Learn how to make your own bookends for your reading stash, that will look SO much better than those boring (from my perspective) old metal ones you see everywhere!
Read on…(no pun intended) but reading is another favorite pastime of mine besides painting. Although I love using my Kindle and the convenience of having a whole library at my fingertips, it’s hard to beat having a nice paperback collection (especially if the power goes out, grab a battery-operated lamp and a paperback and I’ll be just fine.)
The trick is finding aesthetically pleasing bookends to draw attention to them and aren’t boring or ugly – which is why we are going to tackle that in this post today!
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DIY Bookends – Materials
First things first, you’re going to need a base to start with. Slabs of wood, preferably equal in size around 5-6″ , work best; don’t forget you’ll need to have four in all – two for each end – find these first, and you’re golden.
Another great option for your bases is a couple of rocks. Pretty rocks can be hard to come by, but if you love being out in nature and collecting treasures you might just get lucky.
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 aesthetic looking. You have a great many possibilities at hand here:
- Things like wooden figurines or wooden animal decoys
- Kids’ toys
- Porcelain teacups
You could do likewise make figurines like these representing your own ideas. They don’t even have to be people, things like ducks, cats, dogs, mermaids, etc., would look great!
Need a little inspiration? Check out what this gal did…A dinosaur toy cut in half so that each half would be on one side, on each wood base, and then later painted a nice color. I love it – you could probably come up with something similar.
Image Credit: DIY Dinosaur Bookends by Doodlecraft
You could go base-less if you wanted, too! I love these adorable gold bunny bookends below. The trick was that the crafter filled them with something heavy like gravel – the link will have the tutorial if you’d like to follow it. But as long as you’ve got something heavy you’ve got the making of creative bookends at your hands!
Image Credit: Gold Bunny Bookends by: Crafted Sophistication
I DIYed My Bookends…From 2 ROCKS!
Rocks can work really well for this project, and appear to be a popular item of choice. Of course it may depend on what kind of rocks or stones you can come up with on your own. I just happened to have a couple of pretty quartz-ish rocks in my collection, that were large and attractive enough to work.
Two sculptures I’d made once a long time ago, both of Sculpey clay – one a figurine I’d made of a boy in uniform going up to bat. second one a boy going fishing – I attached each of them to the rocks using glue and bada-bing.
Although they are not identical, fishing and baseball are 2 all-American pastimes so these figurines do complement each other.
Check ’em out…
Materials I Used
2 small 2 oz packages of translucent Sculpey, plastic dollhouse furniture (e,g, the boys’ baseball bat, glove, soda bottle), E6000 adhesive, paint (I recommend these brands) 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.
My cat says who needs books? I’d rather take a catnap…LOL
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.
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 to Paint Them, Too!
Optional, but highly recommended! Consider painting your bookend bases as well, it will make them look jazzier, If you have rocks painting them traditionally may be a little harder because they will be so bumpy, I used this brand as it is one of my favorites that I used on my sculptures.
In the case of larger objects with minimal details, you can use spray paint which will be fun and easier, (Prep your work beforehand by masking areas you want to remain unpainted.)
Attaching the Parts
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.
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 – the Original, white type, that I later painted a nice brown color.
(Make sure you use a good strong waterproof glue like E6000 for best results, I do not like hot glue guns for heavier or nonporous objects, it tends to eventually come undone.)
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 felt. Trace around the bottom of the bases onto the materials and cut out the shape. Anything like moleskin will be self-adhesive if you pull off the paper on the back.
Enjoy your new bookends! Easy-peezy right? You bet! Anything can be art if it wants to, right? Now your nighttime reading collection is in a great place.