Learn to cut wood veneer on a Cricut cutting machine with this fun, customizable wooden bookmark tutorial!
Did you know that you can cut wood on your Cricut? Yes, the Cricut Makers can do it, but even the Cricut Explores can do it. You just need to use the right wood and the right blade. I’m going to show you exactly how to do that! And to demonstrate, we’re going to make these super cool wooden bookmarks!
Watch me cut and assemble wood veneer and make wood bookmarks in my step-by-step video!
The best wood to use in a Cricut cutting machine is SUPER THIN wood. That means things like wood veneer or very soft and thin woods like basswood and balsawood. And here’s the important part — the wood needs to be 1/16th of an inch or LESS in thickness. That’s 1.5 mm or less. This is really quite thin!
Now basswood and balsawood are pretty light-colored woods, so if you want a different look than that, go for wood veeners. You can get wood veneers in a wide range of finishes and wood veneers the easiest woods to cut. Veneer will also give you the sharpest cuts. I made these bookmarks from different wood veneers! And they turned out SO good.
Whatever you do, do NOT use plywood in your Cricut, even if it is one-sixteenth of an inch think — it will not work well, and you’ll waste material and time.
To show you how to cut wood, I’m going to use Cricut Natural Wood Veneer in Maple and Walnut and make these gorgeous wooden bookmarks!
The right blade for cutting wood veneer like this is the Deep Point Blade that comes in a black housing like shown below. They don’t come default with any Cricut cutting machines, so you’ll need to get it separately. You may see it called a Deep Cut blade, but so long as it is in this black housing, it’s the same blade. The Deep point blade has a steeper blade angle (60 degrees vs 45 degrees for the other fine point blades) and harder, more durable steel.
Now, if you have a Cricut Maker cutting machine, you CAN use the knife blade to cut thin wood, but it’s important to understand that the knife blade is best for cuts of moderate detail, no smaller than ¾”. This includes the size of the interior cuts. So the width of your cuts should not be smaller than the diameter of a pencil. Our bookmarks have finer details than that, so the knife blade is NOT a good blade for this wood veneer bookmark project.
If you’re cutting basswood or balsa wood on a Maker, you will be encouraged to use the knife blade. If you’re on an Explore, you can’t even use the knife blade, so you’ll want to use the deep point blade and then create a custom material setting with a pressure of at least 330 and 4-8 passes. Check out this tutorial on cutting basswood and balsa wood to learn more!
This is another reason why wood veneer is so great — you can cut wood veneer on both the Maker and Explore with the Deep Cut blade and just four passes. It’s the easiest wood to cut on a Cricut! You can see how well it does with these wood veneer earrings I made — I mean, look at this detail!
Now, to cut wood, it’s also important to use a sticky machine mat, specifically a purple StrongGrip Machine Cutting Mat. It’s super sticky, which is important as wood is very stiff and hard to cut, so it will want to move around more on your mat. For that reason, we also use painter’s tape to keep the wood in place on the mat, and I’ll show you how to put that on your wood properly, too!
And to get that wood stuck onto your mat REALLY well, you’ll also want to use a brayer, which looks like this. You can roll it over your wood to super stick it on the mat!
There’s a few other tools I find useful when cutting wood, such as a craft knife to help clean up the wood after your cut if you need it, a nail file and sandpaper, to smooth your cuts, and a weeding tool to poke out little cuts from your wood.
And those are the basics tools and supplies you need to cut wood on a Cricut!
So let’s dive right into this by making these pretty wooden bookmarks. This is a great starter project for learning how to cut wood. For this project, you just need some glue — such as Super Glue or Tacky Glue, and some ribbon. You can find a list of the exact materials and supplies linked below, as well as my free bookmark designs to use!
Let me show you how easy it is to make these wooden bookmarks with wood veneer on a Cricut cutting machine! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
Materials to Make Wooden Bookmarks
- Wood veneer — I used Cricut Natural Wood Veneer, Cherry, Maple & Walnut (Two (2) sheets/pack, 12″ x 12″)
- Ribbon — I used 1/4″ Organza Ribbon (10-15″ for each bookmark and 1/4″ Grosgrain Ribbon (10-15″ for each bookmark)
- Super Glue
- Painter’s Tape (40″ for each 12″ x 12″ sheet)
- Baby Wipes or Moist Paper Towel
- A method to cut your wood veneer – I used the amazing Cricut Maker 3 but you can also use the original Cricut Maker or any thing in the Cricut Explore Family
- Cricut Deep Point Blade (the one in the black housing)
- Purple Strong Grip Cutting Mat
- Cricut Brayer
- (Optional) Craft knife, such as the Cricut TrueControl Knife Kit (optional)
- (Optional) Cricut Basic Tool Kit: Scissors, Scraper Tool, Spatula, Tweezers, and Weeding Tool
- (Optional) Nail File
- (Optional) Needle File Set
- (Optional) Sandpaper 220 grit or more
- (Optional) Tacky Glue
- (Optional) Fray Check
- Design #319 – My free bookmark SVG/PDF/DXF design files are available in my free resource library – get the password by filling out the form at the bottom of this page
How to Cut Wood Veneer and Make Wooden Bookmarks
- Cricut Natural Wood Veneer, Cherry, Maple & Walnut (Two (2) sheets/pack, 12" x 12")
- 1/4" Organza Ribbon (10-15" for each bookmark)
- 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon (10-15" for each bookmark)
- Gorilla Super Glue
- Painter's Tape (40" for each 12" x 12" sheet)
- Fray Check (optional)
- Aleene's Tacky Glue (optional)
- Baby Wipes or Moist Paper Towel
- (Optional) Font of your choice to personalize the bookmark — I used Tingler Script
- Design #319 - My free Wooden Bookmark designs (available in my free resource library - get the password by filling out the form at the bottom of this page)
- A way to cut your wood veneer — I used the Cricut Maker, but you could also use a Cricut Maker 3 or Explore Series Machines
- Cricut Deep Point Blade
- Cricut Strong Grip Cutting Mat
- Cricut Brayer
- Cricut TrueControl Knife Kit (optional)
- Cricut Basic Tool Kit: Scissors, Scraper Tool, Spatula, Tweezers, and Weeding Tool (optional)
- Nail File (optional)
- Needle File Set (optional)
- Sandpaper 220 grit or more (optional)
STEP 1: GET MY FREE WOODEN BOOKMARKS FILE
First, download Design #319, which is my free Wooden Bookmarks SVG/DXF/PDF from my free resource library. If you're going to cut it on your cutting machine, upload the file to your design software. This is what the Wooden Bookmarks SVG file looks like in Cricut Design Space.
Tip: If you're not sure how to upload an SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space, watch this helpful video training series I made. If you're on an iPhone or iPad, here's how to download and upload SVG files to the Cricut Design Space app.
STEP 2: CUT THE DESIGN
In Design Space, hide any bookmark layers that you do not want to make by clicking the eye icon for that design. I am going to cut all my designs along with some blank bookmarks in a different veneer finish.
The fun part is how you can add your own designs and images to these bookmarks. For example, to add a name to this blank bookmark, begin by clicking Ungroup in the upper right corner so you can work with these bookmarks individually.
Now click on Text over on the left, type in a name, choose a font for it — I'm using Tingler Script — and then move it over onto your bookmark.
You can rotate it to match the bookmark by using the rotate handle in the lower right corner of the text -- if you hold down the shift key as you rotate, it'll rotate into a straight position.
Now select both the bookmark and text by clicking and dragging around it -- you can see just those two are now selected by their highlights in the layer panel on the right -- and click the Attach button at the bottom right. Attaching them together means they'll cut out together in these same positions, and then cut the name right out of the bookmark! So cool!
When you're ready, click Make It in the upper right corner.
If prompted, click "On Mat" and select "Done.”. You will only see this screen if you are using a Cricut Maker 3.
Click "Browse All Materials" to set your base material.
Enter veneer in the search field and hit enter. Select Natural Wood Veneer and then click "Done."
Change the cutting pressure to "More."
Apply a sheet of wood veneer on your StrongGrip cutting mat. Make sure the grain of the wood is going top to bottom (vertical).
Use a brayer to make sure the veneer is securely stuck to the mat.
Finish by applying painter's tape on all four sides of the veneer to prevent it from slipping.
Insert your Deep-Point Blade into your machine.
Load your mat and begin cutting.
Remove the painter's tape from all four sides of the veneer when your cut is complete. Sometimes I use a weeding tool to help lift the end of the painter's tape.
Flip the mat over and carefully roll the mat away from the veneer to release the bookmarks.
Use a spatula tool to help release the pieces from the mat.
The spatula tool is also great at removing those tiny pieces from the mat.
Remove any painter's tape that may remain on the bookmark pieces.
Use a standard nail file or a piece of 220 grit sand paper to smooth the edges of the bookmarks, if necessary.
A small needle file or sand paper is helpful to sand the inner edges of the bookmark.
I use a weeding tool to remove small parts from the cut pieces.
A TrueControl Knife Blade is helpful to cut out pieces that need extra help separating from the veneer.
STEP 3: ASSEMBLE THE WOODEN BOOKMARKS
I am going to show you a couple different ways that I assembled my wooden bookmarks. Let's make my "read" bookmark design first. For this I am using the design with the book design at the bottom along with the word "read".
Add super glue to the back of the word read.
Press the word read to the book design bookmark.
I used a moist baby wipe to press the word onto the bookmark and remove excess glue. You can also use a moist (not wet) piece of paper towel.
For the next wooden bookmark, I am using the flower piece that was cut from the flower bookmark design. Add super glue to the back of the flower.
Press the flower piece onto a blank bookmark.
Blot the flower with a baby wipe or moist paper towel to press it onto the bookmark and remove excess glue.
Next, I am going to create a bookmark using a blank bookmark along with my hearts bookmark design. Add super glue to the back of the heart bookmark.
Place the heart bookmark on top of the blank bookmark. Align eyelet holes and edges.
Continue pressing the two pieces together.
Blot with a baby wipe or moist paper towel to remove excess glue. Continue pressing the two pieces together for a couple minutes so the glue has time to dry.
You can get creative by combining different cut pieces to a blank bookmark. Let's make a bookmark with the dolphin piece and some hearts. Because these pieces are tiny, I am using tweezers to hold the pieces as I apply glue to the back.
Next I am gluing some random heart pieces above the dolphin. Again, using my tweezers to hold the piece while adding glue and to place it onto the blank bookmark.
I used the end of my tweezers to press the tiny heart pieces down for a minute while the glue dried. Use a baby wipe or moist paper towel to remove any excess glue.
I think this looks cute. Time to add some ribbon.
Using Water-Based Glue
Although I am using super glue for the assembly, you could use a water-based craft glue like Aleene's Tacky Glue. The image below shows how the veneer bends when I used a water-based adhesive. This doesn't mean you cannot use this type of glue. I simply flattened the bookmark by pressing it overnight under a few heavy books.
STEP 4: ADD RIBBON
Use the eyelet hole for a tassel, bow, ribbon, etc. You can purchase pre-made tassels, but I used organza and grosgrain ribbons for mine. Measure and cut the ribbon one and one-half to twice the length of the bookmark (about 10-15").
Fold the ribbon in half and push the folded end of the ribbon through the eyelet hole.
Slide the tail ends of the ribbon through the opening of the ribbon that you slid through the eyelet hole and pull tight. If the tails are too long, trim with scissors.
For this bookmark, instead of leaving the tails, I created a bow using organza ribbon.
To protect the tail ends of the ribbon from fraying, you can add Fray Check.
STEP 5: SHOW IT OFF
Below are several different bookmarks that I had fun making using my wooden bookmark designs and different finishes of veneer. I hope you have fun creating your bookmarks.
Each bookmark is 2" x 7".
The font used to make the personalized bookmark for Alexa is Tingler Script
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Answers to Your Questions About Making Wooden Bookmarks
Q: Can I use basswood or balsa wood to make these bookmarks instead of wood veneer?
Yes, but they aren’t as thin as wood veneer and may not make the best bookmarks.
Q: Can I use the knife blade instead of the deep point blade?
You can only use the knife blade if you are making a simple, undecorated bookmark (outer shape only). The interior designs I’ve included on the bookmarks are too intricate for the knife blade to cut properly. Click here to learn more about the Cricut Knife Blade.
Q: I don’t have or can’t get wood veneer. Can I make these bookmarks from any other material?
Yes, you can totally make these bookmarks from cardstock, posterboard, or Kraft board!
Q: How do I personalize these bookmarks with a name?
Simply click on Text on the left side of the screen, type the name, choose a font, rotate the text 90° so it fits on your bookmark (and resize as necessary), then select both the bookmark and your name and click Attach. That’s it!
Get my free SVG files to cut your own wooden bookmarks
I’d love to see your wood veneer projects and all the ways you personalize your bookmarks! Please share a photo in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.