Monday, June 24, 2013

How to seal a bookmark

Joanne just raised an excellent question about the upcoming bookmark swap.
What kind of glue/sealant should be used to ensure the bookmark doesn't have a residual stickiness that will ruin your books when you try to use it?

rule #1

Sorry mod-podge lovers.  Even though I use it for some things, I don't trust it for something that's going to spend most of it's life pressed between paper.

Also -  no hair spray.
I know a lot of people use it, and it might be fine for a postcard, but it's too sticky (and smelly) for a bookmark.

Review our glue discussions for recommendations on people's favorite glue sticks and other adhesives.
A few additional thoughts off the top of my head:
  • you could laminate them
  • I've had good luck with spray sealants.  I use Krylon crystal clear - it comes in a can like spray paint.  The downside is  you can't use it indoors because it's toxic and smelly, but it does a nice job sealing things and keeping them from smudging. (here's a nice tutorial on using fixatives from Quinn Creative)
  • Make your bookmark out of fabric, or stitched paper, or paint/draw directly on your bookmark so there is no glue involved at all

 As always, your suggestions are quite welcome.  I will revise and update this to showcase your brilliance!

Reader suggestions: 
  • cover in clear packing tape
  • sew the bookmark to a plastic sleeve/transparency


  1. I often seal my bookmark by sewing it into a plastic sleeve..fight now I have a bunch of retired window plastic I'm using, if I don't I will often leave the paper naked ;) or I slap on some packing tape.

  2. Good suggestions all. xox

  3. OMG -- I had two bookmarks all ready to mail (coated with ModgePodge) so now it's back to the drawing table! Sure glad I caught this post before mailing!

    1. oh no, Peggy. I'm sorry! Instead of making new bookmarks you could give the mod-podged ones a coat of spray sealant, or cover them with packing tape?

    2. Aha! Thanks Karen. I'll give that a try -- though they are both round so tape wouldn't work. I'll try the sealant. You just saved me alot of time!! :-)

  4. I was working on some bookmarks last week, pondering the same sealant issue, and decided that acrylic medium and varnish should work. I left that bookmark in a book for a week, and though it "sounds" sticky, it is not sticking to anything.
    But you should note that "acrylic medium & varnish" is different from "acrylic medium"...acrylic medium stays sticky.

  5. My concern with packing tape is the sharp edges. Maybe cutting the tape thinner than the bookmark is the answer.