DIY Concrete Bookends

Mold a pair of personalized concrete letters to hold your books in place on a shelf or table.

| Spring 2019

Finished product.

There are loads of tutorials online for making concrete letters, but most of the letters are made out of cement rather than concrete. (Cement is an ingredient of concrete.)

While we wanted to use concrete, we didn’t want to use quick-setting concrete because we wanted a smooth and even finish. So, we decided we would achieve a finer consistency by mixing the concrete ourselves. Another reason we chose to mix our own concrete was so we could work at a comfortable speed and take our time getting it into the molds before it started setting up.

After a bit of experimenting, we came up with the following project.

Tools & Materials List:

  • Mask and gloves (You should always wear protection when working with concrete, as you don’t want to inhale any toxic concrete dust.)
  • Letter molds (We used cardboard letters, also called “papier-mâché” letters.)
  • Craft knife
  • WD-40
  • Sand (We used children’s play sand because it’s extremely fine.)
  • Cement
  • Sieve, optional
  • Concrete plasticizer additive (This enables you to put less water in the mixture. The more water you have in the mixture, the more it will shrink.)
  • PVA glue
  • Water
  • Trowel
  • Sandpaper, optional



1. Prepare the molds by carefully cutting away the backs of the letters using a craft knife, and then removing anything inside.



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