Who can resist a DIY project that’s both useful and beautiful?? Definitely not me! These fabulously functional DIY Letter Bookends are my new favorite home decor item.
Letter bookends are very trendy right now in home decor, and can easily cost anywhere from $30 to $60! But for about $10 in materials you can make your own customized DIY versions. It’s a great afternoon project!
- paper mache letters, about 8” tall
- sand (You can find jars of craft sand at some craft stores, or you could just collect some from outside!)
- an X-acto craft knife
- a hot glue gun
- scrapbook paper of your choice
- Mod Podge & a brush
Start by using the X-acto knife to carefully cut the front side of your letter off. Remove the front, and take out any filler material that may be inside.
Inspect the inside of the letter for any gaps, and use your hot glue gun to seal the holes. You don’t want sand spilling everywhere! :-)
Hot Glue Tip: After years of singeing my poor fingertips when using my glue gun, I finally got wise and bought some protective Finger Caps! Now I can’t believe I ever dared to use a glue gun without them!
When any holes are sealed off, fill the body of your letter with sand. It took about one pound of sand to fill each letter.
Next, replace the front of your letter and use your hot glue gun to glue it back into place. Seal it as completely as possible with the glue.
Now it’s time to cover the letter with your paper of choice. I did this by tracing each side of the letter in sections, then cutting out the pieces I traced and hot gluing them to the letter. I chose to leave a 1/2” margin around each section, so that I could glue the excess down around the edges so that there wouldn’t be any visible gaps in the paper. It took a little bit more time, but I think it was definitely worth it!
Quick Tip: Cover all of the interior and exterior side surfaces, as well as the top and bottom surfaces, before covering the front and back. Since the front and back surfaces are the feature, putting them on last will cover up and edges, flaps, or mishaps. (It happens!) :-)
Once your letters are decorated with the paper, all that’s left to do is give them a quick coat or two of Mod Podge. The Mod Podge will give them a glossy, sleek finish, and it will make your bookends more durable. Use a fan or sponge brush to apply it to all the surfaces, making sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies.
Then let them dry for an hour or so, and they’re ready for their bookshelf debut!