10 Best Creative DIY Book Ends You'll Love

Kid smiling with colourful paint all over their hands, face and teeth.
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Image © Sharon McCutcheon/Pexels, under a creative commons licence.

Ready to tidy up those bookshelves?

It's simple to make a pair of bookends out of anything – a stack of books, or a heavy toy for example. But why not try an idea for making your own DIY bookends and up your 'shelfie' game?

With a DIY bookend, you can cater to your child's individual taste and get them involved in the process too. Simple wooden bookends just require two short lengths of wood which can be glued together and then decorated by little hands. Whatever you choose to make your DIY bookends out of they'll need to be heavy enough to hold up your books. You can add extra weight by using sand inside objects if needed. If these crafts are too advanced for pre-schoolers try these easy crafts instead.

With bookends DIY anything goes! So whether you want to go wild with animal bookends, personalise with some initial letter bookends or try vinyl bookends DIY style we've got 10 bookends DIY activities to try with your kids. While the craft will keep them busy you'll also get the added bonus of bookends to tidy up piles of books. In most cases, you'll only need to set aside an hour max for your bookends DIY session.

Animal-tastic Bookends

Bookend with a red elephant with its trunk in the air on it.
Image © Little Green Notebook, under a creative commons licence.

Suitable For Ages: 5+

Got a kid that loves animals? Why not work on these animal bookends together – these DIY bookends are easy to pull together and use items that you probably already have at home.

You Will Need:

Animal Figurines

Two old bricks or rocks with flat tops

Glue gun

Spray paint

Step One

Give your animal figure a good clean in soapy water and allow it to dry fully.

Step Two

Carefully spray paint the animal following the instructions on the paint can. It's best to apply thin layers rather than one thick layer. Set to one side to dry.

Step Three

Using the hot glue attach your figure to the brick or rock bookends and set to one side for drying. Once the glue has set you'll have a set of your very own animal bookends to enjoy!

Spell It Out Bookends

Big letters 'J' and 'N' in a floral design as bookends.
Image © One Good Thing by Jillee, under a creative commons licence.

Suitable For Ages: 5+

Kids can opt for the initials of their name or the traditional style A-Z with these DIY letter bookends. Bookends like these are great for DIY presents too as you can personalise them.

You Will Need:

Two cardboard letters

Sand

Hot glue gun

Decorative paper or tissue paper

PVA glue

Step One

With the letter lying flat down carefully slice off the top of your letters with a craft knife – you will need to do this for younger children.

Step Two

Fill the letters with sand to give them some weight. Replace the top and carefully glue gun back in place. Make sure it's well sealed so the sand can't escape.

Step Three

Cover the letters in your decorative paper. You can either do it decoupage style and get kids to tear up the paper or tissue paper and stick on, or trace the shape of each edge of the letter and then attach it with glue.

Step Four

Cover each book end with PVA glue to give it a final coat and let dry.

Now You See It Bookends

Two books made into 'invisible' bookends.
Image © A Beautiful Mess, under a creative commons licence.

Suitable For Ages: 10+

This easy DIY project makes use of the books you already have at home, to turn them into bookends that are invisible to the eye! DIY bookends like these are great if you're short on space as they're slim and will blend in.

You Will Need:

Two hardback books that you are happy to cut up

Wood offcuts that are as wide as the inside pages of your book

Superglue

Saw and clamps

Thin metal bookends

Craft knife

Step One

Start by removing the inner pages from your books with a craft knife leaving just the cover intact.

Step Two

Cut your wood to slightly smaller than the height of your book. Now open your cover and place inside the piece of wood and the metal bookends. Cover in the superglue and close the book.

Step Three

Clamp the books shut and leave the glue to set. If you want to avoid dents from the clamps in the books then use some scrap pieces of wood between the clamps and the wood.

Step Four

Remove clamps, and you now have a pair of bookends that will blend in seamlessly to your library.

Rainbow DIY Bookends

Each half of a rainbow as a bookend on either side of the books.
Image © Jaime Costiglio, under a creative commons licence.

Suitable For Ages: 5+

Cheer up a child's bedroom with these cheery DIY bookends. Adults will need to handle the cutting of the wood but children will be able to decorate the bookends themselves.

You Will Need

Wood

Wood paint and paintbrush

Screws

Wood paint

Clear wood varnish

Step One

For a pair of bookends you will need two pieces of wood 1 X 6 X63/4 (for the base). Two pieces 1 X 6 X 6 (for the sides).

Step Two

Attach the base and the side together using wood glue as well as countersunk screws.

Step Three

Using a jigsaw cut out the basic arched rainbow shape so that it will fit between the base and the side. Sketch out the shape before making your cut.

Step Four

Paint your rainbow on the wood and top with varnish. Kids could also paint the base and the side too for extra colour.

Step Four

Use wood glue to attach the rainbow shape to the bookends and leave to dry.

To The Point Bookends

'To The Point' bookends - either half of a giant wooden pencil on each side if the books.
Image © Jaime Costiglio, under a creative commons licence.

Suitable For Ages: 5+

For a kid who loves to draw why not make them bookends that reflect their favourite hobby. This is an easy DIY project for those with some basic DIY skills. Follow the steps above to create your bookends, but replace the rainbow shape with a large pencil shape cut in two and split across the two bookends.

Piece Of The Action Bookends

A gold man action figure as a bookend.
Image © Canadian Family, under a creative commons licence.

Suitable For Ages: 7+

If your child has an action man figure they're willing to part with you can easily turn it into a DIY bookend with a few quick steps. If they're willing to give up two figures then you've got yourself a pair of DIY bookends!

You Will Need

Action figure

Gold spray paint

Wooden plaque

Glue

Step One

Spray your plaque and the figure with your paint in a well-ventilated room. Two coats should be enough then leave to dry.

Step Two

Glue the figure to the base – make sure it's positioned so that the toy is holding up the books when it's used. Leave the bookends to dry.

Right On Target Bookends

Half of an arrow stuck onto bookends to look like the books have been shot through the middle.
Image © Domestically Speaking, under a creative commons licence.

Suitable For Ages: 9+

As craft ideas go we love this bookends DIY idea for its simplicity. You can use a pair of plain wooden bookends and transform them into DIY bookends.

You Will Need

Wooden Bookends

Piece of dowel

Silver modelling clay

Washi tape

Feathers

Superglue

Step One

Cut your dowel in half. Use your clay to shape it into an arrowhead onto a piece of the dowel. Bake in the oven as per instructions (the dowel can also go in the oven).

Step Two

Attach a few feathers to the other piece of dowel and secure with washi tape.

Step Three

Drill a hole slightly bigger than your dowel into the side of the bookend. Fill with glue then push a dowel into each bookend.

Roar-Some Bookends

Bookends made with half of a blue toy dinosaur on each side of the books.
Image © Doodle Craft!, under a creative commons licence.

Suitable For Ages: 6+

Craft ideas involving dinosaurs are always a hit with kids! Turn a dinosaur figure into a DIY bookend for their room with this easy DIY project.

You Will Need

Large toy dinosaur

Wood blocks

Hot glue

Bright spray paint

Step One

Glue together your wood blocks to make each of your DIY bookend pieces.

Step Two

Using a sharp craft knife carefully slice your dinosaur in half. Now reposition each half on to the bookends and glue in place.

Step Three

Finish by spraying the entire ends and dinosaur in a solid colour.

Retro Record Bookends

Records bent at a 90 degree angle to be used as bookends.
Image © Groupon, under a creative commons licence.

Suitable For Ages: 10+

Music-loving tweens will love trying this retro bookends DIY project. It's quick and simple but better for older kids who can handle boiling water.

You Will Need

Two vinyl records

Large wooden blocks

Large, deep cake tin

Step One

Boil water on the hob then add to the cake tin.

Step Two

Dip your vinyl into the boiling water until it's malleable – you can submerge it as far as you like depending on how you want your bookends to look at the end.

Step Three

Remove and place on a wooden block. Use the second block to make a 90 degree angle which you can bend the vinyl around. Leave to harden then display your bookends DIY results on your shelf.

Ka-Pow Bookends

A shadow figurine of Superman and Batman on each bookend.
Image © Little Red Window, under a creative commons licence.

Suitable For Ages: 8+

You Will Need

Slim metal bookends

Black craft foam

Craft knife

Hot glue

Superhero template

Step One

Get your child to draw out their own superhero templates. Pay attention as you'll need to make sure that their hand and foot on one side are at 90 degree angles. If working with younger kids why not find a template online.

Step Two

Place your template on the foam and use the craft knife to carefully cut them out. Kids may need some help with this and they should definitely take their time doing it.

Step Three

Hot glue your foam shapes to the metal bookends and leave to dry.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

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