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Lovely DIY Letter Bookends

Letter Bookends

Who can resist a DIY project that’s both useful and beautiful?? Definitely not me! These fabulously functional DIY Letter Bookends are my new favorite home decor item.

Letter bookends are very trendy right now in home decor, and can easily cost anywhere from $30 to $60! But for about $10 in materials you can make your own customized DIY versions. It’s a great afternoon project!

DIY Letter Bookends

You’ll need:

DIY Letter Bookends

Start by using the X-acto knife to carefully cut the front side of your letter off. Remove the front, and take out any filler material that may be inside.

DIY Letter Bookends

Inspect the inside of the letter for any gaps, and use your hot glue gun to seal the holes. You don’t want sand spilling everywhere! :-)

Hot Glue Tip: After years of singeing my poor fingertips when using my glue gun, I finally got wise and bought some protective Finger Caps! Now I can’t believe I ever dared to use a glue gun without them!

DIY Letter Bookends

When any holes are sealed off, fill the body of your letter with sand. It took about one pound of sand to fill each letter.

DIY Letter Bookends

Next, replace the front of your letter and use your hot glue gun to glue it back into place. Seal it as completely as possible with the glue.

DIY Letter Bookends

Now it’s time to cover the letter with your paper of choice. I did this by tracing each side of the letter in sections, then cutting out the pieces I traced and hot gluing them to the letter. I chose to leave a 1/2″ margin around each section, so that I could glue the excess down around the edges so that there wouldn’t be any visible gaps in the paper. It took a little bit more time, but I think it was definitely worth it!

DIY Letter Bookends

Quick Tip: Cover all of the interior and exterior side surfaces, as well as the top and bottom surfaces, before covering the front and back. Since the front and back surfaces are the feature, putting them on last will cover up and edges, flaps, or mishaps. (It happens!) :-)

DIY Letter Bookends

Once your letters are decorated with the paper, all that’s left to do is give them a quick coat or two of Mod Podge. The Mod Podge will give them a glossy, sleek finish, and it will make your bookends more durable. Use a fan or sponge brush to apply it to all the surfaces, making sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies.

Letter Bookends

Then let them dry for an hour or so, and they’re ready for their bookshelf debut!

Letter Bookends


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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • I see the balance of these letters but am curious about some other letters that might need some additional support for themselves and the books. Any advice or reassurance ???

    • You could glue a thin piece of slat board or a wide popsicle stick on the on the bottom of them if you are worried about them falling over. You can find them at any craft store.

  • Lovely idea. Already thinking of Christmas gifts…along with a book! Wish there were a solid alternative to sand. Hate the idea of them being knocked off a shelf and breaking open with sand everywhere. Also wondering how well they would hold books if someone had a name with a “minimal contact” letter such as a “V”. Can you tell me approximately how many sheets of scrapbook paper you used so I make sure I purchase all at once, please? Thank you.

    • My first thought was plaster of paris. But I’m not sure what that might do to the cardboard before it dries.
      Maybe you could line the inside of the letter with plastic wrap (Saran Wrap) before pouring in the plaster.

      Just thinking out loud…….

    • You could always use rice in them if you are worried about them breaking open. A lot easier to clean up if they do. My Mom would use it to make these cute frogs when she was alive. Worked great and it’s cheap. I have had one of the frogs for about 35 yrs and never had problems with “bugs” getting in the rice, if any of you are worried about that.

    • They are pretty well-sealed with the mod-podge. I would think that it would take more than just falling off the shelf to break open. I think you would have to throw them! A V should work just fine, because the weight of sand would hold it in place.

  • Cute. I’d also worry about these getting knocked over and sand spilling all over the place. With my young nieces and nephews I can see them knocking one over.

  • What about just using wooden letters instead? No need for sand and it would be heavier for the books. You’d still need to do something for other letters like the V but you could put a small piece of wood along the bottom of it.

  • Wondering if cutting a small hole in the back to add the sand wouldn’t save some time (and the likelihood of it breaking apart should it fall over ). LOVE THESE !! I am definitely making those soon. Will let you know if the hold idea works. Thanks for another great post!

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