Geek Girl Tutorials

A catch up post from April

How To: Make a Book Holder

Something to hold those reference books open!

When I am reading a textbook, or cooking in the kitchen, I hate when my book keeps flipping closed just when I need it to stay open. I like to knit while I am researching, so I don’t have an extra hand to keep on the book. These little book holders are not my invention, but they cost some money on Amazon or Etsy, and I thought I could make them myself. And now you can too!


  • Spare fabric, a square about 10 inches by 6 inches. This could be spare quilting cotton, or just an old pair of jeans or t-shirt. It could also be a little less than this, but I wouldn’t make a holder less than 6 inches long and 3 inches thick.
  • A marker for drawing on the fabric. You could get super fancy and use a fabric erasable marker, but I just used a sharpie.
  • An iron
  • Plastic mesh, stiff.
  • Needle and thread. If you have a sewing machine, this will go faster, but you can hand sew everything. I machine stitched it together and then hand sewed the ends. It’s nice if you have a contrasting color to your fabric.
  • Pellets to weigh the ends down. I had some leftover plastic pellets from a weighted blanket project, but you can use whatever you have. Rice works really well, as does playground sand, if you want to be a rebel! (Just make sure that the sand is clean! You don’t want critters crawling out of your nice book holder…)
  • Books to hold down!


  • Iron out your fabric to free it from wrinkles, and fold it in half, right side in, so that it is at least 3 inches wide and 6 inches long.
  • Draw an hourglass shape on the fabric, with at least 4 inches on the “neck” and two wide ends. For this one I went with a really small 1 inch wide neck. Or you could put choose a thicker neck, like for the purple fabirc.
  • Cut out the shape from both pieces of fabric, so you have two pieces.
  • Sew along the long edges, leaving the ends open. Turn the project inside out so that the right side is now visible. Iron flat.
  • Sew along the bottom of one of the ends, next to the neck. Measure out the neck onto the plastic mesh and cut out the bit of plastic mesh to make your neck stiff.
  • Slide the mesh into the neck and sew the other end closed.
  • Carefully holding one end open, pour your weighted pellets, rice, or sand into the end. Be sure not to overfill!
  • Fold down the raw edges and whip stitch the end closed with the same contrasting thread you used to sew the ends of the neck.
  • Place on book and enjoy!

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