DIY Book Display Rack

Here are the details on how to make the book display rack I’ve been showing you on my Instagram account. I’ve designed this to hold 4 copies of my book The Wicked Wolves of Windsor and other Fairytales (which is a 5 x 8 inch book, at about 258 pages thick).

The stand is part of my booth/table display for future public appearances such as public speaking, booths at conventions, and author book signing tables.

If your book is larger you may need to adjust the scale of the shelf size, although I do think this will fit a 6 x 9 book. I designed the size to showcase my book cover title on both levels, and for my author’s name on the front bottom shelf to be clearly visible.

I designed this to fit 4 books on purpose (there is storage behind it for easy re-stocking access). Seeing stacks and stacks of books on a table is not attractive to a buyer so showcase your cover, while putting extra books in a tub hidden under your table to re-stock as needed.

This is about sales psychology – you want buyers to think there aren’t enough books and if they want one they need to buy it now (scarcity), and you want to give them a pleasant buying experience (think theme and atmosphere especially when deciding the color for your stand).


Wood needed:

3 segments of 2×4 board, each 6 in. long:
[A] 1 – beveled along one side
[B] 2 – beveled at one end

3 rectangular pieces of paneling:
(note by using paneling the end display will be lighter than if you used thicker wood).

[C] 6 in. x 10 in.
[D] 6 in. x 12 ¾ in.
[E] 6 in. x 10 ½ in.
[F] 2 side pieces of paneling, each cut from approx 13 x 13 in. square
[G] 1 – 6 ½ in. piece of decorative molding, at least 4 in. wide.

4 narrow strips of wood (¼ x ½ in.) or thin quarter-round (¼ in.).
These are hidden inside, so can be made from scraps.
[H] 2 – 7 in. long
[K] 2 – 9 in. long

Also needed:
1 in. buglehead (drywall) screws, at least 6
small finishing nails, at least 8
Wood glue
Sanding paper (fine to superfine)
Spray paint (or whatever paint/finish you desire).


The instructions may look daunting at first, but it is pretty simple! Letters are given on the parts so you know which piece goes with which.

The three 2×4 pieces, before beveling
For [A], set your blade angle at 20 degrees and cut along one long side
This is how [A] looks after beveling
For the two [B] pieces, shave 1/4 inch off each side so the corners are square and the width is exactly 3 in.
Then bevel one end of each [B] piece at 20 degrees, to look like this.
Cut [C], [D], [E], [F], [H], and [K] to the sizes given above.
You will not cut the side panels [F] until after assembling [A] – [E].
Glue and clamp together [A] and [C], with the bevel at the bottom. Let dry.
Glue and clamp together the two [B]s side by side, and glue [D] to the back with the bevel at the bottom.
Another view of the [B]s and [D] together.
Allow to dry, usually overnight or for several hours.
Put two screws into the [D] to secure the connection to [B].
Make sure the screw heads are sunken slightly below the wood surface.
Attach [C] to [A] in a similar fashion.
Attach [E] to the bottom of [B] using glue, and two screws driven in from the bottom.
Glue the [A] assembly to the front of the [B] assembly, so it sits flat.
Clamp well and allow to dry, usually overnight.
Use two screws to secure [C] onto [B].
Make sure the screw heads are slightly below the wood surface,
so they won’t scratch your books.
The piece in front is what you have at this stage before the side pieces are mounted.
To mark out the [F] side panel, position the unit on the panel so the front and uprights line up with the grain (to reduce chance of splinters)
Draw the outline of the unit on the panel, for the front and bottom.
Dont worry too much about getting all the way into the corners!
But be sure to mark the tip of the top and back end.
Use a straightedge and square to sharpen and clarify the lines, and draw a diagonal connecting top point and the end of the back.
You should end up with a shape similar to this.
Cut out the shape!
Be careful about notching in the inside corners.
Cut short on the inside corners, then finish them with a file for a clean look.
You should end up with a side panel [F] like this. Sand all the edges and corners.
Flip the side piece over and mark and cut out a mirror image, for the other side.
position both sides, glue and clamp.
Be sure to clamp well all along the edges, to insure a solid piece.
Allow to dry, overnight is best.
Along the inside back edges, glue in the thin strips [H] and [K] to reinforce the long panel-to-panel joints.
Allow to dry.
Unpainted display side view.
Unpainted display back view.

I spray-painted mine black, about 3-5 coats. The painting process might “raise the grain” and you can get a fuzzy appearance to the wood’s surface. If you experience this lightly sand the surface smooth and paint again.

I finished off the molding with a product that is called rub-and-buff. It comes in a gold or silver and can be found at arts and crafts stores like Michael’s.

I also like spraying on a top coat sealer. This may dull the color of your paint so be aware of that.

I’ve also made a matching bookmark holder. I will post the directions for that at a later date so stay tuned!

BTW I’ve been a bit behind these last 14 days – just know I’m working on the final drafts and edits for my next book Never Date a Siren! I’ll be announcing a need for ARC (advanced reader copy) readers and reviewers sometime next week! Be sure to sign up to my newsletter to get the announcement and have a chance to read the book before it is published!

Blog posting should return to normal next week, starting with a new Book Wordy podcast!

2 thoughts on “DIY Book Display Rack

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