Bookmarks are an excellent project for beginning paper folders. They are easy to make and very practical. You can make bookmarks for yourself or make a pretty bookmark to slip inside a book that you are giving as gift. They would also be useful as inexpensive party favors for a child's birthday party goody bag.
The bookmark in this About Origami tutorial is made using a single square sheet of origami paper. I like to use paper that is roughly 6 inches x 6 inches, but you can experiment with different sizes to see what you like best. The paper has to be square, however. The folding instructions won't work with letter sized copy paper, for example.
Since the bookmark is such such a simple origami project, it offers a good opportunity to use up some of the pretty papers in your origami supply stash. If you don't have papers on hand that you like, About Origami has some free printable origami paper designs that you might enjoy.
1. Make the Initial Folds
To begin making your origami bookmark, place your paper on a flat surface with the white or solid colored side face up. Fold it in half diagonally to make a triangle. Crease well, then unfold. Fold it in half diagonally in the opposite direction. Crease well, then unfold. When you are done, you will have an "X" crease pattern as shown in the photo to the left.
2. Fold in the Corners
Fold the top left and bottom right corners in to meet the intersection of the "X" you created in the last step. When you are finished, your paper should look like the photo to the left.
4. Bring the Corners Up
Rotate your paper so the longest edge is directly in front of you. Bring the left and right corners up to meet the center vertical crease. When this step of the project has been completed, your origami bookmark craft should look like the photo to the left.
5. Tuck in the Flaps
Flip your paper over. Tuck the top left and right flaps inside the pocket portion of the bookmark. Run your fingernail over all of the creases one last time to finish off your bookmark.
6. Your Origami Bookmark Is Complete
To use your origami bookmark, simply slip it over the corner of the last page you read in your book. (Need a good book to read? Check out some of the reviews on About Bestsellers for both fiction and nonfiction recommendations.)
7. Bookmark Crafts for Kids
If you are making this project with a child, try folding the bookmark from solid colored paper and let your young paper folder decorate the bookmark. Stickers, crayons, and markers offer an easy way to decorate origami bookmarks, but adding a border with washi tape can be fun as well. (The tape also helps make the bookmark a bit more durable, which is a good idea if it's going to be used by a younger reader.) Washi tape is patterned tape that can be used for all sorts of paper crafts, including origami, cardmaking, and scrapbooking. You can buy it online or at larger craft stores.
Another good origami bookmark design is the embellished heart bookmark shown on the Origami Club website. This bookmark is slightly more complicated than the triangular bookmark you have just folded, but Origami Club's animation is helpful for visual learners.