How to Make Personalized Bookends - Easy and Budget Friendly

9 Materials
2 Hours

Recently while browsing Pinterest, I’ve noticed so many different types of bookends for some reason so, of course, I thought about making my own. I started with a simple pine board and some small mdf letters.
To get the size of the base, we measured the MDF letters which are 5″ tall and the A is a bit bigger than the Z at 3.5″ wide. I wanted the base to be a bit taller than the letters so we cut the board like this using a chop saw.
I sanded down each piece to get a smooth finish and then glued the pieces together with wood glue. I let them dry and then we used the brad nail gun to attach them permanently. You could also use a hand saw for this.
Now that I had the base, it was time to add the letters. Here’s where that inspiration comes in. This is the scrapbook paper I saw at Michaels and fell in LOVE with. The colors and pattern are just so pretty.
I turned the paper over and traced the letters on the back. First I found a spot on the paper where I would get the most of the flowers on each letter.
I cut out the letters from the scrapbook paper with my scissors being really careful with the center of the A.
I glued the scrapbook paper letters to each mdf letter using simple craft glue. If some of the paper was showing on the edges, I used my Xacto knife to trim it up. Don’t forget to use a cutting mat when doing this.
I chose a shade of lilac out of the paper and mixed up some craft paint to match.
I grabbed a really soft sandpaper and roughed up the edges of the letter just a bit and then used my hot glue to adhere the letters to the base.
And here they are all finished...
For more one this project and other DIY's, visit my blog at or on facebook at
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

31 Coastal Decor Ideas Perfect For Your Home
23 DIY Wall Clocks That'll Transform Your Whole Room
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
The Easiest Ways to Grow a Bumper Crop of Tomatoes
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
20 Easy Concrete Projects You Absolutely CAN Do!
22 Ideas To Make Your Terra Cotta Pots Look Oh-So-Pretty
31 Coastal Decor Ideas Perfect For Your Home
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
31 Super Cute & Easy DIY Ideas For Your Kitchen
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
31 Space Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
15 Quick and Easy Gift Ideas Using Buttons
11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Leslie
    on May 5, 2018

    What are the exact measurements of each piece?

    • Leslie Williams Shannon
      on May 1, 2019

      Another Leslie here - LOL - also, I think the instructions should point out that when you're cutting the letters out of the BACK of the scrapbook paper, you're going to have to reverse the letter when you lay it on the back side of the paper. The "A" wouldn't matter, but the "Z" would be backwards.... If you trace it on the FRONT of the paper, it wouldn't matter....

  • Glenna
    on May 13, 2018

    This isn't a question about your fine project. I LOVE the finished book-ends. Would a couple of bricks work attaching those letters with hot glue, laying the bricks flat, not upright? I don't have tools, etc. for cutting wood. You might not be able to visualize my idea, but that's o.k.

    • Jeanne Martin
      on May 3, 2019

      I use at least quart sized jars (or bigger) filled with rocks I've collected for years along the Great Lakes shores. I take the time to fit the prettier ones on the outside edges so they can be seen (special ones like agates & petosky stones). I fill the jars with water and a couple of drops of bleach. Make sure the lids are sealed tight. They are pretty heavy and work great as bookends. Mine have never slipped on the shelf but if you are worried it will slip just glue a circle of rubbery shelf liner to the bottom. If you don't have a big collection of rocks the Dollar Tree sells bags of nice rocks for a $1 each or you could use the glass gems they sell, also for a $1 a bag. Marbles would work too. The bleach keeps algae from growing but if it does, just rinse out your jar and rocks and refill.

  • Maurice M. McKercher
    on Nov 6, 2018

    +Could you glue a piece of sandpaper to the bottom to make it less slippery?

    • Loisjean
      on May 15, 2019

      Please note to people who are new to crafting with letters: REVERSE your letter for one copy of each letter so when you have the letter in the correct position, the one of your paperthat is reversed will have the pretty side out when finished.

Join the conversation

2 of 45 comments
  • Giselle
    on May 3, 2019

    I may actually make these! My daughter is off to university in the fall and I’m sure she could use some book ends!

  • Grandma Lyn
    on May 3, 2019

    I’m going to make these. My granddaughter is going to college this fall also.

Your comment...