DIY Animal Bookend

4 years ago by in DIY, Home Decor, sponsored2, Uncategorized

I have been dying to make a plastic animal bookend. The kids love books so we are always in need of bookends around here. I first saw this idea from Cassie over at Hi Sugarplum, and have since seen it done several different ways on Pinterest. (If you have done this yourself or have seen a favorite version online feel free to link it below!)

Here’s my cute little hippo before. Looking a little sad and worn out. :(

And after a little spray paint and a piece of scrap wood:

I used a high-gloss paint and unfortunately the paint bubbled up. I should have used a primer first, and definitely will next time if I make one again. I do love how it turned out though.

The funny thing is, my kids will still play with it like it’s a toy. In fact, my four-year old told me she liked it better blue, and could we spray paint the giraffe pink please?

Hmm. Not a bad idea…


71 Responses to “DIY Animal Bookend”

[…] Because nothing says “I love you” like a bright blue hippo. Directions here. […]

December 4, 2012 Reply

Love this idea! I’m curious, though, if the animal figure and scrap wood were heavy enough to keep the books in place. Or did you add something to weight it down a bit?
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December 6, 2012 Reply

I’m wondering the same thing. my kids would love these

December 9, 2012 Reply

I am wondering the same thing as well. I need book ends but the ones I’ve found are $50! I wonder if putting some iron would help with the weight?

December 12, 2012 Reply

I will use a brick =)

Natalie Wright
December 12, 2012 Reply

Haha! Love the brick idea- I might have to try that! I used a hardwood scrap instead of a softwood and it seems to be sturdy enough to support books on it’s own. You will pay more for hardwood but all you need is a scrap. The adding iron is a great idea, but I am not sure how you would do that. Hmmm…. sounds like I need to try a few more ideas!

Matthew (Anonymous earlier)
December 13, 2012 Reply

a brick, and a nail file to smooth out the seams where the plastic has fused together!

Adventures in Dressmaking
December 17, 2012 Reply

Fabulous idea, love it! I love the animal toy DIYs like the hooks and magnets (cut in half), but have yet to find a great source for the little plastic ones. Will keep this in mind, though!
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July 5, 2013 Reply

Spray paint the tiny plastic ones and stick them on a necklace chain. They look amazing!

Heres a DIY tutorial:

Natalie Wright
July 14, 2013 Reply

Tiny hippo! So stinkin’ cute Gina!

December 21, 2012 Reply

I have also seen the toys cut in half, but instead of magnets having them still be bookends. Looks the the animal is walking through the kids stories. I am about to try it myself and if it works out well I will post a link. :)

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January 3, 2013 Reply

Do they still make those rather cheap looking metal bookends – you know the “L” shaped ones? If they do you could glue the animal cut in half directly to the flat surface of the metal. Just a thought.

[…] Plastic Animal Bookends How cute are these bookends? These are by Natalie who has gazillions of inspiring projects. I fancy doing dino versions of these. […]

February 27, 2013 Reply

I’ve seen them done before using two of the plastic L-shaped picture frames that stand on their own. You cut the animal in half, glue half of him to each of the L-shaped picture frames, then spray paint the entire thing. I did a dark bronze with a toy lion. It looked really good! The lion looked like he was walking through the books.

Natalie Wright
March 7, 2013 Reply

Love that idea, I think I might try it. Thanks Melissa!

March 4, 2013 Reply

I was wondering if this was enough to keep books in place? Also, do you have any other suggestions to make the bookends weighted without having to worry about scratching up my nice wooden bookcase with a brick?

Natalie Wright
March 7, 2013 Reply

Hey Emily! I thought that same thing about a brick- but if you put felt furniture pads on the bottom your bookcase should stay scratch free. I have also see rocks used as bookends, and they were painted neon too! Best of luck!

January 30, 2014 Reply

You could also put the self adhesive cork sheets along the bottom

Natalie Wright
February 5, 2014 Reply

Great idea, thanks Abby!

[…] Because nothing says “I love you” like a bright-blue hippo. Directions here. […]

[…] a bookworm and I know a lot of people who have shelves full of books too. When I saw this post by Natalme I decided I may just give them all Bookends for valentine’s day because they make good, […]

[…] DIY Animal Bookend by Natalme. Seriously, that is one cute hippo and the blue is so vibrant. My little boy would love […]

This morning I curated a “DIY Ceramic Animal Hall of Fame” collection (obviously, just my humble opinions) and this made the list! Obviously, not everything on the list is very “ceramic-y” but they are all adorable. Your little hippo is so cute, I couldn’t resist including him! The post is here:

Natalie Wright
July 14, 2013 Reply

Thanks for sharing Dani!

August 8, 2013 Reply

Wow they are so cute! I might make one for a present.

November 1, 2013 Reply

If you glue a strip of felt (4 inches?) to the bottom of your bookend so it sticks out towards the books, than the weight of the books will hold the bookend in place, regardless of how heavy the bookend is.

Natalie Wright
November 4, 2013 Reply

Awesome tip Pam, thanks so much for sharing! I am actually making another set soon, and I am totally going to try it with felt. Many thanks!

November 18, 2013 Reply

great idea!

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November 12, 2013 Reply

[…] DIY Animal Bookend from Natalme […]

November 18, 2013 Reply

great idea!

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December 6, 2013 Reply

I love this idea but I can’t find any plastic animals that are large enough!! Any ideas of where I can buy them?!
Please help!
Thank you!!

December 7, 2013 Reply

Kate i’ve seen some that get quite large at walmart in the toy aisles.

December 8, 2013 Reply

How did you affix the hippo to the wood?

Nikki Comma
December 9, 2013 Reply

So awesome! My dad wants moose bookends for the cottage. I’m excited to try this now. Thanks for the post.
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December 11, 2013 Reply

I was wondering what size your hippo is? I bought some dinosaurs online to do this, but they’re teeny (just 6 inches in length, inc. tail) and finding it hard to source anything of the right size online…

Natalie Wright
December 15, 2013 Reply

The hippo is about 4-5 inches long. Try Joann’s- they sell large packs of plastic animals that are the perfect size!

December 12, 2013 Reply

I’ve made some of these too!

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December 23, 2013 Reply

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[…] was — I’m blown away by how cool they look when incorporated into crafty projects, like this easy animal bookend. A plastic toy hippo, a little spray paint, and a block of scrap wood, and you’ve got […]

February 26, 2014 Reply

this is so cute great idea, I’m just wondering how did you get the hippo to stick to the wood

Natalie Wright
February 28, 2014 Reply

Hi Sarah! To get the hippo to stick to the wood, I just used a five minute epoxy glue. It has held up great!

April 5, 2014 Reply

Doesn’t the weight of the books get the hippo bookend out of place?

Natalie Wright
April 13, 2014 Reply

Hi Jaqueline! The weight would depend on the type of wood and plastic animal. If you had a hollow animal and a light piece of wood like balsa, it would fall right over. I haven’t had any issues, but I am using kids books too, which tend to be lighter. I would suggest using a heavy piece of wood or even a rock or stone. Thanks for stopping by!

[…] Animal Bookends […]

November 9, 2014 Reply

For those worried about the weight of the bookends, I have added weight to similar objects with sand. It works if they are hollow. I have taken hollow resin figurines from the Dollar Store (these were small busts of Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster) which would fall over easily and given them weight by drilling a hole in them and filling them with sand. I’ll bet you could do the same thing here. To fill the hole, I dropped super glue onto it and sprinkled on baking soda (a model builder’s trick–it cures right away) to fill it. Then i painted them. Perhaps you could do something similar here. You could use other products that cure well instead of super glue. Maybe use a plug of some kind to help fill in the hole with the glue–like a cut section of dowel.

[…] Or if you don’t have a saw: DIY Animal Bookend […]

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[…] If you know a child who likes to read, give them handmade bookmarks or animal bookends. […]

December 13, 2014 Reply

It is the coolest and cutest thing ever now if only I could get my kids to give up their toys

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[…] 1. dino bookends  […]

January 1, 2015 Reply

Wonder if you could fill the animals with sand or something.

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[…] figurines from her youth. Spray paint in a vibrant hue, glue to wood and voila! Find the tutorial here […]

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