I’m one of those people who buy more books than they can read. So yes, I have a ton of books and with each burst of books I order I need new bookmarks because I keep losing them.
Sometimes I make bookmarks because I have a design idea that I can’t resist and sometimes it’s a book I’m reading that inspires a bookmark idea, like these DIY popsicle stick bookmarks. They were inspired by a book I just finished reading called Bringing Up Race – How to raise a kind child in a prejudiced world.
As the book is about race I thought it would be fun to make bookmarks representing the diversity in our world. So I came up with the idea of these DIY hand bookmarks in a range of skin tones and went looking for acrylic paints for the different skin tones. Guess what happened? I couldn’t find any. I searched craft stores, amazon, independent paint brands and the result – nada, zilch, nothing.
Funnily enough this was a point touched upon in the book. Every brand offers ‘flesh’ coloured paints that are all pinky white. Yet we live in a world where ‘flesh’ comes in a range of colours from porcelain to dark chocolate.
It’s something I hadn’t ever thought of before even though I’m brown myself but the book really opened my eyes to so many things like this. And my own experience of not being able to find the paints just hit the point further – I mean there wasn’t even one brand selling them forget about having a choice.
So to make these cute DIY bookmarks I made up my own skin tones. If you want to make them here’s how.
DIY popsicle stick bookmarks
Mix up your paints in the different skin tones or maybe you want to go for your own skin tone. If like me, your family is multicultural, you can make one for each person.
Paint the popsicle stick and the hand shapes on both sides and hot glue the hand to the stick.
I’m no paint expert but I did a few experiments on the skin tones. I got it wrong the first few times because I used black to darken the tones. If there’s one thing I learned it’s that don’t ever use black paint for skin tones.
Instead mix together red, yellow and blue using very little blue as the more blue you use the darker the colour you end up with. You can always add more as you go along but start with less. You’ll end up with a dark brown-ish colour. And then you can experiment from here adding more yellow to lighten and a little bit of white. This is for darker skin tones. For white skin you can simply buy flesh coloured paint.
I highly recommend reading Bringing Up Race as it is eye-opening. Despite the serious topic, the book is an easy read. It’s written by someone I know but that’s not why I’m recommending it. I’m recommending it because it’s so worth reading and you’ll also find some of my own personal experiences of race/racism in there. There is a US version coming out in Spring 2021 but you can still get the current version in the US here – it will be almost identical except that the US version will have more stories from the USA rather than UK.
Maybe make one these bookmarks first to use along with the book. And if you do find paint colours in a range of skin tones, please let me know in the comments below or email me. I’d love to get a set.
And with Christmas coming up these bookmarks will make a cute gift with either this book or any other book your friends and family will like.