Display Your Books In Style – Quirky DIY Bookends

Not a lot of people use bookends and that’s too bad because they’re a practical and beautiful way of organizing and displaying books.

But given their drop in popularity, there aren’t a lot of interesting designs in stores so perhaps you’d enjoy crafting your own bookends out of some simple things, some of which you might already own.

The Best DIY Bookends You Need To Make

1. Cute Foxes On Blocks

Bold fox Bookends

Aren’t these just lovely? And the fun part those cute foxes are actually salt and paper shakers. You can find other nice-looking things to use for such a project. Apart from the shakers this project also requires two wooden blocks, some spray paint, and some glue. Go ahead and paint the block any color you want and then spray paint the shakers. After that, glue them together. Your fox bookends are ready to become beautiful decorations.

2. Painted Wood

Half Log Bookends DIY

A while ago we also showed you this project where you could turn a half log into two unique bookends. It’s a simple project which requires half a log, a paintbrush, multicolored paints, sandpaper, a saw, and some varnish. First, cut the wood in two and sand it. Then paint it however you want. In the end, apply the varnish for a nice finish.

3. A To Z Bookends

A to Z bookends

Here’s an interesting idea: organize your books alphabetically. That works if you have a big collection. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from making some A to Z bookends for your tiny book collection as well. All you need for that is two wooden letters, some pieces of balsa wood, and some wood glue. Find out all about it on DIYs.

4. Decorative String Letters

DIY string letters bookends

We also found a different way of decorating letter bookends on the Treasureandtravelblog. The idea presented here is to use colored string to decorate the letters. You can play with contrasts and all sorts of geometric patterns. The which and pink combo featured here is really nice and chic.

5. Fun Flower Letters

DIY letter bookends

Letter bookends are actually pretty versatile and you can choose any letters you want in order to best customize your bookshelves and book collection. Check out these ones we found on Onegoodthingbyille. These are actually paper mache letters filled with sand and decorated with scrapbook paper.

6. Wooden Arrow

Arrow-shaped bookends

The arrow-shaped bookends featured on Domestically-speaking are pretty interesting too. To make these you need four scraps of wood, some sandpaper, a drill, small screws, a small dowel, feathers, silver clay, and colored tape. First, make two L-shaped bookends out of the wood pieces and then make the arrow sections using the rest of the materials.

7. Repurposed Brick

Dipped brick bookends

If what you want from your bookends is to be sturdy and heavy, then you might as well repurpose two bricks for this. We’re not even joking. Check out the brick bookends featured on Athomeinlove to see how they would look like. They’ve been decorated with gold spray paint and some colored acrylic paint.

8. Experiment With Paper Mache Animals

Gold giraffe bookends

Paper mache bookends can take pretty much any form. So how about a set that looks like a cute giraffe. Sure, it’s split in half but let’s not look at it that way. To make these giraffe bookends you need the giraffe, a cardboard box, some brown paper, popcorn kernels or rice, a glue gun, spray paint, and a craft knife. {found on thethingsshemakes}.

9. Painted Plastic Toys

Lacquered animal bookends

Similarly, you could repurpose some plastic toys to make unique and customized bookends. Find out exactly how the project goes from the description on Earnesthomeco. Basically all you have to do spray paint the toy animals and then glue them to a wooden block or a brick. You can paint the base as well if you want.

10. Industrial Punctuation Marks

Faux zinc bookends

If you want to make something with a slightly industrial look, check out the bookends we found on Lori1010-headabovewater. They’re shaped like an exclamation point and a question mark. They were first spray painted with hammered aluminum spray paint and then they were glazed using a mixture of black acrylic paint and water.

11. Sea Coral

Coral bookends

In case you just happen to have two large pieces of coral just lying around, we’ll show how to turn them into beautiful bookends. You’ll need those and two basic bookends from the store as well as some white craft paint, some tape, and a hot glue gun. Paint some white striped on the bookends and then just glue the corals on. {found on homemadebycarmona}.

12. Wooden Geometric Shapes

Wood triangle bookends

Let’s also have a look at something minimalist. We found these geometric bookends on Makeandtell and we think they look really stylish and chic. They’re made of wood and their edges are painted paint for a nice and clean contrast. You can make something similar out of some pieces of wood and using a saw, glue, tape, and paint.

13. Death Star Themed

Concrete stars bookends

How big of a Star Wars fan are you? Would you like to have these Death Star bookends as decorations in your home? If yes then here’s what you’ll need for the project: Death Star ice molds, cement, quartz sand, a funnel, a small terra cotta pot, a bucket, a trowel, duct tape, and a tea light candle. {found on wemustbedreamers}.

14. Gem Shaped Concrete

DIY bookends from Concrete

These gem-shaped bookends are also made of concrete and the trickiest part of the project is making the mold. You’ll need some cardboard for that. Start with a 2D diamond shape and make five of these. Then tape them together as shown on Bobvila. After that, fold the cardboard to get the 3D diamond form. That’s your mold.

15. Repurposed Plastic Animals

Animal shaped bookends - elephant

Animal-shaped bookends are also lovely and versatile. You can use them in a lot of contexts. The kids would surely love to have some for their own book collection. To make them you can just repurpose some of their old toys or go to the store to get some new plastic animals. Then find some pieces of wood for the bases. Spray paint the animals and the bases and glue them together. You could also use rocks instead of wood. {found on artdecorationcrafting}.

16. Faux Granite Boxes

Granite bookends DIY

These stylish bookends featured on makeandtell look like they’re made of granite but in fact, they’re just milk cartons dipped with concrete. It’s a pretty ingenious idea actually. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own faux granite bookends: a milk carton, scissors, tape, rapid set concrete, a stirrer, a cylindrical object, and granite spray paint.

17. Pebble Pile

Gold sprayed bookend

If you have the habit of collecting pebbles, rocks, or shells on your trips, you can put them together to make some interesting-looking bookends. Make sure you have a few that are flat on two sides so you can build the base. The whole project is described in detail on Designsponge.

18. Giant Rope Knot

Rope knot bookends

This decorative rope knot is actually multifunctional. You can use it both as a bookend and as a door stopper. You’ve probably seen these around but never really got around to figuring out how to make one. It’s called a monkey fist knot and to make it you need rope and a foam ball or something round to put at the center. Find out all the steps on Heartmainehome.

19. Old License Plates

Bookends from old license plate

What is there to say about an old license plate? Not a lot since they usually just get thrown away when no longer needed. But there are ways to repurpose them into something beautiful and meaningful such as a bookend. All you need to do is bend the plate at a 90 degree angle. The idea comes from Funinthemaking.

20. Painted Bricks

Old bricks turned into bookends

Sometimes it’s easier to just stick to the basics, especially if that suits your style. So why not turn two simple brick into some funky bookends? They might look good as they are if the décor allows it but you could also decorate them using spray paint and some lace, as suggested on Camillestyles. You’ll only need the bricks, some white and metallic gold spray paint, and lace trim. Also, add rubber pads so you don’t scratch the shelves with these bricks.

21. Stylish Pineapple

Gold pineapple bookends

Pineapples seem to be quite trendy right now for some reason so we’ll just follow the lead and show you how to make some stylish pineapple bookends. Of course, you won’t be using real pineapples so look for some faux ones at the local stores. Once you have those you’ll only need two blocks of wood, a glue gun, and some spray paint. First off, glue the pineapples to the center of the blocks. Then spray paint the whole thing. {found on prettylifegirls}.

22. Reclaimed Wood

Wooden bookends

We love the idea of using reclaimed wood in DIY projects so it was just a matter of time before you came across something like this. The bookends featured on ehow are really nice and simple, perfect for a rustic or simplistic décor. To make something similar you need some pieces of wood from a beam or some other project, a circular saw, sandpaper, sealer, paint or stain, and a paintbrush.

23. Vintage Telephone

Telephone bookends

How about these vintage telephone bookends? They definitely look interesting and have a nostalgic design. This is in fact a great way to repurpose these old electronics and nobody really uses anymore. So go ahead and find two phones, cut off the cords and glue them to two blocks of wood or similar bases. We found this ingenious idea on Abeautifulmess.

24. Fabric Sand Pouches

Bookends fabric puch with sand

We also love the idea of using pouches as bookends. We’re talking about fabric pouches that are filled with sand so they’re heavy and able to hold the books. Actually, these would also make some great door stoppers. As you can imagine, all you need to do is sew the pouch and leave an opening, fill it with sand and then sew it shut. {found on bhg}.

25. Weighted Cardboard Shapes

Triangle cardbox bookends

Instead of fabric pouches, you could also make some cardboard boxes. Cut out some cardboard and fold it into a triangle or any other shape you want. Fill it with bags full of sand to make it heavy. At the end, you can cover it with wrapping paper or paint it. Find out more about this type of project on Almostmakesperfect.

26. Hexagon Shaped Concrete

Hexagon cement bookends

If you choose to make concrete bookends, they’ll be pretty heavy on their own. What’s great about these is that you can shape them however you want. You just need to figure out what kind of mold to use. The hexagonal bookends featured on Blitsy are pretty straightforward. You can make the geometric mold out of cardboard and tape. Then, when the concrete is nice and dry, sand it and paint it if you want to add some color to the design.

27. Clay Whale

Clay wale bookends

You don’t need a lot of talent to make something beautiful out of clay. For example, have a look at this cute whale featured on Whistleanddivy. The front part is shaped from a rectangular piece of clay and the tail just takes a little more time to get right. When you’re happy with how the whale looks, put it in the oven and then paint it. You can attach the pieces to some block of wood after that.

28. Quotation Marks

quotation mark bookends

No matter what your style is, you can always find a nice design that goes with it. Let’s say you prefer simplicity and would enjoy something more abstract. Perhaps these quotation mark bookends would be more to your style. To make them you need a poster board, tape, pottery plaster, acrylic paint, fine sandpaper, strong glue, nails, a hammer, and a saw. The project is beautifully described in a step-by-step tutorial you can find on Abeautifulmess.

29. Gold-Plated Agate

Golden leaf bookends

If you’re the type that likes things a bit more rough and natural, check out these agate bookends we found on Ciburbanity. You can decorate them with gold leaf. First, apply the adhesive and then delicately adhere the gold leaf using a foam brush. Make sure you get into all the crevices. After that, you’re pretty much done unless you also want to apply some sealer or paint.

30. Spooky Skull Bookends

Skull bookends DIY

Want something spooky? How about these skull bookends? To make them you’ll need to saw a skull in half. Of course, it wouldn’t be a real skull so go look for something you can use at the local stores. After you cut the skull in half, gently sand down the edges and then adhere each piece to a wooden board. You can also spray paint the bookends at the end. {found on thebandwifeblog}.

31. Soft Heart Message

Velentines day bookends

The opposite to that would be a soft heart-shaped bookend like the one on creativelive. If you want to make something like that you’ll require a felting pad, a felting needle, wool roving in a pastel color, some wool yarn, scissors, a heart-shaped cookie cutter, and river rocks, marbles, or other similar things. Follow the instructions and feel free to improvise along the way.

32. Beautiful Horse

Animal shaped bookends - Horse

We’re already shown some animal-shaped bookends but there’s always room for one more. So check out the horse bookends featured on Twelveoeightblog. They’re really beautiful and we love that the horse wasn’t spray painted and has that spotted design. The base is made of wood and the horse can be a toy or a decoration. You’ll need to cut in half so be prepared.

33. Industrial Pipe

Iron pipes bookends

There are also a bunch of beautiful bookends with great industrial designs. You can even find some ready-made ones like this one on Etsy. It’s handmade from an unfinished iron pipe and fittings and has a really beautiful gunmetal color. It comes in four sizes and it’s pretty heavy.

34. Steampunk Bulb

Pipes bookends with lighting

We also found this industrial bookend lamp on Etsy which has a nice steampunk look to it. It uses an Edison bulb and it would look lovely on a shelf, table, or even on a nightstand if you want to keep your favorite books close by. Bonus: you’ll also get a bedside lamp.

35. Succulent Bookends

Wine Corks 1

Succulents are all the rage right now, and when placed in cute glass jars, they can make excellent bookends like this example in The Spruce. Of course, you don’t have to use glass jars, as cute pots, or even the DIY Faux Granite Boxes on this list could make a great home for your succulent bookends!

36. Organizational Bookends

Wine Corks 1

If you are struggling to keep your desk organized, it may be time to create these organizational bookends. You can follow along with the instructions on Instructables, but these bookends can easily be made with different sizes of wooden plank which you cut and fashion into pencil cups. Then you will glue these to a larger plank. You could also repurpose other plastic cups you have lying around the house and simply paint them for a fresh look.

37. Wooden Shelf Bracket

Wine Corks 1

Wooden shelf bracket bookends are quick and easy to make and can bring a refined and classy look to any room. This is a great opportunity to repurpose old brackets of a shelf you took down, or you can buy some for the project. You can also get crazy and fashion your own from planks of wood like in Sawdust to Sequins. Either way, once you have your brackets, sand them down then paint them in any color or design you please!

38. Rolling Pins

Wine Corks 1

Do you have cookbooks that also require bookends?  Then check out these cute rolling pin bookends by the Hallmark Channel which can make a great addition to your kitchen décor. You’ll need a few rolling pins that you will need to saw in half. After that, you can paint them, glue recipes to them, or just leave them as is! The last step is to glue the flat side to a plank, and voila! New bookends for your cookbooks!

39. Home State Theme

Wine Corks 1

These adorable bookends featured on Twine and Vines can easily be made to represent your home state, the one you live in now, or both! This project does require a little skill as you will need to cut the wood into the shape of the state you want on your bookends. But other than that, these bookends are quite simple to create and great to personalize as a gift.

40. Fabric Mannequin

Wine Corks 1

These fabric mannequin bookends make excellent bookends that can be used to brighten up any craft or sewing room. The instructions are featured on The Sewing Loft Blog, but you just need a mannequin template, material, and sand or rocks to weigh them down. This project does require some previous experience in sewing in order to effectively sew the mannequin shape, but it really shouldn’t take you too long even without experience! Just make sure that whatever material you select is thick enough to hold in the rocks or sand without leaking.

41. Recycled Vinyl

Wine Corks 1

Have old vinyl records lying around that you don’t use anymore? Turn them into bookends with a few easy steps as outlined in Infarrantly Creative. Then you can use them to hold up your books, CDs, or records! And the best part is, old vinyl records are so cheap you can make these for multiple spots in your house or to give as gifts to friends.

42. Honey Bear Bookends

Wine Corks 1

Instead of throwing away your old honey bears, transform them into some cute bookends. All you will need is paint and something heavy such as sand or pebbles to put in the bears to weigh them down. You can use gold paint like this example in Maya Smart, or any other color that you think would look nice with your décor!

43. Baseballs Or Tennis Balls

Wine Corks 1

Baseball bookends can make a sweet gift for that sports lover in your life. You can also use other balls as well, such as those used in the game of Tennis or maybe even a Softball. Just make sure you don’t use any balls which may be signed or worth money because as outlined in Virginia Sweet Pea, you will be drilling holes in the ball as part of the creation process.

44. Mason Jars

Wine Corks 1

Don’t want to wait for your honey bears to be empty to create bookends? You can simply paint mason jars instead! These jars are so versatile, that besides just painting, you could also fill them with nice looking pebbles or marbles and use them as bookends. Feeling really adventurous? Then you may want to attempt to create this amazing mason jar terrarium bookend set by Design Sponge.

45. Wine Corks

Wine Corks 1

Wine cork bookends are a great way to revamp some old metal bookends you may have lying around such as they did in this example in What About This. You can also create your own bookends using wood and then glue the wine corks to that instead. Just remember to arrange your wine corks before you start gluing, as not all corks are the same shape and size.


Although bookends are no longer popular, you are sure to receive compliments if you make one of the amazing bookend sets featured on this list. Whether you use the bookends for books, vinyl records, or maybe even your CD collection, these DIY bookend ideas will definitely spruce up your shelf. With so many good ideas to pick from, you may find yourself needing to buy more books in order to use them all!