Sure, you can head to your local big box store and purchase a set of bookends. But instead of buying cookie-cutter book holders, try making your own. Your bookends can provide your bookshelf with the function of holding up your books as well as giving a statement about your tastes. Bring your personal flair into every element of your decor with DIY bookends.
Take a pair of milk cartons or small cardboard boxes and cut them down to the size of cubes, leaving enough excess material on top to fold over as a flap-style lid. Fill the container with rocks and then fold down the flaps and tape them shut. Paint the container with a layer of paper mache glue (2 parts water to 1 part white glue), then cover it with decorative tissue paper; repeat this, layering two more times, and then add a family photo to each face of the cube. Let it dry entirely before use.
Go on a rock-collecting hike with your family. Pick up decorative rocks on a nature trail or purchase them in a local craft store. Each rock should be at least as big around as a quarter but no larger than a golf ball in size. Get out your glue gun and put it to work gluing the rocks into a pile; use a heavy piece of cardboard on one side of the pile to stabilize it as you glue and to provide a flat face for your rock pile. When the glue hardens and dries, the pile of rocks will hold up your books.
Let your bookends blend in with your collection. Purchase a pair of hard-backed books at a local thrift or secondhand store. Open up the cover of the book and cut a hole in the middle of the pages, as if to stash away your secret valuables. Use a sharp box cutter or rotary tool equipped with a cutting wheel to remove the middle approximately 150 pages in the book, then paint the inner edges of these pages with glue to hold them together. Fill the hole with heavy items such as rocks, then glue the book's cover down to its pages to hold the whole thing together. On the shelf, your bookends will blend in with their readable counterparts.
Get a large, clear vase or other container such as a drinking glass or a candle holder. Purchase or collect several colorful glass rocks, such as sea glass or the types of rocks you put in the bottom of a fish tank. Squeeze out a layer of heavy glue or strong craft glue in the bottom of the vase and cover it with rocks. Add more glue and more rocks like a parfait until the vase is full, then let it dry and use it to hold your books in place and provide a splash of color to your bookshelf.
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