Funky shabby chic bookend idea

Here’s something completely different from my last two posts about the Caribbean. I’ve been busy making my house look presentable. My husband is always begging me to ‘sort out the house’ because he says ‘you’re the artist’, but I can never quite bring myself to focus my artistic talents on interior decoration.


We’ve put up shelves which now need some book ends, so here’s a tutorial to stimulate some ideas for anyone struggling with falling books!

Do use your imagination to try out other ideas and experiment with different looks.

You’ll need: MDF or wood, a jigsaw (or get the man at Homebase to cut it to size for you), decorated paper/fabric, craft mount, mini picture frames 3″ by 3″ approx’ (ebay/amazon), gold all purpose marker pen, glue gun, old/antique hard back books, used tea bag, white acrylic paint & brush, scissors, tiny painting/picture, masking tape, old hard back books, imagination.

Firstly I cut my pieces of MDF into the bookend size I wanted and then sanded the edges.

I then sprayed one side of the bookend piece of MDF with craft mount and then stuck it onto my patterned paper. I then cut round the edges to remove the excess paper.IMG_1181 IMG_1182

NB: I did one side of the book end (completely covered on one side) with the paper, however the other one I masked off a little bit at one end of the MDF piece where the join would be so that there would be no paper between the join. You can see below that it is just a little bit, enough to allow the other bookend piece to join.

Cut off this excess paper and then sand all edges.


Use the glue gun to join the two pieces, hold them firmly for a few seconds then wipe away ay excess glue. Take your old tea bag (make sure it’s not very wet) and gently rub it over the paper if you wish to ‘antique’ it.
Prepare your mini picture ( I raided my old sketchbooks) and mount it into your mini picture frame, sand the frame a little to roughen up the sides (this helps gold pen to adhere to it and also gives the glue something to stick to).ย IMG_1199
Now carefully glue your picture frame on one side and on the bottom and stick it to the centre of the book ends so that the 90 degree angle of the frame is flush with the 90 degree book end (use glue gun).
NB don’t do what I did and do both book ends exactly the same-remember one goes one way and the other must go the opposite way round. Check before you stick!!!
Once it is stuck down you can then colour your frame gold with the gold pen.
IMG_1194You could stick a vintage book or four to the other side of the book end like the red book on the right here, this will make it sturdier if you’ve got heavy books. You might also want to paint the edges of the book ends white or a colour of your choice.
Perhaps you might want to cover the old books with cool paper before you stick them to your book ends. You also might like to try the gold pen on your actual bookends to create a pattern.IMG_1202

Here are some more pictures of the finished book ends. The heavier the books you want to hold up then the more old books you need to glue together to the book end.
IMG_1191 IMG_1201 IMG_1192 IMG_1200 IMG_1203
A hand made polymer clay flower added a nice touch, you could try some well chosen haberdashery such as ribbon, fabric flowers etc.
Some other ideas to try
Why not try using an old map instead of old music, or what about an old photocopied essay you wrote in a previous life?
Perhaps some black and white photos would look good! Or vintage wrapping paper, or ethnic fabric.
You could make a stencil and print onto the book ends. Maybe you could find a heavy ornament or shells and stick it onto the book ends. Or perhaps there’s something else with a 90 degree angle that could replace the mini frames like a wooden letter, a jar or storage box.
Lace might look nice around the frame or use the lace to print a lacy pattern onto the book ends and then glue dried flowers to it.
There’s so many exciting ideas.

5 thoughts on “Funky shabby chic bookend idea

  1. This is a cute idea. I love the look of Antique Bookends. They can be so useful and they really are a beautiful touch. When I was at Mecox, I bought a set for my room, as well as for each of my kids room. They added the perfect unique touch to each room.

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