Making double-sided bookmarks with Canva two ways – with templates

Are the students in your school library bookmark mad? Mine are. While you can buy beautiful bookmarks to give out to students, perfect for author visits, book week or special events, I find that most readers, especially the younger students, go through too many bookmarks for me to be able to afford to keep up a steady supply. I’ve always printed bookmarks to have at the circulation desk. The students love picking out a new design, it prevents the dreaded dog earring of pages and they are easy to tie into special events. I used to search online for free printable bookmark designs, and while this did find me some great deigns, I was limited in what I could use.

Since I started using Canva, my bookmark game has significantly increased. If you work in a school library, don’t forget to check out Canva for Education. Use your school email to sign up for an account that gives you access to all the feature for free. Just one of the reasons Canva is so incredible. If you’ve never used Canva before, try my getting started tips here. 

Canva has a bookmark template and as many designs as you could possibly hope for. It’s a bookworm or school librarian’s dream.

But, something I get asked about a lot is how to create double sided bookmarks. It’s actually super easy. There are two different ways you can do it.

Now, because I print on A4 cardboard, I don’t use the bookmark template in Canva. It’s a little short, so I don’t get maximum use of the paper and I have to do more cutting. Let’s save ourselves some time. I usually attempt to get 5 bookmarks out of a piece of A4 card. If you want wider bookmarks, you can drop it down to four per sheet.

Double-sided bookmarks the first way

I start by creating my design using custom sizing. 2.5 x 8.2 inches or 6.3 x 21cm does the trick.

Now you can start designing. If you search bookmarks in templates, you’ll still be able to use the massive range of pre-made designs available and because Canva is awesome, the designs stretch to fit our slightly larger design.

Here comes the trick. You need to add four extra pages or duplicate your design four times to create our five total designs for the front of the bookmark. If you don’t want double sided bookmarks, you can skip the next step.

Now create five addition pages. These are your backs of the bookmarks. Add your designs (or just crest one page, add your design and duplicate.).

You should hav ten pages total in your project, five fronts and five backs. The fronts need to be first, followed by all the backs, don’t alternate them.

Select share and then Download as a pdf. I usually select print quality.

Open your pdf with Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download this for free for both Mac and windows computers here.

To print, select print and then select multiple in the print options window. Select one row and five columns. Select horizontal for page layout. Make sure it looks like you want it to print. Then select double sided, flip on short edge. This will make sure your bookmark backs face the same direction as the fronts. Print. Now, depending on your printer and it’s alignment, if it adds a margin or just likes to print slightly off, your bookmarks might be a little out of alignment. Run a test sheet, cut and see how it looks. If you are struggling with the alignment, I tend to add borders around my bookmarks within the Canva design, which just gives me a bit of extra room to cut, making it look like they are aligned. 

Ready to create? Here is your template. 

Double-sided bookmarks the second way

If that sounds too tricky or you don’t have access to Adobe or you need to send your designs to a printer, then here’s a second option. A template, A4, with five spaces for your bookmark designs. The benefit to this option is if your printer does have an alignment issue, you can fiddle with the layout and fix any alignment issues by moving your bookmark back designs over. Simply download the template here, add your designs within the black outlines, do the same for the back, download as a pdf and open with your usual pdf reader, print, ensuring you select printing double sided, flip on the short edge.

Done. 

Here’s your template to get started. 

 

Happy creating.