmark
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

Now just lay each bookmarker across your dinner place setting and just see how excited your guests will be to find their little favor when the dinner bell rings.

Send your dinner guests home from Christmas dinner with a DIY personalized leather bookmark
Image: Mariko Giverink/SheKnows

These make the cutest little teachers gifts, hostess gifts, book club gifts or stocking stuffers for Christmas or Holiday gift giving. They have a very rich and elegant feel and any book lover would appreciate their classy style.

Send your dinner guests home from Christmas dinner with a DIY personalized leather bookmark
Image: Mariko Giverink/Sheknows

How to make easy, personalized leather bookmarks

Materials:

  • Scraps of genuine or vegan leather at least 1.5 inches x 7 inches per bookmarker
  • Fabric scissors or rotary cutter
  • 1 grommet and grommet tool per bookmarker for the masculine version
  • 1 piece of ribbon about 6 inches long for the feminine version
  • White Sharpie or permanent paint pen
  • Optional acrylic paint and paintbrush

Directions:

  1. Cut your bookmarker to size desired with scissors or rotary cutter and mat, then slice the ends diagonally.
  2. Mark and cut a tiny hole at the top or use a leather punch to create a hole for the grommet or ribbon. For the grommet version, install per instructions with your grommet punch tool, then cut a thin slice of leather about 10 inches long to use as our “ribbon.” For the ribbon version, fold ribbon in half, loop it back on itself and pull it nice and tight.
  3. Optional: To add a little color, paint diagonal lines as shown with acrylic craft paint in the pattern desired. Let dry before continuing.
  4. Write each guest name with your white pen carefully on each book marker.

More festive ideas

16 Holiday hostess gifts that aren’t wine
Handmade Etsy gifts every hostess will love
17 Creative ways to set your table this holiday season

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