Build a Child’s Book Stand with Initials


What child doesn’t like to see their initials used on things in their room?  Well make it a bookstand that they can really use and might encourage hours of reading!? 

Monograms and initials are stylish decorating items. This free-standing book stand is a great way to display treasured volumes and a trendy initial. As a bonus, it can be finished for a den or office as well as for a child’s room, simply by changing the finishing technique.

Shopping List:

  • 1×12 poplar lumber
  • Finish nails
  • Wood glue
  • Wood putty
  • Desired stain or latex paint
  • Primer appropriate for desired paint or stain
  • Precut wooden letter

Materials on Hand:

  • Circular saw with cutting guide
  • Jigsaw with scroll blade
  • Hammer
  • 150- and 220-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Paint brushes

Project notes:
Using a jigsaw with a scroll blade makes a fine, clean cut that works best for cutting curves.

1. Use the circular saw and cutting guide to cut two pieces of poplar, each 10 x 14 inches.

2. Measure and mark the center top of each board. Note: The center point should be 5 inches, but measure for accuracy and make a note of the measurement. Instructions will refer to 5 inches as the measurement, but use whatever measurement matches the center point of the lumber you are using. From the top mark, measure down 5 inches and mark the board, making sure this mark is square with the top mark. Open the compass to 5 inches and set the point on the second mark. Draw a curve from one side of the board to the top center mark to the second side. Cut out the curve using the jigsaw with a scroll blade. Sand the top curves smooth first with 150-grit and then with 220-grit sandpaper.

3. Use the circular saw and cutting guide to cut two pieces of poplar, each 12 x 5 1/2 inches. Create an L-shape by butt joining the two pieces together along the length using wood glue and finish nails. Let dry

4. Place the L-shaped shelf between the end pieces at a slight angle to hold the books. Drill pilot holes into the shelf ends and attach with glue and finish nails. Let dry.

5. Fill all holes with wood putty. Allow to dry; sand flush. Stain or prime and paint the book stand in the color of your choice.

6. To personalize the shelf, purchase a precut wooden letter. Paint or stain as desired; let dry. Attach the letter to the side of the book stand with wood glue and finish nails; let dry.

7. Apply two coats of polyurethane to finished shelf.

Allow the last coat of polyurethane to dry for at least 24 hours to prevent books from sticking to the stand.

Purchase wood filler that matches the stain and apply it after the stain has dried. The filler goes on flush, which eliminates the need for sanding. Most stain manufacturers provide wood fillers that match their stain product lines.

This is a great beginning wood project that you and your child will enjoy working on together. You can cut the pieces to size and allow your child to do the joining. Both of you can paint and stain. Sounds like a great way to spend a day!


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