Repurposing Old Jewelry as Ribbon Bookmarks

Repurposing Old Jewelry as Ribbon Bookmarks

Unlike most people, I still read regular books (as opposed to the Kindle/Nook route). Hopefully I’m not the last person on Earth reading…brick and mortar(?) books. Which means, I am always in the market for bookmarks so that I don’t dog ear the pages. Anyway, I decided that turning some of broken jewelry into ribbon bookmarks would be fun to do.

Now, jewelry doesn’t have to be actually “broken” for this. But single earrings that you’ve held onto, or brooches with missing stones are ideal candidates.

Broken jewelry for making the ribbon bookmarks

I even found a bag of random ribbon scraps at a craft store! What a great way to get all sorts of different sizes and colors for my ribbon bookmarks.

Bag of ribbons for making craft ideas with old jewelry

Once I had gathered the main ingredients for this craft idea, I was nearly ready to get started!

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Jewelry Repurposing for DIY Bookmarks

Just a quick note before we get started- you can often find vintage broken jewelry on Etsy fairly inexpensively. Ok, onto the tutorial!

To make these ribbon bookmarks, I gathered some additional craft supplies, including jewelry pliers, jewelry-making notions (ribbon clamps and jump rings), a piece of lace ribbon (or any nice, pliable ribbon), and a piece of costume jewelry.

Craft supplies for making the ribbon bookmarks

Scissors, too, if you are cutting off lengths of ribbon from a spool or need to trim the ribbon scraps from a bag.

First, I used my jewelry pliers to start closing the ribbon clamp. But not all the way…

Ribbon clamps to put on ribbon bookmarks

Next, I slid the end of my lace ribbon into the clamp before firming clamping it down with my same jewelry pliers. For whatever reason, I found it was easier to do this if the clamp wasn’t wide open. 

I pulled on the ribbon a little to make sure it was secure, too.

Closing a ribbon clamp with jewelry pliers

Now, you could certainly leave the other end of the ribbon naked, but to prevent fraying, I went ahead and added a second ribbon clamp.

Making a ribbon bookmark with lace ribbon

Ribbon Bookmarks or Charm Bookmarks

Next, I used my jewelry pliers again, this time opening up a jump ring.

Attaching the broken jewelry to the ribbon bookmarks

Finally, I attached a piece of vintage costume jewelry to the ribbon bookmark via the jump ring, which attached to the ribbon clamp.

Repurposing old jewelry as DIY bookmarks

And that was it, the first of my ribbon bookmarks was done! 

Upcycling old jewelry into ribbon bookmarks

The rest of them came together quickly and I just love them all!

Old jewelry as charms on ribbon bookmarks

Repurposing Old Jewelry as Ribbon Bookmarks

This is SUCH a great way for upcycling jewelry! We all have broken jewelry or single earrings that we haven’t gotten rid of, don’t we?

And creating ribbon bookmarks with vintage costume jewelry is a natural fit. Fun to keep for yourself but even better as gifts for book lovers.

DIY bookmarks as a gifts for book lovers

Not only are they quick and easy to make, but they use pretty basic jewelry making supplies. So, you really don’t have to invest in much to make these, especially if you share the tools with friends!

This would be the perfect upcycling craft project to do with your girlfriends during a “Crafternoon” party!

Repurposing old jewelry as ribbon bookmarks

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for a fun DIY gift idea, then you may also enjoy this repurposing idea for lavender sachets!

Faking the look of grain sack fabric for DIY lavender sachets

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. girlfromwva says

    thanks for a wonderful tutorial. i also love older books that have brightly colored covers (especially when i find them for 50 cents at a thrift store.) going to get some things together and make a few of these bookmarks!!!

  2. Hi Sarah, love you books display idea very nice 🙂

  3. Very cute!!! I love this idea for a quick gift <3

  4. I am a BOOK reader as are my friends, just love this idea!, where do I get the ribbon clamp? Also the little Saint medals, perfect for little kids bible story books for gifts. I wish I could have you for one weekend?.

  5. jan williamson says

    WOW, this looks so simple. Don’t know what size ribbon clamps to use, can hardly wait to try this simple DIY. What if the ribbon is smaller/larger than the clamp then how would you keep the ends from unraveling if the clamp is smaller than the lace or ?? ? Have so much one of a kind pieces of jewelry that is just begging to be used. Any other ideas to use these forgotten pieces of jewelry?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      The set of clamps that I link to in the post has three different sizes! Hopefully that’ll prevent that issue from happening.

  6. I have tried to sign up via email four times now and it is rejecting me so I do hope you can help me. I do understand I am asking a lot but your site is just perfect for my tastes. [email protected] is me, lol. Thank you for your kindness, Linfy

  7. Christine Roppel says

    Hi! I know this is an older post, but I have a question: Do you finish off the bottom of the ribbon in any way?

  8. I love this idea and have collected my supplies. How long is your piece of ribbon? Do you size for hardback, trade paperbacks, or mass paperbacks? TIA and again, what a charming idea!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Ellen! I actually made several sizes based on hardbacks, trade paperbacks (the larger kind of paperbacks), and mass market paperbacks (the smallest, thickest paperbacks). That way, I have a variety!

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