The Bedside Bookmark Abode...Or, How to Make a Tiny, Adorable Wooden House

The Bedside Bookmark Abode...Or, How to Make a Tiny, Adorable Wooden House

There are a few things that simply seem to belong on a bedside table: a lamp, alarm clock, perhaps a pair of glasses, and a few magazines or books. Then, once you add a few personal items (mine usually include a crossword puzzle or two and a glass of water), and there's not a lot of extra space for any accessories or "decor" items.

So, I wanted to make something to add a little bit of fun and style, but that doesn't take up too much prime nightstand real estate or interfere with the other items.And so, you see the results above: an alternative take on the bookmark (which I never seem to use anyway), in the form of a clean, Scandinavian-style wooden home. If using it to support your books isn't your thing, no worries. Who wouldn't want a tiny little wooden house to accessorize any space?

created at: 02/24/2011

1) I began with a 4" x 6" x 14" block of reclaimed wood (basswood, I think) that I found in the scrap aisle of my local Habitat for Humanity Restore. It was a little banged up, but I was able to trim and plane the sides...

created at: 02/24/2011

...and come up with a nice, square usuable block:

created at: 02/24/2011

2. Then, I trace the house profile onto the face of the wood, first finding the center, and using a 53° angle on the roof.

created at: 02/24/2011

Then, I cut the out the roof shape:

created at: 02/24/2011

I cut the roof out of the entire length of the block, so I could just slice it up and make multiples later. See?

created at: 02/24/2011

3. To make the door, I routed a 1 1/2" dado through the bottom of the block. It'd be easy enough to do this with any handsaw, or rotary tool like a Dremel.

created at: 02/24/2011

4. Then, I just cut the final strip into three equal sections:

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And had three tiny wooden, bookmark houses!

created at: 02/24/2011

How fun! These make me want to go find some Matchbox cars and set up a play space!

True, I do have a bunch of fancy woodworking tools, and I used them here, but everything here can be done with simple hand tools, like a $20 pull saw or coping saw.

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Ben on Mar 05, 2012:

Pretty neat idea. I think I'll make a few of these. Maybe add a "porch" with a railing to hold reading glasses, pen, etc

Nancy on Feb 13, 2012:

Laying the book on this little house will not adversely affect the spine of the book because of the angle of the cut for the roof. Make one for myself and it is a great little item.


shelley on Mar 10, 2011:

Dang it. Are you going to sell these? I want one!

Anonymous on Mar 07, 2011:

this is a really cute idea. my only concern is that laying a book in a position like that could damage the book binding

Janet in Fort Worth on Mar 05, 2011:

What a good idea!

1129design on Mar 03, 2011:


DesigningMom on Feb 28, 2011:

Thanks, that's good to know Chris. For now I'm thinking we'll do fine without the planer since we don't have a good sourse of reclaimed wood. Though there are a some barns in the area that are about to fall down, I'm not sure it would be the right wood to make interior trim from. My guess is it's cedar.

Until my hubby gets the Magic Molder off the table saw I'll not be able to make these since the wood is too thick for the miter saw. Well, I could change the blade, but I'm afraid I'd not get the molder back in just right since the height of the blade will make a big difference in cutting the trim for our doors. We still have eleven doors to cut trim for, both sides and I think a dozen windows yet to do also and it's amost soft ball season. He umpires college and highschool girls games so between that and training for another marathon (he ran the Air Force one this past September) we need to get busy molding/cutting trim pieces.

Chris Gardner on Feb 28, 2011:


I love my planer. It's actually my newest woodworking tool, and I'm already at the "How did I do without this?" phase. I don't do a bunch huge furniture or home improvement stuff, and tend to work pretty small, so the ability to use reclaimed and recycled stock is awesome for me. My uncle is a hardwood flooring guy, and he has lots of scraps from projects that I can take and play with. So, the planer really helps there, as I have to shave off the reliefs in the bottom to get solid stock.

All that said, having a planer just makes it very apparent that I need a jointer, and the saga continues...

I'd love to see your houses created from your fence posts! Please post some pictures!

DesigningMom on Feb 28, 2011:

Chris what a neat idea!   We have some scrap from porch posts that would work perfect for these. We have all the tools needed to make them too. Well not a planer, but our scraps shouldn't need planed.

How often do you use your planer?  Hubby and I often talk about wanting one, but unless we got a planer/shaper we fear we wouldn't use it enough.

Have you heard of the Magic Molder for table saws? They've been around for awhile, but it was just recently we decided tolook into them further. After some research Hubby ordered some to replace the router bits in hopes that cutting long sections of trim would be easier. We love that thing and plan on making our own crown molding too.

Gosh in finding the link above I read that the company is going out of business. I sure hope that's wrong.

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