With the start of the school year, there’s a greater emphasis on all things academic. Like books. If your household has a book lover or three, you might be interested in this fast, fun, and easy DIY project: DIY bookends. The possibilities are endless with the strategy to tell a story with the bookends that surround your stories. Here’s a quick tutorial on making this fun project.
Materials Needed to Make Cool Bookends:
- Metal bookends, in the size of your choice
- Toy dinosaur & toy soldiers
- Super glue & hot glue
- Spray paint
- Box cutter/razor blade
- Permanent marker
Step One: Planning for DIY Bookends
Determine which direction you want your cool bookend “story” to go. Then hold the dinosaur up to one of your bookends, and draw a straight line where you want to cut it. The line should be straight at eye level, not necessarily in relation to anything on the dinosaur itself.
Use a box cutter to carefully slice the animal along the line.
You’ll have two pieces now, hopefully with a crisp cut. Trim any jagged edges or bumps so the cut is flat.
Step Two: Gluing Your Kid’s Bookends
Determine where you want the back/footed piece to go. Try and line them up so when in place they tell the story.
Run a thin bead of super glue anywhere along the dinosaur where it will touch the bookend. This includes the cut line, of course, and also the feet or other points of contact.
Place the dinosaur against the bookend. It will likely slip and slide around a bit.
Step Three: Securing the Object
While holding the dinosaur in place, run a bead of hot glue around all the points of contact. Basically, this is to keep the dinosaur in place until the super glue dries, which can be a while. Run the hot glue all the way around the contact area, if possible, for a more inconspicuous connection.
When the hot glue dries, use the box cutter to carefully cut off any strings or drips.
Set the bookend aside to let it cool and dry completely. This is an important step in making your cool DIY bookends as it will ensure it’s all set before use.
Step Four: Repeating for the Other Book End
Place the second bookend next to the first one, and position the head of the dinosaur carefully to align horizontally.
Use a permanent marker to mark where the positioning should be.
Use the same super glue/hot glue steps to position and secure the head to the second bookend.
Step Five: Adding Accessories to Book Ends
When the head is in place, it’s time to position the toy soldiers. Super glue then hot glue these in place as well. I love this step because you can get creative here with your DIY bookends. Like, if you had a daughter who loved dinosaurs and ponies, you could use tiny pony figures instead of soldiers.
Step Six: Painting DIY Bookends
Set the bookends out on a drop cloth and spray them with the color of spray paint of your choice. This example ended up with matte black spray paint as the final coat.
Let everything dry completely.
And voila! Slide your books between the bookends. Done! These would also make a great gift for friends and family, or that reader in your life.
These bookends have made everyone in our household smile already.
One trait that makes bookends that tell a “story” so fun is that it doesn’t matter how many books are between them. The humor is still there, just a delayed punch line perhaps.
As you can see, the hot glue is visible but not distracting when everything’s all painted the same color.
We hope you enjoy your new DIY bookends almost as much as you love reading what’s between them.