How To Create Bookends: Pretty Up Those Paperbacks!
Ever wanted to learn how to create unique bookends for your reading stash, that look so much better than those boring (and ugly, from my perspective) old metal ones you see everywhere?
Read on…(no pun intended) but reading is another favorite pastime of mine besides crafting!
I was rearranging some stuff in the home not too long ago and came across quite the stash of reading materials. Some I felt were deserving of their own display space.
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How I Had a Blast Making My Own Bookends!
I had nothing to prop them up, except for a couple of pretty rocks. Fortunately I had the solution, I was going to make a pair of homemade bookends.
It took some serious thought – what was I going to make them out of?? Well, looking at these two pretty rocks…Bingo! I was going to use the rocks and find some way to turn them into artistic bookends.
I saw a sculpture I’d made way-back-when —It was a figurine I’d made of a boy in uniform going up to bat. I said to myself, if I attached it to one of these rocks it would be perfect…but….I need 2 of these to work 🙂
Recently, after doing some serious thought, I made a new figurine similar to the baseball player, but this time of a boy going fishing. Fishing and baseball are 2 all-American pastimes so it works on both levels. Ta-da -bookends!
Check ’em out…
Materials I Used For My Own Bookends
2 small 2 oz packages of translucent Sculpey, plastic dollhouse furniture (e,g, the boys’ baseball bat, glove, soda bottle), E6000 waterproof adhesive, some fishing line, and these odds and ends: a twig for the fishing pole (yes, just an ordinary thing I found on the ground!) a single fish bead, and two large rocks.
Now YOU! Want to Make Your Own Bookends?
This craft is great to keep your nightime reading collection in a good place!
To make a bookend you require a polyester brush, ruler, pencil, scissors, cloth, scroll or band saw. Also one piece 4’*6’*1’ of wood , 9 1 ½ long finishing nails, 2 pieces of ¼’ cork, wood glue, wood filler, clear urethane varnish, one sheet of coarse sandpaper, and fine sandpaper.
First things first you’re going to need a strong base – Pretty rocks are hard to come by and of course you can’t order them online (duh) I could be wrong about that though. If you love being out in nature and collecting treasures you might just get lucky.
Another great option for your bases is 2 pieces of equally sized wood, preferably square; something around 5-6″ around will work great and with a nice thickness. It can be easier to find scraps of wood probably more so than nice rocks.
Once you have those bases the fun part is just around the corner, To build upon the rock or wood bases for your creative diy bookends you’ll need something esthetic looking. You have a great many possibilities at hand here:
- Things like wooden figurines or wooden animal decoys
- Kids’ toys
- Porcelain teacups
How To Make Your Bookends
These are your steps in order….Make sure to take proper safety precautions with these tools as they are sharp!
If you have a pattern you’d like to follow, print off the front, back and sides of it.
Trace your base pattern measuring 5’*5’ onto the wood twice and cut the pieces out with the scroll or band saw.
Trace the back pattern measuring 8 ½ ’* 5’ onto the wood twice and cut the pieces out with the scroll or band saw.
Next trace the center piece measuring 6’ *3’ once and again cut the piece with scroll or band saw. Cut this piece in half to make the center pieces each measuring 3’ * 3’.
Sand all the rough edges of the pieces with the fine sandpaper. You may also want to get some of that canned air and blow off the remaining dust particles.
Don’t Forget, Paint ‘Em Too!
(Tthis part is somewhat optional) Consider painting your bookend bases first. it will make them look even better! If you have rocks painting them traditionally may be a little harder because of all the bumps…but you can use spray paint which will be fun and easier.
Attaching the Parts
Glue the back to the base and then wipe off the entire excess flue with a damp cloth. Let it dry. repeat this step with attaching the center to the back.
Next secure the back, base and center with the finishing nails for extra strength, 3 on the bottom under the cork where the center piece attaches to the bottom, 3 up the back to hold the center piece in place and 3 along the back where the bottom attaches to it. Fill the nail holes with wood filler where they could be countersunk. Let it dry and then sand it lightly with sandpaper.
2. Step two – Assemble your chosen objects. You can group them, if they’re small objects, stagger them, in a unique pattern. Be sure you’re satisfied with the group before you glue it down.
As a tip-strive to be complementary with the objects but they don’t have to be identical to each other as you see with mine.
I always follow the Feng Shui approach, meaning they kinda-sorta ought to match somehow, or be pretty close to it:)
Step Three – Glue your objects of choice together; starting with the objects directly on the base.My boy going fishing sculpture is sitting atop a “pier” I also made out of Sculpey.
(Make sure you use a good strong waterproof glue like E6000 for best results)
Step Four – Let the object/base set up and cure for a few days. Later on I recommend that you varnish your bookends to preserve your work.
Protect the Bottoms
Consider adding some extra protection to the bottom of your bookends so they won’t skid your furniture. One way to do this is some moleskin pads (you can get those in the foot care aisle) or some corkboard. Trace around the bottom of the bases onto the materials and cut out the shape using an x-acto knife or box cutter.
Easy-peezy right? You bet! Anything can be art if it wants to, right? And so much better than those butt-ugly metal ones too 🙂