DIY for Bookworms: Make A Dangling Bookmark

DIY Dangling Bookmark: For A Leisurely Weekend at Home

Hi, Lovelies!

If you’re thinking of spending a leisurely weekend at home reading books, I hope you’ll love this easy DIY dangling bookmark project as much as I do!

A few days ago, I was binge-watching some YouTube videos from Traveler’s Notebook community and ended up in Ali Brown‘s channel—where she made a tutorial on making dangling bookmarks for her journals.

After creating mine (which I loved), I realized that this can actually be a great bookmark not only for my journal, but also for the books I’m reading! I’m the kind of person who reads multiple books at a time, so a bookmark always comes in handy.

However, regular bookmarks frustrate me because: 1) they slip and fall easily from the book inside my bag; 2) slipping the bookmarks in and out when I travel caused me to misplace the bookmarks or end up losing them; and 3) sometimes when I finished reading a book, I accidentally left a bookmark between the pages, and couldn’t find this bookmark until one day I reread the book again and voila—my ‘missing’ bookmark was there!

I realized that dangling bookmarks solve those problems: 1) they don’t slip and fall easily; 2) I don’t have to slip the bookmark in and out because I can just read the book while the bookmark is dangling right there, looking pretty; and 3) because the bookmark is dangling from the page, I would definitely notice it and take it out before storing the finished book—no more ‘missing’ bookmark hidden between the pages of a long-forgotten book!

So, I decided to create several dangling bookmarks for the books I’m reading this month (will add the list down below). They are so easy to make, and I even make some as gifts for my fellow bookworms!

Dangling Bookmark: Tools + Supplies + How-to

Basically, you only need:

  • a  string (this is the one I use; I love it because the knot is very tight and it has been treated with wax)
  • some charms, beads, or broken accessories you can upcycle
  • a pair of scissors

That’s it!

So, basically, what you need to do is measure the length of your bookmark. Sure, there are different sizes of books; but usually, I only make two different lengths: for the paperback size and the hardcover size. These are the two sizes of books I mostly read anyway.

Just measure the length so you can have the desired dangling effect once the bookmark is slipped between the pages.

After that, add some charms or beads to the end of each string, and tie a loose knot. Insert the dangling bookmark between your book’s pages and adjust the length when necessary. When you’re happy, tighten the knot. And just like that, you have your dangling bookmark.

Now, you can slip the string between the first page of the book and the page you’re currently reading. Bring the string close to the binding of your book, and it will rest there nicely while you’re reading; and it won’t bother you at all.

Dangling Bookmark: Use What You Have!

I didn’t buy the charms on my dangling bookmarks. Most of them came from broken accessories that I liked so much, but because they were broken, I couldn’t wear them anymore. I kept them in my drawer thinking that one day I would fix them, but of course, it never happened.

So, I’m happy that they can get a second life!

This bird bookmark, for instance, came from a broken earring I got years ago. Some others came from broken bracelets and from my mother’s beads collection.

So, why don’t you check your drawer and see what kind of charms or beads you can use to make your own dangling bookmark? (If you don’t have any, you can also get some charms from here.)

Let me know if you tried to make a dangling bookmark this weekend! Feel free to share some pictures of your dangling bookmark and tag me if you like!

I assure you that you’ll have a pleasant weekend making your own dangling bookmark, and read your book while the bookmark is dangling pretty between the pages!

Hanny Kusumawati




The books I’m currently reading:

  • After Midnight by Rainbow Rowell (just finished it today!)
  • Balik Kampung 
  • Lotus by Lijia Zhang
  • Kebaya Tales by Lee Su Kim
  • Sales Mind: 48 Tools to Help You Sell by Helen Kensett
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (reread)
  • Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (reread)
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  • A Journey Through the Heart of A Pig by Johnny Lloyd (reread)
You might have noticed some links to Tokopedia e-commerce site in this post, but this is NOT a sponsored post. Personally, I love using the site to get my craft supplies for a bargain, so maybe you want to check it out.

Journaling 101: How to Start Journaling Your Life

Hello, there.

If you are following me on Instagram, you might have known that this year, I’ve been picking up a lot of creative projects in my spare time. Or maybe, I have really positioned my creative life on the top of my priority list. I started to pick up some of the things I have abandoned before, including painting, crafting, creating art, and journaling. Interestingly, these are the things I have always enjoyed doing when I was little.


I have filled in several journals (from cover to cover, around 15 books all in all) in my life, especially during my teenage years. I always believed that writing keeps me sane, and journaling helps me navigating my chaotic life during many of my coming-of-age episodes.

When blogging came into the picture, I started using it as a platform for me to post my chaotic thoughts, building what might later turn out to be a ‘digital journal’. However, I have to admit that I miss the act of journaling on a physical notebook: seeing the way my handwriting changes, seeing the tear-stained pages, or festive fonts on celebratory days. There are certain emotions that digital platform—like blogs, or even Facebook Memories—could not evoke in me; the way a physical journal could.

These days, when I flipped some of my teenage journals, I could also remember those happy days of going to a stationery store with my mother to pick a new book. I could still feel the giddy feeling, the excitement, and the confusion of having to make decisions upon seeing those beautiful books and diaries. In the end, I could only pick one—the one that ended up coming home with me: becoming the source of my anger, sadness, happiness, and frustrations.

This month, I picked up journaling again, diligently. I got myself a Midori Traveler’s Notebook that I had been eyeing for more than 3 years now (always postpone yourself from buying things immediately; this is how you know if you really want something!); and started writing. I also have my daily bullet journal on the side (a cheap notebook I bought at Miniso), but the Traveler’s Notebook soon becomes my mood-lifter journal (the one you see in this post, where I collect things that can lift up my mood) and my travel journal (because those pictures and mementos got lost in the digital world).

I also started journaling while scrapbooking and making collages; then learning how to press flowers to be pasted on my mood-lifter journal. It feels so good to finish a spread and re-reading my life as I flipped through the pages.

Do you think you’d like to start a habit of journaling as well?


If you’re thinking of starting a journal or documenting your life in a creative way, here are some tips I have for you:

1. Start with a thin + cheap journal/notebook, and fill it in from cover to cover.

Don’t make a mistake of investing too much before picking up a new hobby. Try it out first. Who knows, maybe you don’t like it, maybe it’s not for you, maybe you lose interest quickly. If you want to start journaling, just pick up a notebook you already have (you can redecorate the cover and the pages) or get a cheap and thin notebook (around 48 pages).

Once you have this book, fill it in from cover to cover with anything: words, quotes, pictures, thoughts, candy wrappers… anything. But, finish the book. It may take you one day, one week, or one year. It doesn’t matter. The goal is to finish it. If you can fill it in from cover to cover, it’s a sign that you’re in for the journaling journey.

Only then, allow yourself to get a new journal you’ve been in love with.

2. Start with anything but a bullet/daily journal.

Keeping a bullet/daily journal can be a daunting task because you feel as if you need to write on it every single day (actually, you don’t have to—but I’ll talk about my own bullet journal style another day).

The original system, however, works beautifully when we are committed to logging in our notes on a daily basis. For me, the downside was the feeling of ‘failure’ when I missed a few days—leaving a gaping hole in my bullet journal. Somehow, there is a feeling of ‘ruining it’ and the feeling can linger for quite some time, making me feel somehow demotivated.

Or maybe that’s just me.

But if you’re also the kind of person who would feel that way, don’t start with a bullet/daily journal. Try to keep a journal that you can fill in whenever you feel inspired; something that won’t burden you with daily commitment.

I would suggest turning your 48-page journal/book into:

  • A gratitude journal. Where you list down all the things that make you feel grateful. You can also paste gift wrappers from a gift you received, pictures of your friends and families, as well as writing down happy events/moments in your life.
  • A mood-lifter journal. Where you can collect things that lift up your mood, like your favorite songs, quotes from a book you love, pictures that evoke a happy feeling inside of you, a letter from a lover, pictures from your last traveling journeys… anything. The idea is to have a collection of things that will make you smile when you see it again in years to come.
  • A dream journal. Where you can dream and design your ideal life. What would you be like? What would you do? Who are you with? Where would you be? How would you feel? It’s amusing to play this game and start filling the journal with your vision of an ‘ideal life’. Don’t forget to include every aspect of your life: family and friends, career and study, spirituality, health, and many more. Isn’t it nice to flip the pages of this journal every morning, to remind you of where you’re heading in life?
  • A learning journal. Where you can write down the lessons you’ve learned in life. These lessons can be an experience you’ve been through, an advice from someone you respect, a quote that speaks to you from a book, a movie with a certain message that is relevant to your situation, or simply new things you learned from the Internet.
  • A letter journal. Where you can write unsent letters to different people in your life. If you tend to avoid confrontations and like to repress your feelings, writing an unsent letter is a great way to channel your feelings and say the things you wish you could say. Or, you could also write a letter to a singer you like, a movie star you adore, a random guy you’ve seen at a coffee shop, a great-great-great grandmother you’ve never known. Let your imagination go wild.

Surely, the ideas are endless. But you got the point. Start a journal that doesn’t need your daily commitment, yet. At least, not until you’re ready to commit. The goal is, again, to fill in your book from cover to cover! The feeling of completion is a great feeling that will get your confidence-level up when you want to take up daily journaling later on.

3. Find a friend or a community.

Picking up journaling as a (potential) hobby doesn’t have to be a lonely feat. You can find some friends who love journaling and organize a Journaling Day-out where you compete to fill in your 48-page journal as fast as you can. Or find some videos on YouTube to get your dose of inspiration; and follow people who journal—just like you. Being surrounded by people who share the same interests with you (even online) can make you feel motivated and inspired.


Fill in that 48-page journal however you like it. Don’t think too much. Take it as a personal project, as a practicing canvas. You don’t need to show it to anyone. Treat it as your experimental journal, to see how you’re approaching the art of journaling.

Get yourself used to making mistakes. Don’t worry about smeared pages, crumpled edges, blotted ink… remember, your task is only to fill in your journal from cover to cover. Just let yourself loose, and be honest. Pour your thoughts and feelings on the pages. The more you journal and make mistakes, strangely, you will gain more confidence. The more you hate the spread or the pages you’re working on, the more you’ll know what you like.

One day, there will be a time when you’re working on a spread in your journal and love it. Maybe it’s not perfect, but you feel like: this is it. And that’s usually the day when you know that you’re ready to take journaling as a new hobby.

Until then, your life is a story.
Write it down.

Hanny Kusumawati



PS: I am conducting a reader’s survey on this blog here. If you have time, would you kindly help me to fill it in? I need to hear from you! :*

Bali Body Care: 7 of My Most Favorite Body Care Products from Bali

After spending more than 5 years going back and forth to Bali (well, Ubud, to be exact), I have finally found some of my most favorite body care products that are made in Bali. I had a great amount of time illustrating them as well, so here are 7 of Bali body care products I personally love!


I have been a fan of their solid perfumes for years! Each one comes in a small tin can that can be easily slipped into my wallet, jeans’ pocket, or handbag. I always bring one with me during international flights as well (due to security checking, it’s too much of a hassle to have liquid perfume in my bag).

However, what I love the most about their series of solid perfume is the soft, faint, and fresh fragrance. Every time I smell it, I feel as if I have just gotten out of a shower. Rose, Jasmine, and Frangipani are also some of my favorite fragrance from their collections. However, the Bergamot is currently my favorite!


I love spraying Balipura Auric Spray as face/body mist after exposing myself to the hot Balinese sun. Well, actually, this one is ‘marketed’ as a ‘healing spray’: made from holy water, blessed by a Balinese priest, and infused with crystals. Thus it helps to ‘cleanse’ your aura.

Despite this backstory, I simply love the way this spray feels on my skin; as well as its muted fragrance. Pure Love has always been my favorite fragrance. Besides, who doesn’t need a bit of pure love every now and then?


This mineral deodorant has been my life-saver! In principle, I do not like gelly/liquidy deodorant with fragrances. I prefer the powdery ones, but most of the times, they stain my clothes. Dukha Sukha is a mineral deodorant without fragrance (although they come in three types: pale pink-Soothe, pale yellow-Glow, and pale green-Fresh).

To use it, simply wet the mineral with water, and use it like you would use a usual roll-on deodorant. And I have to tell you that this deodorant has helped me to clear the dark skin underneath my armpit; due to shaving. After a year of using it, I was surprised to see that my armpit’s skin has returned to its original shade! This deodorant is quite expensive but it can actually last for about a year.


Utama Spice has always been my go-to brand for essential oils. First, because they are working with local farmers. Second, because their price is quite reasonable. Third, because their oil is not too thick or more diluted than the more expensive (or serious) brands. For me, these reasons are enough to choose their essential oils for casual use.

If I have to choose one essential oil, Lavender would be it! I can use it to cure acne/pimples, repel mosquitoes, make a body spray, or put a few drops of it on my pillow for a good night’s sleep. (I also love to use this oil as a vaginal wash!). Don’t forget to dilute your essential oil with other carrier oil/water before using it!


I love virgin coconut oil and I am not too picky about it. Most of the times, any brand will do. However, Drop Bali is definitely my favorite. Not only because it comes in a beautiful glass bottle (with a pipette!), but also because of its smooth texture and faint coconut fragrance. It feels as if their coconut oil is being absorbed more quickly when I applied it to my skin.

I use virgin coconut oil as body lotion, toothpaste, face/make-up cleanser, moisturizer, scrub (add some salt or coffee powder), lip balm, hair conditioner, and after-sun lotion. Sometimes, I also use it for oil-pulling. It is very versatile!


This face cream does magic to my skin! I use it at night, before going to bed–and I always find my skin so supple and moist in the morning upon waking up. True, this face cream is very oily. Truth to be told, the moment after you’re applying it, your face will shine like fries. For this reason, I only use it before bed. But maybe this ‘oily’ feature is what gives the cream its magic?

The face cream contains some Ayurvedic ingredients like Amla and Tulsi oil. Amla (gooseberry) is believed to be rich in antioxidants and vitamin C; thus can help to tone and tighten our skin, make it firm and soft. Tulsi (sweet basil) oil has anti-inflammatory property to deal with skin irritations and acne. It also has a soothing and relaxing effect.

To date, this is the cheapest face cream I’ve ever used in my life. I’ve been using this (and only this, without other products apart from coconut oil and sunblock) for my face for more than 4 years now.


I love Bali Alus’ massage oil because of its faint fragrance and its smooth feeling when applied to the skin. The oil helps my fingers to slide smoothly when I massage my shoulder, arms, or legs early in the morning, or before my evening shower.

Cempaka (champaca) is my favorite fragrance so far because it truly reminds me of the smell of Bali! Sometimes I also use it as a moisturizer before bed, dabbing it a bit on my knee, elbow, and the sole of my feet.

Where can you find these Bali body care products?

Some grocery shops in Bali, like Bali Buda, Coco Supermarket, or Down to Earth Market have it. Or, the best way to get them is by ordering them online via your favorite e-commerce platform!

Hanny Kusumawati