Friday, October 24, 2014

Whimsical Bookmarks by Martice Smith II

Hi friends! Martice here to show you a few simple ways to jazz up some scrap pieces of cardstock and transform them into whimsically fun and expressive bookmarks.

Whimsical Bookmarks by artist Martice Smith II

Today, I'll be showing you techniques on how to:

1 • mix RubberMoon art stamps with modeling paste,
2 • incorporate image transfers and use numbers as symbols,
3 • use a stencil for a cut-out,
4 • and finally, I'll reveal how I combined these techniques into a mixed-media collage bookmark, inspired by Frida Khalo!

Let's get started...Here are the stamps I used for creating these whimsical bookmarks:

(from left to right): 


For the first two bookmarks, I monoprinted backgrounds using a gelli plate. You can see pink and yellow flowers have been drawn in a scribbly, expressive fashion.

Whimsical Bookmarks, tutorial by artist Martice Smith II

Image on left: Using the Kae Pea-New Moon-Art Stamp, I stamped a scalloped pattern. (I only applied ink to the circular portion of the stamp.)

Next, I applied modeling paste through the Faith stencil (from ArtistCellar's Pocket stencils) and topped it off with gold glitter before it dried.

Image on right: An image transfer of a bird's nest is featured.  Using the number 8 from the RubberMoon Alphabet Stamp, I stamped it sideways to make it look like an infinity symbol -  representing the continuation of life.

The background is very cheerful with the yellow gelli printed flowers, isn't it? Since the yellow paint is water-soluble, it interacted with the blue Large Fern to create a beautiful, deep green, which I think adds much more interest to the image.

((Here's a neat, crafty tip! Place a piece of scotch tape directly onto the storybook page, rub for a couple of seconds, then gently peel back the tape. This lift-off technique gives a nice, faded look to the words.)) Click on the image for a larger view.

I added some journaling along the edges of the bookmark to create a border and embellished with a gold leaf pen.

For the third bookmark,  I did a stencil cut-out technique.

Whimsical Bookmarks, tutorial by artist Martice Smith II

I love how the key appears to be sunken into the bookmark while the word 'seeker' pops out as a dimensional element.

I traced the inside of the Vintage Key (Mini Steampunk set of ArtistCellar's Pocket stencils) with a craft knife, painted red acrylic paint on a piece of paper, and glued to the back of bookmark.

Background created with:

Save the Date stamp  - I only inked the word 'the' in white and stamped on bookmark.
Next, the word 'seeker' was handwritten with black Micron 03 pen on scrap paper and glued onto foam dot (for dimension).

DecoArt black gesso
DecoArt Multi-Surface Satin - School Bus 
Gold glitter


Last but not least, here's the fourth bookmark, inspired by Frida Khalo! 
This bookmark showcases all of the elements combined, plus more!

Whimsical Bookmarks, Frida detail; tutorial by artist Martice Smith II

Techniques include: image transfer, journaling, collage, stamping, plus, applying modeling paste through stencils. I think the addition of embellishments really make the Frida stamp pop!

I wanted Frida to look like a tall, angel-like figure so, I elongated the stamp by drawing her shirt longer. Now, it looks like she's wearing a dress...simple, right?!

For the top portion of the bookmark, I applied green tinted modeling paste through the Mini Chakra Crown stencil and white modeling paste for the Mini Steampunk Wing stencil on storybook pages and attached them with gel medium. (Both stencils from ArtistCellar)

Whimsical Bookmarks, Frida dress detail; tutorial by artist Martice Smith II

Letters from the RubberMoon Alphabet Stamp create the word 'Passion' at the bottom of Frida's dress (DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics- Phthalo Blue). I cut out and glued the word 'queen' from my storybook and finished the bookmark with some journaling and gift wrapping ribbon.

Background created with:
Storybook pages, collaged

DecoArt Black gesso
DecoArt Gloss Enamel - Yellow
DecoArt Neon fluorescent in Fiery Red
acrylics (white paint splatters)

Whimsical Bookmarks, Frida bookmark; tutorial by artist Martice Smith II

To prevent the water-soluble media (and glitter) from smudging off, I sealed everything with a light spray of matte varnish.

What a fun and simple way to practice these techniques! Here's a final look at all four whimsical bookmarks...

Whimsical Bookmarks, tutorial by artist Martice Smith II

Do you like to make your own bookmarks? If yes, are they plain or decorated?

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. These are great Martice! Especially love Frida!

  2. I love these Martice! What a great idea for a present to a book lover!

  3. These are great, Martice! As an avid reader, I always love having a pretty bookmark to note my place. And I love making bookmarks for my fellow readers.

  4. I love the Frida bookmark! Good job!