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A Quick DIY Project to Upcycle Thrifted Bookends

A Quick DIY Project to Upcycle Thrifted Bookends

Bookends add character and style to your bookshelf. This creative and budget-friendly DIY upcycle is a great way to update your bookshelf. With just a few simple steps you can transform old and outdated bookends into stunning pieces of decor that will add style and personality to your home.

Follow along as we take you through the process of upcycling a pair of children’s bookends found at our local op shop.

Step 1: Remove the old decorations from the bookends.

To begin our bookend makeover, we removed the existing owl decorations. This provided a clean canvas for the new design. One side was harder to remove so we used a hammer to help loosen it from the joins. We made sure to take extra care to ensure the bookends weren’t damaged in the process. 

Step 2: Lightly sand the bookends.

Next, we lightly sanded the bookends. This creates a smooth and even texture, meaning the paint will adhere better for a professional-looking finish. We used 120 grit sandpaper and gently sanded in circular motions until the bookends felt smooth to the touch.

Step 3: Apply 1 coat of Dulux 1Step Prime.

Before we applied the paint, we primed the bookends. It's essential to use a primer to create a solid base and enhance the durability of the finished product. Using Dulux 1Step Prime, we applied one even coat with our brush to the bookends. It’s important to cover all areas evenly. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on.

Step 4: Apply 2 coats of paint. Allow to dry between coats.

Now comes the fun part! Painting! We chose Dulux Puddle for our bookend paint colour. With a sample pot brush, we applied an even first coat of paint to the primed bookends. Once the first coat was dry, we applied a second coat. 

Step 5: Break up the travertine paver. 

To add a touch of elegance and texture to our bookends, we chose to incorporate broken travertine paver pieces. First, we placed a cloth over the paver. We did this to protect the paver surface from the hammer and to protect our eyes from small paver shards. You should also be wearing safety glasses during this stage of the project. 

We struck the hammer over the paver, breaking it into smaller, irregular pieces. The unique shapes and natural beauty of travertine add a stylish and sophisticated look to the bookends.

Step 6: Glue your broken travertine paver pieces to the bookends.

Using a strong adhesive, we carefully glued the broken travertine paver pieces onto the painted surfaces of the bookends. We used pieces of the travertine that naturally broke with a near right angle edge. This meant we could arrange them in a way that complemented the shape of the bookends, but also added interest with the jagged edge on display. As with the painting, it’s important to allow the adhesive to dry completely before handling or displaying your newly transformed bookends.

With a little bit of creativity, you can easily transform some old and tired bookends into stunning pieces that will enhance your home decor. Follow the simple steps above, and let your imagination run wild as you create bookends that are truly one-of-a-kind. Get inspired and start your DIY bookend makeover today!

Got an idea for a DIY project? We would love to hear it. Head to your local Inspirations Paint store to get everything you need and nothing you don’t.