1. Woodland Dioramas
Materials: two wooden blocks approximately 8 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter (you can have them cut specially at the hardware store), newspaper, chestnut-colored wood stain, tacky glue, a paintbrush, faux grass (available at craft stores), assorted pebbles and stones, assorted faux conifer tree figures, small plastic woodland figurines, and a Scene-A-Rama water kit (optional).
1. Spread out newsprint on your work surface. Using either a clean cloth or a paintbrush, begin to stain your wood blocks by gently applying the stain in the direction of the wood on all 4 vertical sides of the blocks. You can stain the bottom of the blocks if you choose but don’t stain the top. No need for a second coat — one should do it. Let dry for a couple hours.
2. Once your blocks are dry, create a mixture of tacky glue and water in a bowl. Using a paintbrush, paint the glue mixture on the top of the block that has not yet been stained.
3. While the glue is still wet, sprinkle on the faux grass. Press down lightly with your finger to adhere. Let dry a few hours.
4. If you wish to add a stream to your bookends, scrape off the grass using a blunt object (we used the end of a foam brush) until you reach your desired stream shape. Add a thin layer of glue to the outside border of your stream on both sides to create a seal when you add the water.
5. Paint on the water undercoat that comes with the Scene-A-Rama kit in the area where you scraped off the grass. If you don’t have the kit, you can use thick acrylic blue paint instead. You can also add small pebbles on top of the undercoat to look like stones submerged in the water.
6. While the undercoat dries, start gluing down your animal figurines, pebbles, and trees in your desired location. Tweezers may come in handy during this step for holding the figures in place while the glue dries.
7. Once the water undercoat is dry, apply the realistic water effect that comes with the Scene-A-Rama kit. Let dry a few hours. If desired, once this layer is dry, add the water ripple special effect (the last layer in the kit).
8. Add a few more pebbles/whatever finishing touches you may have and let the bookends dry a few more hours before use.
2. Polka Dot Geos
These adorable bookends were created by Allie at Four Eyed Wonder.
Materials: two solid wood blocks (approximately 6” x 6” x 4”), fine grit sandpaper, a paintbrush, a file, wood stain (optional), acrylic paint in various colors, a coin or circle template, polyurethane spray, a hand sew or electric sew, a drill.
1. Following the diagram shown, ark each face of your wood block and cut along those guidelines using your sew to form your geometric shapes, removing a triangular piece from each corner of your block.
2. If you plan to use your bookends to hold flowers, drill a hole of sufficient size on the top face of each block, at least one-third of the height.
3. Sand your wood blocks carefully to make them smooth, including all sharp corners and edges. You can also use a file for any extremely uneven portions.
4. You can apply wood stain to your sanded wood blocks if you have a preferred color or shade. Then sand again as necessary.
5. Using a small coin as your guide, lightly draw random circles on each face your block to form a polkadot pattern, then paint freehand using acrylic. You can also use a circle template if you have one to avoid pencil marks.
6. Spray two to three coats of polyurethane to seal your paint and give your bookends a nice, even finish.
Fill with flowers if you like, and you’re good to go.
3. Starry Tea Light Votives
Jordan at Stellaire crafted these chic candle votive bookends.
Materials: two glass jars, ceramic or specialty paint (that will adhere to glass), painter’s tape, paint brushes, a marker, and battery powered tea lights (so you don’t start a fire.)
1. Decide on a shape to decorate your jar. These will be the bare spots where the light from the candle will shine through. Draw your shapes on painter’s tape and cut them out.
2. Arrange your painter’s tape stickers on your jar to prepare it for painting.
3. Paint a few coats over the entire jar, letting each coat dry before you do the next one.
4. When your jars have completely dried, carefully remove the stickers. If you are having trouble removing them cleanly, use an exacto knife to trace around the edges of the sticker before you pull it off.
Put your tealights in the jars and you’ve got bookends that are also great for ambiance.
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