Mandilicious Christmas Project 4: Book Letters


The holiday season is here and I can guarantee that 98% of us still have people that we need to find the perfect gift for. So here is where I come in. Every day this week I am showing you a project that you can make for someone you like/love/want to blow their socks off. The projects range from simple simple to a little less simple but still really doable. Can you feel the gift giving happiness oozing from my ears? Cause it is.

So bust out your holiday cheer and lets get to work!

FRIENDS!  I hope you have been enjoying this fun week of original handmade gifts!  I have had a blast coming up with these cheap and awesome projects!  Up today is a project that will cost you $.25.


That is ONE QUARTER.  I mean nothing like giving someone a gift that only cost a quarter to show that you care.  The best part?  They will NEVER be able to tell!

Book Letters Tutorial

All you need for this project is an old book (I love Readers Digest for their fun colors and patterns!!) and a saw (we will talk more about that later!)  There are a few places in St. George that sell these babies for a quarter because they ALWAYS have them.

Start by deciding what letter to do.  Capitols are easier, the less curves the better, but every letter is totally doable.

Draw your letter backwards onto the backside of your book.  You want something that you can see well, I used a washable marker so that I could wipe the extra ink off after I was finished.

How To Cut Through A Book

Next you are going to put small nails into the parts that are going to be removed.  This makes it so that you book stays tight and doesn’t slip.  Use nails that are just smaller than the thickness of your book.  Put at least one in the front and one in the back.  Make sure that its is far away from your cut line. Cutting over a nail does not sound like my idea of a festive holiday.

How To Make Book Letters

To cut your letter you will need one of 3 things. A scroll saw, a band saw, or a jigsaw. I tried it with a scroll saw and a jig saw and I think that though the scroll saw took longer it was a little easier to use.

Jigsaw copy

If you are using a scroll saw and are extra concerned with making a straight cut you can put a guide on your saw base to help you be all that you can be.


Then its time to cut.   I used a regular tooth saw blade and it was fine, I bought fine ones just in case but didn’t need them!  Make sure that you are being safe.  Wear protective goggles and face mask,  because lets face it, most Readers Digest Books come from old peoples houses and who want to get old people smell in their lungs?  Sick.


If you need to smooth a spot or two out just use fine grit sand paper (220) and it will work really well!!

If you want to cut the negative space on some letters like O or P or R, drill a hole with your driver into the center of the space and then according to your saw’s instructions thread the bald through the hole so you can cut it out.  I was planning on doing that with the R but I actually love it without the space.

Isnt this such a fun personalized gift?

Book Letters Tutorial

How To Cut Letters Out Of A Book

Book ABCs


Don’t miss the other projects in the It’s a Mandilicious Christmas Series!

DIY Color Pop Cord Lamp Tutorial

Love Your Guts Art

Toilet Paper Roll Stamped Lampshade Tutorial

Love Your Guts, Mandi



  1. How fun! These would be great in my kids’rooms too!

  2. I so wish I could find a stack of the readers digest books. I have never actaully seen one for sale in my area! These are amazing! One of the most creative projects I have seen in a LONG time! Thanks so much for sharing! (PINNING!!)

  3. Love this project Mandi!

  4. Pinning!! I just said that like Charlie Sheen–who isn’t cool, but this project is! Just FYI, I’ve decided to make sure all my future pins list blog information so the creative person gets the credit. All Things Thrifty got me thinking about that this week. Have a great holiday!

  5. I actually have the exact same Reader’s Digest books that you used, but I never thought to saw them into letters – too fun!

  6. These are my most favorite things to collect. I have a ton of them! The letters are so cute I just couldnt bring myself to cutting them. Weird much? Its some crazy attachment I have to those books.

  7. Oh dang! Love this one Mandi! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Your blog just keeps getting better & better!

  9. I saw a picture of these once and was planning to try one for my father for Christmas! So great to have a tutorial. Thanks!

  10. This is so awesome!!

  11. Oh, I lOOOOVVVEEE this!!! This would look adorable in my kids’ rooms, but alas, I don’t have a Jigsaw (kind of afraid of the sharp stuff :))I think I need to start on the kiddie page. Thank you for the inspiration.


  12. Wow! These book letters are great! And you are the tool lady! I could learn a lot from you :) I’m still a little scared of some of my tools… Don’t tell anyone :-)

  13. Ok Chickie spill the beans…WHERE in St. George did ya get these awesome beauties for 25 cents?

  14. Very cute and clever!

  15. Anonymous says:

    love this!!! is there a way to do this without a saw?

  16. Just recently started reading vintage revivals.. seriously I feel like I’m now stalking your blog… ;)! all your projects are just fab! I love this one.. I’m busting out the jigsaw this week 😉 your creativity is unreal!

  17. Mandi, I saw these at Urban Renewal. Are you selling them there? Also, were in St. George are you finding the readers digests for $0.25? I need a few for a craft project! Thanks :)

  18. “most Readers Digest Books come from old peoples houses and who want to get old people smell in their lungs? Sick.”


  19. >most Readers Digest Books come from old peoples houses and who want to get old people smell in their lungs? Sick.


    You have got to be kidding. Except: not funny, not accurate, just mean.

  20. That was a rather rude remark to make about “old people smells” uhhhh yes, old books smell, so does old furniture, baby diapers, etc….. my grandmothers house had a certain smell to it… it had nothing to do with her age! Hope your grandmother didn’t see this.


  1. […] the A (and @ sign) and the D, but my husband and I made the R and E. The R was cut from an old book and the E was made from a cereal box and some paper mache (that was quite a messy […]

  2. […] I was thrilled to see one of my blogging role models Mandi over at Vintage Revivals had tackled the book to letter project. Enter Goodwill and whatever ‘autumnally’ colored books they […]

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