DIY: Bookends from Home Decor Statues
For quite some time I have been looking for a set of bookends. I had something very specific in mind. They needed to be dogs, or at least animals, and they needed to fit into shabby chic decor with white and pink as the colors.
After quite a bit of searching I decided that what I wanted wasn’t out there and if it were it probably wouldn’t be in my price range, anyway. So I did what any crafty gal has to do and decided to DIY it.
Plan B was simple enough. Keep my eye out for little home decor statues at places like big box stores, discount stores and the like that met the first and most important of my criteria. They had to be animals. I realized that the color was unimportant so it was totally down to form and price.
I fell into quite a bit of luck when I ran into these rather ugly dog statues at a discount store. With the markdown stickers, the total came to just under $4 with tax. Excellent!
So keep your eye out for some little statues that you love and I’ll show you how to turn them into heavy duty bookends!
Found the perfect statues and ready to DIY yours? For this DIY you will need:
- two ceramic statues with holes in the bottom
- bowl or box and newspaper or filler
- plaster of paris
- pitcher of water
- pitcher for mixing plaster
- wooden spoon
- spray primer
- acrylic paint in one or two colors
- crackle medium (only for shabby chic type of look)
- spray polyurethane
Step 1: Locating good statues is key to the project working well. Ceramic is ideal and there needs to be a hole in the bottom. Make sure that the ceramic is medium to thick. There will be minimal cracking that might negatively affect thinner ceramic statues.
My little doggies are 9″ high and 7″ wide at the bottom making them an ideal size to stack next to books without getting lost in the shuffle.
Step 2: Bust out your box and place your first statue in with the top facing down and the opening facing upward. Situate with newspaper or your filling so that it stands on its own. Continue with the next statue and fill in anywhere necessary for these to be wedged in nice and tightly.
Step 3: Prepare your plaster of paris according to the package directions, or until it reaches the consistency of pancake batter.
Step 4: Fill each statue completely to the top with your plaster. I used one and half pounds of plaster and it still wasn’t enough. You may gather some rocks that can fit within the opening of your ceramic just in case you need more weight and space filled.
To be sure that both have the same approximate weight, fill one about halfway and then the other. Add equal amounts to each until full or you run out of plaster. In the event that you run out, now put your rocks in and push them into the plaster until the level of your liquid is level with the bottom openings.
Move the statues away from your workspace and allow to set. This step should take approximately 1 hour.
Step 5: Spray with your primer and allow to dry. (Mine are shiny because I accidentally used gloss paint instead of primer. Read those labels!)
If your ceramic was highly patterned you may not notice your cracks at first but you will after this step. Don’t be alarmed they will disappear in the next step.
Step 6: Paint your statues with craft acrylic paint until you are happy with the coverage and your cracks are no longer visible. You can continue decorating in any way that you’d like at this point. They can remain a single color, cover them with polka dots, which actually sounds really cute. You want it, make it happen!
If you want to shabby yours up like I did follow your acrylic with crackle medium (sold at hobby stores). Use according to package directions and follow with your top coat of paint.
Step 7: If your crackle doesn’t crack as much as you’d like, take some medium grit sand paper and use to remove the top coat of paint and expose the color underneath as you see fit.
Finish with spray polyurethane to protect the finish. After dry, they are ready to earn their keep and start holding up some books!