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Easy to Build DIY Cookbook Stand

Stop struggling to keep your cookbooks open, build this easy DIY cookbook stand instead!

As the weather turns cold, I find myself in the kitchen more. Problem is, I’m always fighting with my cookbook to stay open… not anymore.

Cooking is way easier with this easy to build DIY cookbook stand.

Cookbook open on a DIY cookbook stand next to the stove.

I don’t tend to collect a lot of things (unless you count my ever growing pile of scrap wood as a collection). But I am obsessed with cookbooks!

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The are just too pretty not to buy and they look so good sprinkled around our kitchen and dining room.

Easy to build cookbook stand can be leaned back as much as you want with the smart kickstand.

But since cooking from cookbooks can be a big pain, most of my cookbooks remain mostly unused. It’s so sad, I know.

So when I was thinking about ideas for handmade gifts for the holidays, I thought about a DIY cookbook stand.

It’s perfect for anyone who loves to cook! And pair it with your new favorite cookbook, or a book made from your favorite recipes, and they will love the handmade sentiment.

Cookbook being held open for hands-free cooking in a DIY cookbook holder.

Even if you are not looking for handmade Christmas gift ideas, this cookbook stand is great!

We’ve already used ours twice this week. It holds a cookbook or a tablet, then folds up to store away when not in use.

If you don’t like to work with plexiglass, check out this modern folding cookbook holder idea.

DIY recipe book stand on the counter next to the cookbook.

And the best thing about this DIY cookbook holder, it is so easy to build! You could whip up a few of these in no time and cross lots of people off your Christmas list.

Plus, if you have a stash of scrap wood, you probably have almost everything you need to make one or two. So grab your nail gun and let’s get to DIYing!

Need more easy DIY gift ideas?

How to Build a Folding Cookbook Stand

Tools & Materials

Recommended Tools:

Supplies:

  • Wood products:
    • (1) 1×1 board, 4′ long
    • (1) 1×3 board, 2′ long
  • 1 1/4″ finishing nails
  • 10″ x 3″ piece of plexiglass
  • 5/8″ wire nails
  • Small hinge
  • Wire hanger
  • Wood glue
  • Stain

Overall Dimensions

The finished cookbook stand is 12″ wide by 9″ tall. When folded up, it is only 2 5/8″ deep, perfect for slipping into a bookshelf next to your cookbooks.

3D sketch of completed cookbook stand with dimensions.

Cut List

Cut out the pieces according to the easy-to-read cut table in the PDF plans.

Button to buy the printable PDF plans for the cookbook stand.

STEP 1- Make the Frame

Cut the top and side pieces from the 1×1 board.

On two of the 7 1/4″ 1×1 boards, drill a 1/2″ deep hole with a 5/64 drill bit (just big enough to insert the end of the wire hanger into).

Drill the hole 1/4″ down from the top and centered on the board.

Step 1: cut 1x1 boards to length.

Cut the base and back leg pieces from the 1×3 board.

In the 6 1/2″ board, cut (3) 1/4″ wide x 1/4″ deep grooves 1″ in from the back and then 1″ apart from each other. Use a router or a table saw to cut the grooves.

If you do not have a router or table saw, you can buy 1/4″ square dowels and cut (3) 2 1/2″ pieces. Attach these to the board where you would have routed the grooves with wood glue and 5/8″ finishing nails.

Step 2: Cut 1x3 boards to length and create places for wire kick-stand to sit.

Using wood glue and 1 1/4″ finishing nails, attach the sides to the top so two are flush with the outer edge and the inner two are centered 3″ apart.

The inner boards will be the boards with the holes drilled in them. Make sure the holes are pointing towards the center.

Step 3: Attach top of cookbook stand.

Attach the 12″ piece of 1×3 to the bottom of the cookbook stand with wood glue and 1 1/4″ finishing nails.

Make sure the back of the 1×1 boards are flush with the back of the 1×3 board.

Step 4: Attach bottom of cookbook holder.

STEP 2- Finish the Frame

Sand and finish the cookbook holder.

Since I used scraps of hardwood to make mine, I decided to just seal it with cutting board oil instead of a polyurethane or painted finish.

Also, as you can see I did this after attaching the hinge, which I would not recommend 😉

Step 5: Sand and finish all parts of the cookbook stand.

STEP 3- Add back leg and stand

Cut the wire hanger with your pliers and bend it into a stand for the cookbook holder. You want it to be 2 1/2″ wide and 6″ long with 1/2″ tips to press into the holes in the wood.

My wire hanger had a coating on it, which again, I wouldn’t recommend because it broke off in parts where I bent it.

Step 6: create a wire kick-stand out of a wire hanger.

Attach the hinge to the center of the cookbook stand and the center of the routed base piece.

Step 7: Attach the cookbook stand base with a hinge to allow it to fold up.

Press the wire hanger stand into the holes in the cookbook holder. Tap it with a hammer if needed to secure them.

Step 10: Press the wire stand into the holes.

STEP 4- Attach plexiglass front

Drill tiny pilot holes in the plexiglass to attach it in the front of the stand. My drill bit was a 3/64 inch. Drill them about 1″ apart.

To make it easier to drill a bunch of holes where I wanted, I marked the locations of the holes on a piece of scrap board.

Then I would place the plexiglass on top of it and drilled through to the marked spots.

Step 8: Drill holes in the plexiglass to attach it to the cookbook stand.

Remove the protective plastic from the back bottom front of the plexiglass.

Center the plexiglass on the cookbook stand and hammer the wire nails through the holes into the wood to secure it.

Step 9: Attach the plexiglass to the cookbook stand with a hammer and nails.

Now you are ready to place your favorite cookbook in it’s new stand.

Place the wire in a groove to lean it back and the plexiglass will help keep the pages open, without blocking the instructions.

Then when you are done, just fold it back up and place it on the shelf with your cookbooks!

Don’t forget to grab the printable PDF plans here!

Printable mini plans include:

  • Recommended Tools
  • Shopping/materials list
  • Easy to read cut list table
  • X-ray view with measurements
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • BONUS: 3D SketchUp file

And my current cookbook obsession is this beautiful book by Sarah Mayor called “The Farmhouse Cookbook”. We have already made a few recipes and love them.

Farmhouse cookbook on a DIY cookbook stand in the kitchen.
Cookbook open on a DIY cookbook stand next to the stove.

Easy to Build DIY Cookbook Stand

Yield: 1 Cookbook Stand
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $10
If you hate struggling to keep your cookbooks open while cooking, you need this easy to build DIY cookbook stand.

Materials

  • 48″ 1×1 board
  • 20″ 1×3 board
  • Wood glue
  • 1 1/4″ finishing nails
  • 10″ x 3″ piece of plexiglass
  • 5/8″ wire nails
  • Small hinge
  • Wire hanger
  • Stain

Tools

  • Miter saw
  • Router or table saw
  • Nail gun
  • Drill/impact driver
  • Measuring tape
  • Clamps
  • Pliers

Instructions

    1. Cut the pieces according to the PDF plans.
    2. On two of the side boards, drill a 1/2″ deep hole with a 5/64 drill bit (just big enough to insert the end of the wire hanger into). Drill the hole 1/4″ down from the top and centered on the board.
    3. In the back leg board, cut (3) 1/4″ wide x 1/4″ deep grooves 1″ in from the back and then 1″ apart from each other. Use a router or a table saw to cut the grooves.
    4. Using wood glue and 1 1/4″ finishing nails, attach the side pieces to the top piece so the outer two are flush with the outer edge and the inner two are centered 3″ apart. The inner boards will be the boards with the holes drilled in them. Make sure the holes are pointing towards the center.
    5. Attach the base piece to the bottom of the cookbook stand with wood glue and 1 1/4″ finishing nails. Make sure the back of the boards are flush.
    6. Sand and finish the cookbook holder.
    7. Cut the wire hanger with your pliers and bend it into a stand for the cookbook holder.
    8. Press the wire hanger stand into the holes in the cookbook holder. Tap it with a hammer if needed to secure them.
    9. Attach the hinge to the center of the cookbook stand and the center of the routed base piece.
    10. Drill tiny pilot holes in the plexiglass to attach it in the front of the stand.
    11. Remove the protective plastic from the back bottom front of the plexiglass. Center the plexiglass on the cookbook stand and hammer the wire nails through the holes into the wood to secure it.
    12. You are ready to place your favorite cookbook in it’s new stand. Place the wire in a groove to lean it back and the plexiglass will help keep the pages open, without blocking the instructions.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati

Melanie N.

Wednesday 24th of February 2021

If I've followed your instructions and measurements correctly, I will have a 2 inch "deck" on which to place my opened cookbook, is that correct? I have some pretty thick cookbooks. Could I make this with a 1x4 to accommodate my thicker cookbooks?

Kati

Wednesday 17th of March 2021

You could try a larger deck with a 1x4. It shouldn't make the stand off balance, but with a large cookbook you might need to lean it back more to accommodate the extra weight. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

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