I love built-in ribbon bookmarks.  I think my Bible is the only book I have that has one. (It has two ribbons!)  I use them constantly.

You can add them yourself, to any hardbound book!  So fun.  This is one of those easy projects that give you quick satisfaction.

I belong to a small bible study group, and we had a discussion one day about prayer journals.  While shopping a few days later, I came across these cute blank books for $1 each at Michael's. 
I got one for each girl in my group, then ran gleefully to the ribbon section, eager to find a darling ribbon to coordinate with the books.  Don't know about you, but an opportunity (excuse?) to buy ribbon makes me gleeful.

I chose this lovely purple number with white dashed line down the sides.  Why is it, that no matter how much ribbon I buy, I never have the right one to match a project I'm working on?  Not that I checked.  I just know that by now.  I always have to buy more ribbon.
So when I get home, look at this:
Yeah, I already had the same purple ribbon. Don't tell my husband.

So here's how to add a ribbon bookmark to a hardbound book.
Cut a piece of perfectly darling ribbon a little longer than your book, on each end. You'll need some for gluing inside, and some for sticking out the bottom. 2.5 inches is a great amount to leave on each end.

Fabri-Tac is the perfect glue for this project.  I use either it, or Weld-Bond for most projects.  I guess I use Fabri-Tac for light-duty gluing (not a lot of weight or wear on it) but things that need quick-grabbing. Weld Bond is awfully strong, probably one of the best & strongest glues I've used..... but the nozzle tends to clog up, and I don't have that problem with Fabri-Tac.  So for light-duty, I always grab the Fabri-Tac.
Of course it dries clear, but most craft glues do.  Tacky Glue would work perfectly fine here, too.  Even Elmer's would probably work.  (I really haven't used Elmer's in years, since Tacky Glue and these others are quicker-grabbing and stronger glues.)
So when you open a hardbound book WAY open, the spine curves open, and there's plenty of room to insert glue and ribbon. Stick your nozzle in the spine opening, and squeeze a good bit of glue in. Be generous, but stop the flow and wipe the nozzle carefully (still inside the spine opening) so you don't "string" glue out all over your nice book.
   Then poke your ribbon down that opening, and try to get a good 1-2" down in there. 
   When you close the book, the spine will press against the book binding enough to hold your ribbon and glue while drying.
Now, there's only one way you can mess this project up. That's if you glue the ribbon in the bottom, instead of the top. So make sure your book is right-side-up, and you put the glue in the TOP.

Now trim the end of your ribbon into a nice V-point:
Fold the ribbon in half vertically, and cut at a 45-degree angle (you'll need VERY sharp scissors, no worn-out ones).
THEN---Fray Check the ends! Just a tiny dab, all along the cut edge. You don't want to go overboard with Fray Check. Tiny amount. (Fray Check, by Dritz, in the sewing notions section---a liquid that dries hard and stops fraying.)

Now, let's stop and sing the praises to glorious Fray Check:
Fray Check I loooovve you
Fray Check I adooooorrre you
Fray Check you are one of the
most wonderful craft supplies
The world has everrrr seeeeeeen

That's enough.
A friend once asked me what Fray Check was, and I said, "Here, I have some in my purse."
She asked, "Why on earth do you have that in your purse?"
True story.

Write and tell me if you add a ribbon bookmark, and how you like it!
PS:  If you're just getting started on a big hardbound novel, this would be a great thing to do.  Or a good thing to add to a book that's a gift.
2/12/2014 03:36:56 am

Many thans! I had been searching all over the internet on how to do this, and you came like a gift from heaven! I couldn't buy any fray check in my country, so I used hair spray and it worked surprisingly well. I have made one for my wife already and for my son and his boyfriend.

2/21/2014 04:18:27 am

Loved your idea, admired your clear instructions and enjoyed your story which made me laugh in identification. You should write more. Thanks, Val.

Steve K
9/12/2015 11:13:29 am

Does this not cause the spine to be glued to the book binding and cause a problem when you open the book wide?

11/18/2016 08:22:40 am

For Steve K. This shouldn't be a problem since the glue is on the outside cover and the ribbon is between, the glue will stick to the ribbon and as long as you don't use too much and get glue everywhere it wont touch the inside pages.

9/9/2017 06:55:01 pm

What is the best way to handle this if I want to apply more than 1 ribbon?

12/23/2020 06:10:31 pm

Thoughtful blog you have here.

2/4/2022 05:43:33 am

Perfect! I have a devotional with no ribbon... I'll fix that today! And your writing style made even the instructions a delight! No day is a complete loss if you've giggled. 😉 Thanks!!


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