DIY Bookends in Two Simple Steps
Every room needs a few books. If you're an avid reader—and even if you're not—you're likely to have a few favorites. Whether they are novels, cookbooks, travel guides, books of poetry, baby books, or photo albums, giving those favorite volumes a place of pride in your home adds personality and meaning. There are lots of clever ways to display books; however, one simple way to highlight a special collection is with a pair of bookends. In just two simple steps and with supplies that are easy to come by, you can make your own set that can be customized to reflect your interests.
You only need a few easy-to-find supplies to make the bookends; however, the sky's the limit in terms of what you put in them—or between them, for that matter.
- Two clear glass vases (these square vases work especially well as bookends and can be found at IKEA for a very reasonable price)
- Decorative paper (this is burlap paper from the scrapbooking section at the craft store)
- Glue or decoupage medium (such as Mod Podge)
- Small paintbrush or foam brush
- Vase filler such as small pebbles or sand (optional, depending on how heavy your vases are)
Measure and Cut the Paper
This craft project could not be easier. First, turn your decorative paper over and lay the vase on top. Trace the width of the vase with a pencil.
Using scissors, cut about 1/8 inch inside the line to account for the thickness of the glass. Slip the paper inside the vase, and if needed, trim more off the edges so that it will fit flush against the back of the vase without any wrinkling.
Next, with the paper inside the vase, draw a line across the top of the vase onto the excess paper that is sticking out of the top. Remove the paper once again and cut off the excess height.
Adhere the Paper
Once you are sure that your paper fits the inside back of the vase perfectly, use a paintbrush or foam brush to apply a thin coat of glue or decoupage medium to the back of the paper. Place the paper inside the vase and smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles.
Repeat these steps for the second vase to create a matching pair.
Next, have fun choosing the items that will fill your glass vase bookends. Select a vase filler to give your bookends some extra heft. Small pebbles or sand work well and can be readily be found at craft stores. The vase filler will also act as an anchor for whatever object you choose to put in your bookends.
Vase Bookends With Succulents
Succulents are popular right now and go with any type of decor. Although these particular vases were heavy enough on their own to support books, the added heft of the rocks in this variation might be a good idea if you plan to use the bookends for heftier tomes. Simply fill each vase about two-thirds full with small rocks, which will keep the stems of faux succulents in place.
Vase Bookends With Starfish
The vase bookends in this variation take on a decidedly coastal feel when filled partway with sand. Here, a pair of starfish take center stage, but any treasure found while beachcombing—shells, rocks, sea glass, or driftwood—would look beautiful. These items can also be found in craft stores if you don't have access to the real thing. Turn the books around for a neutral look.
Vase Bookends With Seasonal Accents
The great thing about this project is that it can be tailor-made for any room, or even changed to reflect a holiday or season. Here, mini pumpkins are simply displayed in the vases for autumn; however, you could also use acorns for a fall feel. Bottle-brush trees nestled on a bed of faux snow would be equally as charming for Christmas. Check your local dollar store for other items that could be displayed inside your vase bookends.
Vase Bookends With Travel Souvenirs
These bookends would be perfect for a collection of travel guides or books about faraway places. Mini souvenirs of famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty can be spray painted and secured with a bit of poster putty on the inside of the vase bookends. If you don't plan on changing the insides of your vase bookends, you could certainly use a little hot glue to secure the statuettes more permanently. (These Empire State Building statues are Christmas tree ornaments.)