18 Mar 2012

DIY Brass Book Ends

Check these babies out. They are pretty cute hey?

Would you believe that they only cost me $2? It's true!

Brass bookends seem to be everywhere these days. I peruse Etsy far more than I'd like to admit and I am starting to see them pop up in quite a few shops. If in your head right now you are asking me what the heck Etsy is, please just go and check it out. I am sure you won't regret it.

These circus seals are adorable, but are selling for $62. I don't have books that are that important.

At Chapters the other day I ran across these gold Llama bookends. 
Who wouldn't want some blingy llamas in their house? I would! Only problem was that they were $40 - too much for my taste.

I have seen some DIY bookends on Pinterest over the past few weeks so I took some inspiration and decided to put my own spin on them and give them a go.

I found these plastic toy elephants in the dollar bin at Michael's (yup, $2 total).  

They really did look like they were made in China, so they definitely needed some sprucing up.  That's an easy fix. The real problem though is that they were hollow, which is not good for holding up books.  I could have glued them to a brick or added some wood supports but I really wanted the trunks to hold the books up, so they needed to sit right on the table. We had some cement left over from a basement project that was hiding in the depths of the crawl space.  It was free so it was my kind of solution. Getting a 50lb bag of cement out from a small crawl space resulted in quite a bit of swearing and head bumping, but I eventually won the battle. 

I wanted to drill a hole through one of the feet and pour the cement in that way, but the feet were just too small (imagine - elephant feet being too small).  I decided that I could make a hole in the tummy and once they were upright you wouldn't even see it.  

Some belly button surgery was required.  On a side note, do elephants even have belly buttons? Anyhow, I took my trusty X-Acto knife and went to work (not very gingerly as you can see...).

I then mixed the cement quite thin and used a funnel to pour it in.

Since the cement was runny and it wasn't exposed to air it took a LONG time to dry. I am not totally convinced that the middle of the elephant will ever dry but once the hole was cemented closed they were good to go to the paint shop.  I used 2 coats of gold spray paint.

I was so excited that I totally forgot to take a picture of the freshly painted elephants. Just imagine 2  gleaming gold elephants sitting  on the garage floor freezing their heineys off and you'll get the picture. 

They have now officially taken up residence on our new credenza

I think they look pretty cute and they are small enough that you can't even see the belly buttons.

If you are needing some bookends you should definitely give these a go.  It's really hard to go wrong for $2! I think they'd look great done in bright colors for a kids room.

Linking up to:

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I Heart Nap Time


  1. So cute! I actually spray painted a bronze rhino and I love it!

    And elephants do have belly buttons. All non-pouch and non-egg mammals do. Youve made them more anatomically correct! :)

    1. Thanks for the belly button info Brandi! I was pretty sure they did, but havent had a change to get close enough to one to actually find out. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Putting the cement inside was totally brilliant. I love the end result, my daughter would die for these. Pinning them now.


    1. Thanks Jessica. Gotta love Pinterest!

  3. Wow, came here from Thrifty Decor Chick, love your creativity and thriftiness! Nobody would ever guess how you came to have those two elephants on display. :)

  4. They look insanely cute! Cant believe you cemented them - so smart!


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