Children's Craft: How to Make Bookends
It is not difficult to make a pair of attractive bookends for a children's bedroom, and the best part is that even quite young children can have a hand in creating them. It's great for the children to enjoy helping to make their bedroom look good. They could even make a pair of bookends each for keeping their own books together.
The other good things are that they don't take very long to make and you probably have the materials somewhere around the home, so they are very economical to make. It's also a great way to preserve the front of a couple of favourite greeting cards, such as birthday or Christmas cards.
If you do not have any cards available, the boxes could be decorated with stickers, or instead of painting them the children could do finger-painting or marbling and the paper glued to the boxes. For girls, they could even be covered with the fabric of a favourite dress they have grown out of and then decorated with lace, beads or sparkles.
To make the bookends, you will need the following items, but some newspaper to protect the table or bench where the children are to work when painting could also be useful.
- A pair of scissors to cut the greeting cards and the cardboard to size
- 2 empty, but intact packets. The size of your completed bookends will depend on the size of the packets you choose to use. I used cornflour packets as they are about A5 size which is convenient as many cards are around that size, but they could be bigger than this or as small as a matchbox, depending on the size of the books you intend the bookends to hold.
- A good number of pebbles. We had some in a tin we had brought home years ago from a visit to the famous Chesil Bank, in Dorset, England. They're probably protected now, but they were a special souvenir collected by our older children. At last they had a use!
- 2 pieces of strong cardboard, the width of the boxes you have chosen
- Clear glue
- Acrylic or Poster paint in a bright colour that will look good with your cards. Make sure the colour chosen will match the decor of their bedroom
- Wide sticky-tape
Steps in Making the Bookends
Once you have assembled the materials needed, the children can begin. Most of the steps are quite simple and it is fun to share the making together.
- Fill the boxes with sufficient pebbles to support the books they will hold
- Glue the box tops and close. They may need to be held or weighted down for a moment
- Paint the boxes and one edge of the cardboard pieces
- While they are drying, cut out the cards and wash the brushes
- Glue one card on the outside of each box
- With the card facing outwards, glue the base of the box and stick it to the flat cardboard.
- With the weight of the pebbles, the boxes should be strong enough, but you can strengthen them by using the clear sticky-tape to further attach the box to the cardboard on the side of the box that does not have the card.
- The boxes can be further decorated with colourful stickers on the backs or narrow sides, if you wish.
Put the bookends in place and stand the books between them. They'll help to keep the books tidy, will be mementos of special occasions and will look great!
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