I am an avid reader and I mostly get my books from the Library. It is sacrilegious to bend the pages of another's book so I tend to have bookmarks stashed in various locations. You can buy some very nice bookmarks or just use an old piece of paper but I like to make mine out of recycled materials. So to do this project you need a Cuttlebug (my newest toy) or other embossing machine, some old drink cans, and a source of artwork (I am using an old calender). Unpacking can be fun with assistance.
So once you have your items together it is time to get started. 1st you take the time to remove the cat from the bag and convince him sitting on the calender you want to cut up is not a good idea. Take your picture source and cut to the size you find works best, one good example is 1.5" by 6". My size varies depending on what I put on the bookmark and the picture involved. I use old cardboard from my canned drink boxes on the back of the bookmark to provide stiffness. Decoupage the picture you like onto the cardboard with something like Mod Podge, also cover the outside to provide some stability.
To create the metal embellishments cut the can with a pair of old scissors in the shape you desire. Then run the metal through your embossing machine. You can also use die cuts to create shapes if you don't want to freehand it. The metal can be colored with alcohol inks or permanent markers to create some detail. I use inks to give the overall piece a bit of color and then fill in the embossed areas with color using pens. Using either glue or grommets attach the metal embellishment to the bookmark. Punch a hole for your ribbon. You can use yarn, string, etc and embellish with beads if you like. Once you are done let it dry and you now have a unique bookmark.
If you do not want to embellish your bookmark you can simply take a picture you like and cut it to twice the width of the desired bookmark. Fold the picture in half and glue the two portions together. It is recommended you wipe of excess glue and then place a book or such on top to make it dry flat. Once done use contact paper on either side to seal the bookmark. Punch a hole and decorate.