This article will show you how to make DIY bookends – a simple and cost-effective DIY project.
Lately, I’ve been noticing just how much my kids adore creative time.
The first thing my preschooler said today was, “Daddy, can you go the store so that Mommy and I can do a fall craft?”
I laughed as I overheard it, but I absolutely love how much he values his craft time.
In addition to giving the kids plenty of time for crafts and creativity, my husband and I also have started creating things just for them.
They see us constantly building and creating things for the house. So it makes them feel so important when we make them something special.
We just made this sand and water table for their birthdays, which was such a hit! So funny how much kids love sensory tables.
Today, we are sharing how we made these simple bookends for our daughter’s nursery.
Our daughter’s nursery needed a little love.
We previously painted a heart accent wall, but other than that she got a lot of leftover things from her brother’s nursery.
With our At Home DIY challenge being home decor this month, I figured it was a great time to make something special for my daughter’s room.
For the At Home DIY challenge, we’ve collaborated with several talented DIY bloggers and we all create a project with the same thing each month. This month’s theme is to make any home decor for less than $20. Be sure to scroll to the end of the post to check out all the projects.
How to Make Easy DIY Bookends
I was recently in Hobby Lobby and saw these cute star and moon bookends. I decided to make own using bunnies.
My daughter adores all animals but especially bunnies.
I also knew bookends would be a simple project that I could handle making.
My husband has tons of wood leftover from all our projects. I knew he wouldn’t miss it.
Plus, he loves when I work in the garage because I always leave it neater than it was before – he’s a mess!
Cutting the Wood for the Bookends
Here are some scrap ¾” thick boards I found that would be perfect for the bookends:
To produce the book ends, I needed to cut out four pieces – 2 pieces of 4.5”x4.5” and 2 pieces of 4.5”x5.25”.
The two different sizes of boards would be attached perpendicular to each other.
I brought the scrap wood pieces over to the table saw to cut them to size.
Attaching the Wood
With the pieces cut, I applied some construction adhesive and finishing nails to make a book end.
A bar clamp also came in handy to hold the wood in place while I drove some nails in.
Sketch Your Shape
At this point, I took the bookends up to my craft room to figure out the bunny.
I drew the “L” bookend shape on a piece of scrap paper.
I freehand drew a sketch of a bunny and kept refining it until I was happy with the outline and the size (compared to the “L” of the bookend).
After you’re finished and happy with your sketch, cut it out and hold it up to the bookend to make sure you’re happy with it.
If you are stuck on how to draw your shape, google the shape you’re making and the word “outline” i.e. dog outline. Then, you can focus on just the perimeter and not get caught up in the details. Or, if you’re using a bunny, feel free to grab the outline out of our resource library.
Making the Wood Cut-Out
Making the wood bunny was pretty simple!
Trace the Cut-Out
Once back in the garage, I traced the outline of the bunny onto the wood twice – one for each bookend.
Using the Scroll Saw for the Wood Cut-Outs
I opted for the scroll saw to cut out the wood bunnies. I wanted to preserve all the details of the bunny outline, and a scroll saw was perfect for this level of accuracy.
Here are the cut out bunnies resting in the book ends:
Paint and Tung Oil
Because I’m so indecisive it took me a while to figure out what I was doing with the bunny and the bookends paint-wise.
I debated about painting the bookends white and the bunny light brown.
However, once I painted the bunny brown, I wasn’t happy with it.
Then I decided to leave the bookends and paint the bunny white.
Happy with my decision, I used pure Tung oil on the wooden bookends and I used white acrylic paint on the bunnies.
Here are the bookends half way through the Tung oil process (oil applied to the left bookend, and nothing yet applied to the second one on the right):
I painted the inside of the ears with a pink shade I made from red, and I drew on the face with a sharpie. I also did a little pink heart shape on the bunnies nose with the acrylic paint.
Attaching the bunnies to the bookends
With the bookends stained with Tung oil and the bunnies painted, it was time to attach the two.
I considered using just construction adhesive to secure the bunnies, but this sounded two permanent.
I was toying with the idea of swapping out the bunnies with other designs throughout the year (Santa bookends anyone?)
But, I ended up just using two screws underneath the bookends to attach the bunnies.
I made sure to pre-drill two holes centered on the base of the bookends. Then held the bunnies in place while I inserted two screws.
Time and Cost
Making these bunny bookends took about 3 hours, and it was a no-cost project. We used scrap wood and paints we already had! Can’t beat that 🙂
And if you are wondering if my son and I ended up doing our fall craft – we did. We made a 3D fall tree that he adores.