The Little Bookmark

Posted by Jennifer

It's been a few years since I last dabbled with polymer clay  (I made a set of Halloween miniatures that I bring out every year). I've been wanting to play with the clay again and had been looking for the right project when I came across instructions for a bookmark from polymer clay artist Donna Hiatt in the April 2012 issue of Polymer Cafe.

This project was particularly appealing because it can be made by someone at any experience level. I adapted the construction a bit and used different sized beads than Donna suggests, but the instruction are as follows:


  • White or very light beige polymer clay (for inside pages)

  • Dark beige or gray polymer clay (for inside pages)

  • Liquid polymer clay

  • Beading thread (Donna recommends 6lb. Fireline)

  • Size #11 metal cylinder beads

  • Spacer beads

  • Size #14 or #15 seed beads

  • Decorative beads, crystals charms, wire

  • 3-7mm suede cord - 12 in. length



  • Pasta machine

  • Tissue blade

  • Craft knife

  • Acrylic rod

  • Marxit tool or ruler

  • Beading needle

  • Polyester batting or cornstarch


Making the Page Tiles:

Step 1.  Condition the clay. Roll out about 2 oz. of white/light clay into two rectangles on a medium setting. Roll out about 1 oz. the darker color into one rectangle, about the same size as the two light colored rectangles (Fig. 1).

Step 2.  Stack the three rectangles, positioning the darker slab on the bottom (Fig. 2). Pass the stack through the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Cutt the rectangle in half and stack (the slab will be light, light, dark, light, light, dark). Repeat (cut the slab in half and stack and run through the pasta machine) two more times but do not roll through the pasta machine after the last cut. You should have a slab with 16 light layers, interspersed with eight dark layers. The slab should be about 1/8 in. - 3/16 in. thick (Fig. 3).

Step 3.  Cut the slab into rectangles that are 3/4 in. x 5/8 in. (Figs. 4 & 5). Cut a 3/8 in. x 1/8 in. notch out of each rectangle (or use Template 1), creating a page tile (Fig. 6).

Step 4.  Poke three holes in the page tile: two running vertically and one running horizontally through the area above the notched-out cut (Fig. 7). Bake the tiles according to your clay manufacturer's recommended time and temperature.

Make the Decorative Topper:

Pull a threaded needle (Donna uses 6lb. Fireline, doubled), through the horizontal hole, from the bottom to top, leaving a 6 in. tail for tying off the thread. Add one metal cylindar bead, one spacer, and the decorative beads. Add one #14 seed bead and go back through the decorative beads and spacer. Add the second metal cylindar bead (this helps keep the topper straight). Go back through the clay and tie securely (Figs. 8 & 9). Do not cut the thread yet.

Attach the Cord:

Step 1.  Weave the thread through the top vertical hole, through the suede cord and through the hole again. Tie securely. Repeat for the lower hole. Run the thread thru the holes (while wrapping around the cord) several times. Lay the cord so the thinnest side will lay flat and the"front cover" will be face-up when inserted into a book, regardless of which end is inserted above the real book pages (Fig. 10).

Step 2.  Apply a dab of liquid polymer clay around the cord where it is touching the page tile. Smear a little scrap clay on the tile and smooth out the surface and fill in around any space where the cord did not fill out the notched area. (Fig. 11).

Step 3.  Repeat steps for the decorative topper and for attaching the cord to make a second page tile for the other end of the suede cord. Place the piece in a bed of polyester batting or cornstarch. Bake for and additional 15 minutes.

Make the Book Cover:

Step 1.  Roll the book cover clay out to a medium thickness, at least 2 in. x 3 in. If desired, texture the clay (Fig. 12) before the next step (Donna used a small piece of a mesh bag that held cherry tomatoes from the grocery store.) Cut into a 7/8 x 2 in. rectangle (or use Template 2) (Fig. 13).

Step 2.  Score the right side of the book front and left side of the back to mimic a book's spine (Fig. 14). Insert a small piece of twisted wire into the indentation. Insert small embellishments to the front; I.e. beads, charms, crystals, wire (Fig. 15).

Step 3.  Dab liquid polymer clay on the baked page tile. Position the book cover clay on the tile and fold over to cover the back. There should be about 1/16 in. on the top, right side and bottom. Trim manually if needed (Figs. 16-front & 17-back).

Step 4.  Repeat the steps for making the book cover for the second book. Place on batting or in cornstarch and bake according to your clay manufacturer's recommended temperature for about 30 to 45 minutes. After the clay is cured, pop the embellishments out of the clay and glue back in.

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