DIY: X Shape Open Book Stand that Spins

Keep recipes at the ready or your favorite inspirational image or passage on full view on your coffee table with an easy to make X Shape Open Book Stand. Crafted with pine wood and in any finish you like, it’s sturdy enough to hold and display your favorite coffee table books, cookbooks in your kitchen and more.


A few posts ago, I showed you how I added faux flowers to the oversized low bowl I made and placed it on my coffee table.

Pretty purple flowers in large bowl on coffee table.

I really like the pop of color that this adds to the space and wanted to find some way to bring my coffee table books to life.

Coffee table books alone can make a statement on a table. Instead of having a pile of them on the table, I looked into the idea of opening one on a stand to display a colorful page from a book.

I saw this at Pottery Barn and was ready to order it, but is was back-ordrered. I didn’t want to wait till summer to get it, so I decided to make my own.

I thought I could make it the same way as this X-shape magazine holder is made with a few tweaks. I wanted mine to look like the one sold at Pottery Barn where the legs are shorter and the open angle is 45 degrees not 90 degrees like the rack above.

So… I got a few pieces of scrap lumber and tried to make it. Easy when you want the X to be 90 degrees. If I had a workshop full of tools, I may have been able to make it using the cut pattern shown above, but add a 45 degree angle into the cuts. I am sure it can be done with the right tools, but I only have a few woodworking saws and tools, none right to make a 45 degree cut.

I was perplexed and decided to ask my neighbor, who has a fully equipped wood shop that would make any woodworker proud, if he could help me figure out a way.

He did. He used 3 pieces of wood with simple cuts. Which makes the project easier for those without just the right kind of saw. All you need to make this is a simple saw and an inexpensive miter box.

The 3 pieces are then glued together. I wasn’t sure the glue would hold up, but I am happy to report – it does. :-)

My DIY X Shape Open Book Stand

Finished Pottery Barn hack of an open book holder in black.

Here is what the x shape stand looks like painted, but not yet sealed with a finish.

black painted wood turntable to hold x shaped open book stand.

I added one more part to my stand. I placed it on a ready-made turntable that I painted the same color as the x stand so that it would spin the book in any direction for someone to look at while sitting on the sofa or on the opposite side.

Spinning book table stand to use for open books. Painted black on coffee table.

The x shape open book stand is a decorative way to display your favorite book…

Cook book stand that turns on a round base. Easy DIY scrap wood project.

… or to use in the kitchen to hold a cookbook you are using to make a meal. Having it spins allows you to see it when you move around your workspace.

Coffee Table Styling Idea to display coffee table books.

For now I am using it on my coffee table.

Watch This Short Video To See How The Stand Spins

How to Make an X Shape Open Book Stand

I made my x shape open book stand to fit on the turntable I bought at Walmart. The overall dimensions of my stand are: 15″ wide x 7-3/4″ deep x 5″ high. When placed on turntable, it is 6″ high.

The size of the stand sold at Pottery Barn is: Overall: 13″ wide x 9″ deep x 5.25″ high

supplies needed:

  • Scrap wood cut into 3 separate pieces:
    • 7-3/4″ x 11-1/8″
    • 7-3/4″ x 3″
    • 7-3/4″ x 8″
  • Saw to cut wood
  • Wood glue
  • Paint and paint brush
  • Sealer – Minwax Polycrylic in a Matte finish
  • Sandpaper
  • Optional: Wood Turntable Spice Rack
    • drill, drill bit and wood filler

Time needed: 2 hours.

How to Make an X Shape Open Book Stand

  1. Figure Out Dimensions


    If you want to place the stand on the turntable then use my measurements. This printable .pdf will help you figure out how to cut the 3 pieces of wood.

    Here is the link to the printable .pdf: X Shaped Book Stand
    printable pdf of wood cut sizes needed to make x- shaped open book stand.

  2. Cut Wood


    Cut the 3 pieces of wood to the size. Sand to smooth the wood.

    Scrap wood cut into pieces needed to make a x shape book stand for a table.

  3. Assemble the Stand

    The stand comes together by placing the shorter board with the 45 degree angle cut on to the long board as shown below.

    The small angled board goes underneath.

    Birds eye view of how wood to make stand go together.

  4. Check Measuements


    Before gluing check that all the boards are in the right placement. One way to do this is to make sure the measurement on each board are the same on both sides.

    Double check placement before gluing stand together.

  5. Glue


    To attach the boards use wood glue. I brushed a even coat over the edges, then held the pieces together for a minute until the glue held.

    If you have the right type of wood clamps, use them to hold the pieces together until the glue is dry.

    How to glue wood pieces for book stand together.

  6. Side View


    Here is what the assembled stand looks like laying on its side.
    unpainted x shape book stand after being assembled. Shown on its side to see how to put together.

  7. Sand Wood

    If needed, sand and clean the wood before painting or staining.

    Unfinished x shaped book holder on top of wood turntable.

  8. Paint

    I used black chalk paint to paint my stand, but you can choose any color paint or stain you like.

    Painting book stand and turntable black.

  9. Optional: Turntable Base


    If you want your open book stand to turn 360 degrees around as mine does, purchase a turntable. I found mine at Walmart – link is in the supply list above.

    It is a two-tier turntable. I only used the turn mechanism and the bottom tier.

    Better Homes and Gardens Wood Turntable used to make a spinning open book holder.

  10. Take Apart Bottom Circle


    For the turntable, you will only need the bottom circle where the turning mechanism is attached.

    To get a smooth look, I flipped the wood circle so that the smooth side of the wood circle would be on top. Very easy change.

    I removed the screw holding the turntable onto the wood circle. I flipped it so that the hole and border side of the wood faced down.

    I pushed an awl through the hole until the point popped out to the other side, then I attached the turntable back onto the the bottom. You could also use a drill and drill bit to do this.

    Fill the whole with wood filler and sand.

    How to change turntable to use for spinning book holder.

  11. All Done

black painted x shape open book holder with book on coffee table.
DIY Open Book Stand on coffee table with opened book being displayed on it.

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7 Comments

  1. Love this! You’ve improved on the PB version by allowing the book to open further. Thanks Diane for another great tutorial!

    1. Hi Debra – I had been thinking about the stand since I first saw it in the Pottery Barn catalog and was sad it was on backorder for so long. That was enough motivation for me to DIY one. :-)

    1. Hi Carol – I channel him every time I make something. I even have a few of his tools… the ones we always wanted to play with in his red toolbox. XO