21 Easy And Creative Bookmark Contest Ideas 2023

I found some amazing bookmark contest ideas and had a hard time picking my top 21 favorites. I hope these ideas will inspire you to organize your own bookmark contest, whether it’s for a school, library, or community event! 

bookmark contest ideas

What Is a Bookmark Contest?

A bookmark contest is a fun and creative way to engage people in designing and creating their own bookmarks. Participants can use various materials and techniques to make unique bookmarks that reflect their personalities, interests, or the contest’s theme. These contests are popular among schools, libraries, book clubs, and other organizations as they promote literacy and encourage people to read more.

How to Design Bookmarks?

When organizing a bookmark contest, everyone should have clear guidelines and criteria for designing bookmarks. Here are some tips to help you design your own bookmarks:

  • Keep the theme in mind: Whether it’s a specific book or reading theme, make sure the participants incorporate it into their designs.
  • Use different materials: Encourage participants to use various materials such as paper, fabric, beads, or even recycled items to create their bookmarks.
  • Be original: Remind participants that the more unique and creative their bookmark is, the better their chances of winning.
  • Consider functionality: A good bookmark should not only be visually appealing but also functional. Make sure the designs can actually mark a page without slipping out easily.
  • Color Knowledge: Ensure that the participants know color theory and how to use colors effectively in their designs.
  • Size and shape: Specify the size and shape requirements for the bookmarks. This will make it easier to judge and display them.
  • Use Apps or Software: There are various apps and software available that can help participants design their bookmarks digitally. For example, Canva, Adobe Spark, or PicMonkey. 

21 Easy and Creative Bookmark Contest Ideas

So, if you are looking for some creative and easy ideas to make bookmark contests interesting, then you have come to the right place! Whether it’s for a bookmark contest or just personal use, these ideas are sure to spark your creativity and help you make some unique bookmarks.  

#1. Literary Character Themes

Literary Character Designs

Encourage participants to design bookmarks based on their favorite literary characters. This not only sparks creativity but also promotes reading as participants delve into the characters’ worlds. They can use quotes, significant scenes, or symbolic imagery from the books. This idea bridges the gap between visual arts and literature, making it both educational and artistic.

#2. Eco-Friendly Materials

eco-friendly bookmark

Host a contest focusing on the use of recycled or sustainable materials. Participants can repurpose items like old cardboard, fabric scraps, or natural elements. This approach fosters environmental awareness and creativity, challenging creators to think about sustainability in art. It also serves as a practical lesson in recycling and reusing materials creatively.

#3. Seasonal Themes

Seasonal themes bookmarks

Seasonal themes are always a hit. Whether it’s the vibrant colors of fall, the blossoming beauty of spring, winter’s snowy landscapes, or summer’s sunny beaches, each season offers a distinct palette and mood. This idea allows for a wide range of interpretations and artistic expressions, keeping the contest fresh and engaging all year round.

#4. Abstract Art

abstract art bookmark

Challenge participants to create bookmarks using abstract art. This encourages them to experiment with colors, shapes, and textures without needing specific subjects or themes. Abstract art allows for a deeper expression of emotions and ideas, making each bookmark unique to the artist’s internal world. This approach can particularly appeal to those who love modern art and self-expression.

#5. Cultural Heritage

cultural heritage theme bookmark

A bookmark contest themed around cultural heritage can be both enlightening and inspiring. Participants can showcase designs that reflect their personal heritage or explore world cultures. This idea not only celebrates diversity but also serves as an educational tool, encouraging participants and viewers to learn about different cultural histories and arts.

#6. Famous Quotes and Inspirations

Famous quotes and inspirations bookmark

Invite contestants to design bookmarks featuring famous quotes or personal inspirations. This idea can range from literary quotes, movie lines, and historical sayings to personal mantras. It’s a way to merge textual content with visual creativity, resulting in bookmarks that are not just functional but also meaningful and motivational.

#7. Fantasy and Sci-Fi Worlds

Fantasy and Sci-fin worlds

Encourage creations based on fantasy and science fiction themes, where participants can unleash their imagination to its fullest. From dragons and wizards to spaceships and futuristic cities, the possibilities are endless. This idea can appeal to a wide audience, especially among young adults and fans of these genres, offering an escape into otherworldly experiences through art.

#8. Animal Kingdom

Animal kingdom

Animal-themed bookmark contests can capture the beauty and diversity of wildlife. Participants can draw inspiration from real-life animals mythical creatures, or even create their own fantastical beasts. This idea not only encourages artistic exploration but can also be used to promote awareness about endangered species and wildlife conservation.

#9. Historical Periods

historical periods bookmark

Organizing a contest around different historical periods lets participants explore various art styles, architecture, fashion, and significant events from the past. This theme can be both fun and educational, offering a window into how the world used to be and how past influences have shaped our present.

#10. Underwater Exploration

Underwater Exploration

An underwater-themed contest opens up a world of creativity filled with colorful coral reefs, mysterious marine creatures, and deep, unexplored waters. This theme allows for vivid, imaginative designs and can also be a platform to discuss marine life conservation and the ocean’s mysteries.

#11. Music and Rhythms

Music and rhythom

Encourage participants to incorporate elements of music into their bookmarks – from musical notes and instruments to famous musicians or abstract representations of rhythm and melody. This idea can resonate deeply with music lovers and can beautifully blend visual art with the art of sound.

#12. Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation bookmark

A bookmark contest focusing on mindfulness and meditation can inspire designs that evoke peace, tranquility, and introspection. Themes might include Zen gardens, mandalas, or nature-inspired scenes that encourage relaxation and a break from the hectic pace of life.

#13. Culinary Delights

Culinary delights bookmark

For those who love cooking and gastronomy, a bookmark contest centered around culinary themes can be quite appealing. Designs can range from depictions of delectable dishes, famous chefs, or food-related quotes, combining the art of cooking with literary pleasure.

#14. Outer Space and Astronomy

Outer space and Astronomy

Galactic themes capture the imagination like few others. Participants can draw inspiration from planets, stars, astronauts, and the mysteries of the universe. This not only fuels creativity but can also kindle interest in science and astronomy.

#15. Superheroes and Comics

superheroes and comics bookmark

A contest themed around superheroes and comics can attract a wide range of age groups. Participants can create bookmarks inspired by famous comic book characters or create their own superheroes, blending pop culture with personal creativity.

#16. Optical Illusions

Optical Illusions bookmark

Designs based on optical illusions can make for a fascinating bookmark contest. These bookmarks can play tricks on the eyes and engage the mind, offering a unique blend of art and visual perception.

#17. Calligraphy and Typography

Calligraphy and typography

Focusing on the beauty of letters and words, this contest can challenge participants to create bookmarks featuring artistic typography or calligraphy. This theme celebrates the visual aspect of written language, offering a different angle to standard bookmark designs.

#18. Landscapes and Cityscapes

landscapes and cityscapes

This theme invites artists to depict breathtaking landscapes or bustling city scenes. Whether it’s serene countryside, urban skylines, or imaginary cities, this idea provides a broad canvas for creativity and storytelling.

#19. Sports and Athletics

Sports and Athletics bookmark

A sports-themed contest can appeal to the athletic and active community. Designs can include various sports, famous athletes, or symbolic representations of athleticism and energy, merging the love for sports with reading.

#20. Technology and Innovation

Technology innovation

Focus on the ever-evolving world of technology and innovation. Participants can incorporate elements from modern tech, futuristic concepts, or digital art styles, reflecting the dynamic nature of our digital world.

#21. Art Movements

Art movements

Encourage participants to explore different art movements such as Impressionism, Surrealism, or Pop Art. This can be both a creative endeavor and an educational journey through the history of art, offering insight into various artistic styles and epochs.

Read also: Drawing contest ideas

You may check out the video content on few more bookmark design ideas.

How Do I Make My Bookmarks Unique?

What makes a good bookmark design? The answer is “Unique and personal touches.” Here are a few tips to make your bookmark stand out from the rest:

  1. Use unconventional materials: Instead of using plain paper, try using different materials such as fabric, wood, or even recycled materials. This will make your bookmark visually interesting and one-of-a-kind.
  2. Incorporate interactive elements: Consider adding a small pocket or flap to your bookmark to insert a surprise message or a small trinket. This will make your bookmark interactive and memorable.
  3. Use personal references: Add a personal touch to your bookmark by incorporating elements that are significant to you, such as your favorite quote, symbol, or image. This way, your bookmark will be not only unique but also meaningful to you.
  4. Experiment with different shapes and sizes: Instead of the standard rectangular bookmark, try making yours in a different shape or size. This can add visual interest and make your bookmark stand out.
  5. Combine different techniques: You can also make your bookmark unique by combining techniques such as painting, calligraphy, collage, or embroidery. This will create a multi-dimensional effect and make your bookmark truly one-of-a-kind. 
  6. Add a personal touch: Sometimes, simply adding your own signature or initials to your bookmark can make it unique and special. This can also be a great way to personalize bookmarks if you make them gifts for friends or family. 

How to Host a Bookmark Contest?

Hosting a bookmark contest is an effective way to promote reading and encourage creativity in students. The process involves inviting students to design their own bookmarks and awarding prizes for the most imaginative and appealing entries. Here is a step-by-step guide to hosting a successful bookmark contest:

Step 1: Define the Rules and Guidelines

The first step in hosting a bookmark contest is to clearly define the rules and guidelines. This includes determining the age group that will be eligible, any specific themes or requirements for the bookmark designs, the deadline for entries, and the criteria that will be used for judging the submissions. These guidelines should be communicated clearly and posted in a visible location, such as a school bulletin board or website.

Step 2: Promote the Contest

The success of a bookmark contest depends on the participation of students. To generate interest, the contest should be promoted through a variety of channels, such as flyers, social media, and announcements in school newsletters and assemblies. It can also be helpful to involve local libraries or bookstores in promoting the contest, as they may be willing to display posters or distribute entry forms.

Step 3: Collect Entries and Organize Judging

Once the submission deadline has passed, the entries can be collected and organized for judging. Entries can be divided into categories based on age groups or other criteria and assigned to a panel of judges who can evaluate the designs based on the established criteria. Judges should be chosen carefully for their ability to evaluate artistic creativity as well as technical skill.

Step 4: Award Prizes and Recognition

After the judging process is complete, the winning entries should be announced and prizes awarded. Prizes can include books, gift certificates, or other incentives that promote reading and creativity. It is also important to recognize all participants for their effort and hard work by displaying all entries in a prominent location, such as a hallway or library.

10 Amazing Prize Ideas for Bookmark Contest

Look, as a part of any contest, you need to give some prizes to the winners. So, want some prize ideas? Here, I have ten amazing bookmark contest prize ideas.   

#1. Customized Reading Accessories

Offer winners a set of customized reading accessories like a high-quality reading light, personalized bookends, and a handmade book sleeve. These thoughtful, reader-centric prizes will be both useful and cherished, enhancing the overall reading experience.

#2. Bookstore Gift Cards

A classic yet always appreciated prize, bookstore gift cards allow winners to choose their next great read. It encourages further reading and exploration of new authors and genres.

#3. Premium Art Supplies

For those who love creating as much as they love reading, a set of premium art supplies can be an amazing prize. High-quality pens, markers, paints, or drawing paper would not only reward their creativity but also inspire future artistic projects.

#4. E-Reader or Tablet

An e-reader or tablet is a perfect prize for book lovers in the digital age. Offering convenience, portability, and access to thousands of ebooks, this prize is ideal for tech-savvy readers and those who enjoy reading on the go.

#5. Subscription to Literary Magazines or Journals

A year’s subscription to a renowned literary magazine or journal can be a unique and inspiring prize. It helps winners stay updated with contemporary literature, book reviews, and literary essays, fueling their passion for reading and writing.

#6. A Set of Collector’s Edition Books

Collector’s edition books, known for their aesthetic and intrinsic value, make fantastic prizes. Whether it’s a beautifully illustrated version of a classic novel or a signed edition of a modern bestseller, these editions can be treasured for years to come.

#7. Online Course for Creative Writing or Art

Reward winners with the opportunity to enhance their skills by enrolling them in an online course. Whether it’s creative writing, graphic design, or another form of artistic expression, this prize offers personal and professional growth.

#8. Book-Themed Merchandise

T-shirts, tote bags, mugs, and other merchandise featuring famous literary quotes, characters, or book-related humor can be delightful prizes. They offer a fun and functional way for winners to showcase their love of books.

#9. An Exclusive Book Club Membership

Offering an exclusive membership to a local or online book club can be a fantastic prize. It not only provides access to a community of fellow book lovers but also stimulates engaging discussions and deepens their understanding of different texts.

#10. Custom Bookmark Collection

Finally, a custom-made collection of bookmarks, perhaps even featuring the winning designs of the contest, makes for a personal and thematic prize. This can include bookmarks made from different materials such as wood, metal, or fabric, each crafted with exceptional care and creativity.

Read also: Competition prize ideas for students

FAQs on Bookmark Contest Ideas

Is running a bookmark contest expensive?

No, running a bookmark contest can be done on a tight budget if you plan and use cost-effective materials like recycled paper or digital submissions. It may cost you around $100-$200 to cover printing and promotion expenses. You can also ask for sponsorships from local businesses to cover the costs of prizes and supplies.

Can I use the winning designs for commercial purposes?

No, you cannot use the winning designs for any commercial purposes unless stated otherwise in your contest rules. Clarify this with contestants beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings. However, you can use the designs for promotional purposes, such as displaying them in your library or on your website.

How do I choose a judging panel for my bookmark contest?

You can choose judges from your local community, such as librarians, artists, or educators. It is essential to select judges with experience evaluating artistic creativity and technical skills. You can also consider creating a diverse panel of judges to provide a well-rounded perspective on the submitted designs.

How many categories should I have for my bookmark contest?

The number of categories will depend on the number of entries and the criteria for judging. It is best to keep it simple with a few categories, such as age groups or themes, to avoid overwhelming judges and making the contest too complicated.

Can I run a bookmark contest online? 

Yes, absolutely! An online contest allows for greater participation and is more convenient for both contestants and organizers. You can use social media platforms or online submission forms to collect entries, and virtual judging eliminates the need for physical meetings. However, ensure that you have a secure system in place to protect copyrighted designs and the personal information of contestants.  


You have some amazing bookmark contest ideas. By following all the steps and offering unique and attractive prizes, you can make your contest a fun and rewarding experience for all involved. So go ahead and start planning your own bookmark contest today! 

So what are you waiting for? Get started with your own bookmark contest and watch the creativity and passion of young readers come to life. Happy bookmark designing!

Julia Nancy
Julia Nancy

I have vast experience arranging online voting contests for hundreds of clients worldwide in the last 8 years. I also helped countless clients to win their online competitions. Here, on royalvotes.com, I am just sharing knowledge from my experiences. If you need any help regarding the online contest, email me at julia@royalvotes.com