DIY Stunning Bookends On A Budget With These 12 Genius Ideas

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A growing book collection is a beautiful thing, but the more books you own, the more creative you have to get with your storage space. As books overwhelm your shelves, countertops, and other household surfaces, you must find ways to display them without them toppling over. Luckily, bookends were designed for this very purpose— these products stand on bookshelves, propping paperback and hardback books upright while adding an ornamental appeal. Bookends range from classy to eclectic to rustic designs, and you can easily craft your own on a budget.

It’s easy to find already-made bookends on inexpensive sites like Wayfair and luxurious retailers like Pottery Barn. However, if you’d prefer to make your own, check out these twelve stylish bookend projects. There are designs of all kinds, including Art Deco, bohemian, contemporary, farmhouse, industrial, modern, transitional, and other eccentric themes. You can use them in any room, adding a personal touch to unadorned shelving. Learn more about the estimated costs behind these projects below, as well as some useful tips and ideas for getting them done.

1. Wrap dollar store napkin holders in cotton twine to make boho-style bookends

Create boho-inspired bookends using Dollar Tree’s $1.25 napkin holders and $1.25 three-pack twine spools. Pick your favorite colors or options that fit your room theme. Keep in mind that the napkin holder’s metal color won’t matter much, as it’ll be barely visible when finished. Knot the twine around one of the metal napkin holder bars and wrap it tightly around the entire piece. Knot and tuck the end of the twine, and you have a finished $3 bookend to hold your books.

2. Spray paint cobblestones for rustic bookends

Spare cobblestone pieces are as cheap as $1.78 at Lowe’s and other home improvement stores. Pick up as many cobblestones as you need bookends, and your project is already finished if you like the rock’s natural look. However, if you wish to change the color, you can also pick up a $7.98 spray paint and primer bottle. Add some $9.98 felt furniture pads, or put another padded surface underneath the stone to keep it from scratching your countertops and shelves. Each bookend should be less than $10 worth of material to make.

3. Use mini wood plaques, animal figurines, and spray paint to make safari-style bookends

This DIY requires two $2.99 wood plaques, an $8.99 lion figurine, and $6.99 acrylic spray paint from Michaels. Start by spray painting the figurine and wood plaques in your designated color, optionally doing either one or two coats, and letting them dry for 30 minutes to an hour. Once the paint sets, hot glue the wooden plaques in an L-shape with the lion nestled in the middle. The glue should only take 30 seconds to a minute to set, and your unique bookends are complete, with a price tag of less than $20.

4. Glue gemstones to tabletop coasters for elegant bookends

Creating a bookend in this design requires Amazon’s $12.99 four-piece coaster set, $5.99 glass marbles, and a $9.99 hot glue gun kit. Create each bookend by gluing two coasters together, with the bottom sides facing one another. Hot glue the flat side of the marbles against the outer edge of the combined coasters. Repeat the same process with another set of coasters, then combine the two creations into an “L” shape. If the finished coaster needs more weight, something heavy, such as a rock, crystal, or other item on the horizontal part of this roughly $20 DIY bookend.

5. Iron secondhand vinyl records into a modern bookend

Stop by a thrift or music store and pick up discounted vinyl records for under $20. Also collect a hot iron, spare towel, and parchment paper. Lay down the towel to protect your workspace, and put the sheet of parchment paper over the top of the vinyl. Iron the record in circular motions until it’s soft and malleable. Use a rectangular cutting board to press the vinyl into an L-shape, holding it in place until it cools and hardens. You now have another sturdy under $20 bookend for your shelf.

6. Flip an IKEA cutting board upsidedown to make a short bookend

The next time you take an IKEA trip, pick up the $19.99 bamboo cutting boards with raised legs on either side. Flip the cutting board upside down, and balance cookbooks, magazines, or novels in the 1-foot space in between. You can also decorate the cutting board to better suit your style by adding Michaels’ $5.99 acrylic paint, $6.99 paper flowers, $8.45 pearl rhinestones, or other embellishments. Just avoid gluing anything in the in-between space designated for holding books, and your project should stay under $30.

7. Arrange geometric wood blocks into abstract shapes for bookends

This project requires a pack of Amazon’s $13.99 geometric wood blocks. You can use hot glue or Michaels’ $4.99 Krazy Glue to stack the blocks and seal them in place, creating a natural-toned bookend for your shelves. Ensure your design has a flat bottom by using the cubes and cuboids for the base, and pile them high enough to hold your books upright. If you want to create more colorful bookends for a maximalist interior style or children’s room, you can also use Amazon’s $12.99 multicolored blocks.

8. DIY bricks to look like books and hold up novels and magazines

Using a Lowe’s $0.58 brick, Amazon’s $6.10 Mod Podge, and acrylic paint, craft a look-a-like book for your shelves that conveniently keeps real books in line. Mix Mod Podge and the acrylic paint in a bucket, and use multiple brushes to paint the brick in the colors of your choice, using careful strokes to emulate a book. Leave the bricks to dry for at least 72 hours, ensuring the Mod Podge and acrylic paint are fully dry, and your $10 bookend won’t rub off on your precious library collection.

9. Submerge flowers in resin to make floral bookends

The supply list for resin bookends is extensive but highly affordable, given the potential quality and quantity of final products. You’ll need Amazon’s $19.99 epoxy resin kit, a $12.99 dried and pressed flower pack, $21.99 resin bookend molds, and this $11.99 pack of silicone mixing tools (if you don’t already have them). Follow @yungscummy_’s TikTok tutorial to diligently follow all the steps for building these elaborate but beautiful bookends for your shelves. The final project should stay under $100, and you can make multiple bookends from your gathered supplies.

10. Create mini faux planters that also work as chic bookends

Repurpose tiny faux planters into bookshelf endcaps using Dollar Tree’s $1.25 river pebbles, $1.25 glass candleholders, and $1.25 artificial succulents. Prepare your project by removing the faux succulents from their lightweight “pots” and filling the square candleholders halfway with the river pebbles. Burrow the succulent leaves in the pebbles, optionally hot glue them in place, and position the finished project on either side of your books. Keep in mind that this under $5 creation isn’t heavy enough to support the weight of multiple paperbacks—it’s mostly ornamental.

11. Mold sport-inspired resin bookends for an athlete’s bedroom

Contrary to popular belief, sports fans can also have an eye for interior design. Using the same molds and silicone kit from the previous resin idea, create an athlete-inspired resin mold with a baseball and baseball cards. Tape or glue Amazon’s $8.45 collectible cards together at the bottom of the mold to make the backdrop, and put a $5.99 baseball at the forefront. Pour in the resin, following the directions in @michelleclarkart’s TikTok. This project is also possible with other recreational activities that utilize small sports equipment, like golf or tennis.

12. Construct your own book nook or use a DIY kit

Build-your-own-bookends are currently trendy, meaning plenty of ready-made kits are on the market. Amazon has dozens of book nook kits emulating narrow dioramas for under $50, such as a $39.99 mini library, a $49.99 cozy greenhouse, a $43.99 floral village, and more. These tiny kits come with instructions and all of the pieces you need. However, you’ll have to purchase $6.78 AA batteries and $5.49 precise silicone glue separately. Add $11.97 self-stick rubber feet to the bottom of your book nook to keep it in place alongside expansive novel collections.

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