Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Brick Book Ends

With my book shelves done a while ago, I found I have one problem: 

Books and stuff sometimes fall off the sides, despite my cross beam.  I went through various websites looking for cool looking bookends, and then thought it would be better, more fun and less expensive to make my own!  So I did a search on the internet on how to make bookends, when I found this image:

These are bricks painted up to look like books.  I loved it!  So the next day I went out and bought 12 bricks from Home Depot for $4.32.

I opted to get gray bricks instead of red brick, figuring that they would be easier to paint.

Normally I would have painted these using spray paints, but the weather is too cold for that so I opted to use acrylic paints.  I started with yellow to see how well the bricks would take acrylic paint.

It did not at all look good to me.  But the white I painted on for the pages looked good.

Next I tried a darker color, and blue went on nicely - but was still a little flat when dry.

So I decided each brick will get a first coat of white to help the colors stand out more.

For some reason the paint takes a long time to dry, so at first I only painted up 6 bricks.  Once the white dried I repainted my blue and yellow bricks.

This time the color was more vibrant, so I painted a red, green, brown and purple book as well.

While those dried I started to paint other bricks white, but was running low on white paint.  So for 2 bricks, I painted the white 'pages'only, and then painted the covers-black on one, and a thick old orange on the other.

I let each brick dry before adding detail to the spines.  For inspiration, I referenced the Classic Book series from Barnes & Noble.  If you haven't seen these books, they are marvelously decorated - each one a work of art.

So, using those as reference I got some paint markers and started decorating the brick/book spines.

With the first 8 bookends more-or-less done, I started on the remaining 4.  With my supply of normal acrylic colors depleted, I used whatever colors I had remaining - which was gold, silver, bronze and light blue.

When those dried, I decorated them as well.

With all the brick decorations done, the last step was to get some felt...

...and cut it up, gluing pieces to the bottom of each brick.

This will keep the bricks from scratching up the surface of the bookshelves.

And I'm done!

This was a fun, small project.  It was also very inexpensive and helps keep our books in place on the bookshelf!  Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!


  1. Brilliant work! Did you pre-heat your bricks in the oven before painting? :D (Just saw some pretty extreme New York weather on the news - whew!)

  2. Hey Phil. Yes the weather is crazy in NY. Cold and snowy one day, hot and rainy the next day. I didn't pre-heat the bricks at all. What would that do?

  3. I love them, who knew brick could be this chic?

  4. Thanks! Bricks are always chic!