Friday, February 22, 2013

DIY - Plastic animal bookends - $3.50

I've been searching for a while for a good set of bookends, and finally found the ones I wanted, by Jonathan Adler.

Only problem? They're $120. I figured that surely, I could come up with something similar, for much cheaper. After seeing these, I knew that I wanted bookends that were white, and that featured an animal. Other than that, I was open.

With my new inspiration, I went to the dollar store, and searched the plastic animal section for the perfect animal. I finally settled on a deer, mostly because I thought the antlers would look great. I was a bit worried about the fuzzy coating on my deer, but this ended up not being a problem, as you'll see later.

Next, I needed to find something L-shaped that would support my deer halves. I literally walked around the dollar store looking for L-shaped products, until I finally came across some metal picture frames.

 The first step to this DIY is cutting your little animal in half. This was a bit harder than I thought, because the plastic was pretty thick. As I was cutting, I noticed that the fuzzy coating on the deer was starting to peel off. This was perfect! I kept peeling until I had removed all of it.

Once the deer is cut, it's ready for spray paint.

The frames had a bit of a bend to them, so I straightened them up and removed the glass before spray painting them.

I gave the deer and the frames several coats of spray - probably 4 in total, over the course of a few days.

Once I was finished, everything was nice and white!

 The next step is to add something to your animal to give it some stability. I used plasticine, filling up the hollow body until it had a good weight to it. It just makes them a little bit heavier against the books.

The last step is gluing them onto the frames. Before I did this, I had my husband sand my ends a little bit straighter, so that they'd sit flush with the frames. Since my deer was so thick, my cuts were pretty jagged, and they just weren't lying flat along the frames. He used an orbital sander on the edges for a few seconds, and they were good to go.

I added some pretty paper into my frames, and glued the deer right onto the glass. I wouldn't say this is the MOST stable solution - you may be better to glue onto the metal, but I just loved the way the paper looked!

After that, they're finished! I love the way they look. They're definitely no Jonathan Adler bookends, but for $3.50, they'll do!

I think it may look cute to paint the just the feet gold. I may try this over the weekend to see how it looks!


  1. What an awesome way to DIY these bookends!

    1. Thanks! You'll have to let me know if you try them!

  2. I am working on something like this right now!!

  3. Wow this a awesome DIY idea! I've been looking for some bookends as well and you're right, they're quite expensive.... So this is a very nice alternative. Definitely going to try this.
    Now the only problem is setteling on a animal... And finding somebody who will help me cause I have two left hands!

    Nice post.


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