Thursday, October 4, 2012

DIY: Animal Bookends

If you're on pinterest, you may have seen these bookends.

Most people, including me, were classifying them as DIY. But they're actually from Pottery Barn Teen and they're a wopping $49! I thought to myself, I can do that! So I gathered my supplies and the next day I had beautiful new bookends.  Yeah right!  I'd love to say that this project was as easy as I thought it would be, but it wasn't. The entire thing was fraught with mishaps, all of which will be documented below.  The pictures are pretty inconsistent because I started these while my phone was broken so I was using a real camera.  But I hardly ever have it on me.  But, without further ado.

Animal Bookends
What You'll Need

2 toy animals.  I spent a good half hour staring at toys in Michaels, trying to decide which animal to use.  I finally narrowed it down between elephants, giraffes, and cows before settling on elephants.
2 clear boxes.  This was my first hurdle. I had originally planned to use wood blocks, but I couldn't find the size I needed and Lowes wouldn't cut them as small as I needed and they kind of treated me like I was stupid.  So I went back to Marshalls and hunted around until I found these clear boxes.
Epoxy or hot glue
Spray paint
Spray primer (not'll find out why in a minute)
What You'll Do

1.  Glue the lids onto the boxes so that they form a block. I did this by putting a thin line of super glue around the lip of the box, putting the lid on, and then setting a can of soup on top.  I used Chunky. It had a little more oomph than the cream of mushroom.

2.  Go to a well-ventilated area and get your spray pain on.  First, spray your elephants with primer. Initially I didn't use primer, I just took aim with the spray paint.   And what happend?  All the paint ran off those elephants like it was water. I didn't think to take a picture, but it was bad.  And then it took about a day to dry.  Seriously, it was the worst spray paint I've ever used.  I bought it because Lowes didn't have my favorite brand and I didn't want to make a second trip.  Anyway, I headed to the our shed and  found just enough primer to cover the elephants.  

 4. After the primer has dried, spray those puppies with paint.  Enter roadblock number 3!  I was going to use the original paint because I figured that since I had used primer, it would stick fine.  But the cap wouldn't unlock.  It was a twist cap and it was stuck.  So I had to get new spray paint.  But that actually ended up being a blessing because I was able to get a better shade in my favorite brand. This stuff never does me wrong.  You can get it at Walmart.  

Now that you've got the perfect paint in hand, now it's really time to spray, baby, spray!  You're going to need a few coats.

5.  Glue your toys on top of your blocks.

 6.  Try and figure out where to put your beauties on display.  I haven't decided If I want them under the tv with Harry Potter or on the mantle with The Hunger Games

Like I said, I'm not thrilled with this project or the end result. I took about three weeks to complete, start to finish.  Every time something went awry I lost motivation.  Also, the blocks are larger than I realized at first and, though you can't tell from these pictures, there's A LOT of imperfections with the paint on the blocks.  But they do add some fun personality to the room, and I love that. 
Which animal would you have used?  And seriously, I'm conflicted, should my new elephant friends spend their days on the mantle or under the tv?  With Harry Potter or Katniss?  


  1. Looove! And may actually attempt.

    Also, I like them under the TV with HP. :)

  2. Super cute! And I agree with Kat, Harry Potter all the way!