Create Distinctive Bookends

Row of books between bookendsSome of the most distinctive bookends have been crafted from portions of recycled furniture such as old legs or antique bedposts. Converting old furniture parts to attractive and unique bookends can be a fun way to add character and an artistic flare to an otherwise ordinary looking bookshelf. What’s more, scouring local used furniture stores or garage sales can yield a treasure trove of items to work with. Even if the furniture pieces you have selected are not heavy enough on their own, it is easy to add weight to them so your books will be held in place. All you’ll need is some imagination, basic construction supplies such as sandpaper, glue, paint or stain, and felt, lead or heavy metal, as well as a reliable set of Professional Grade Tools including a saw and a drill. 

Getting Started

Once you have found the perfect old furniture leg or headboard knob for your bookend, your first step is to cut it to the desired height/length with your professional grade tools. Depending on how heavy or solid the wood is, use either a reciprocating saw by Makita or, if lighter and/or hollow, a basic hand saw such as our Pacoa hack saw should do the trick.

Next, if you want to stain or paint the piece, sand it down to a smooth finish using fine grain sandpaper. Simply stain or paint to your desired color and let dry. If you prefer the ‘shabby chic’ look or the wooden leg or bed post already has an attractive finish, you are ready complete the base. To do this, sand the bottom of your wood piece to a smooth finish. Now cut a piece of felt the size and shape of the wood’s bottom. Take some wood glue and apply to the bottom, carefully attaching the felt. Set the entire item on some waxed paper until completely dry.

Adding Weight To Your Bookend

If you are using a piece of wood that is either light or hollow, adding enough weight that will hold back books can be easily accomplished. If hollow, simply fill up with lead (buckshot works well) or a piece of heavy metal. To keep weight in place, add Styrofoam or pillow cushion material, wedging the metal securely before applying the felt as described above.

In the event the wood piece is solid, from your professional grade tools take your electric drill and drill a hole in the base. Now fill the hole with weight per above to achieve the same weighted effect. Make sure you leave adequate space in the upper part of the wooden piece so as to achieve a bottom-heavy effect. Once drilled and filled, finish bookend bottom in the usual way.