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Children's Craft: How to Make Bookends

As a teacher at all levels and mother of five children, Bronwen has been interested in a variety of crafts for both children and adults.

The Finished Bookend

The Finished Bookend

Children's 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.

Put the Pebbles into the box

Put the Pebbles into the box

Materials Needed

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
Paint the Box and the Cardboard

Paint the Box and the Cardboard

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.

  1. Fill the boxes with sufficient pebbles to support the books they will hold
  2. Glue the box tops and close. They may need to be held or weighted down for a moment
  3. Paint the boxes and one edge of the cardboard pieces
  4. While they are drying, cut out the cards and wash the brushes
  5. Glue one card on the outside of each box
  6. With the card facing outwards, glue the base of the box and stick it to the flat cardboard.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!

The Second Bookend at the Other End

The Second Bookend at the Other End

Handcrafts for Children (and Adults)

  • Simple Handmade Greeting Cards
    Suggestions for making handmade greeting cards include the use of photographs, purchased stickers and scrap-booking materials, quilling, calligraphy, sketching, drawing and painting your own. You can even make matching gift tags.
  • How to do Brass-rubbings
    Many cathedrals and churches in Britain have memorial brasses that were set in the stone floors to mark burial places in medieval times. Since Victorian times it has been a popular pastime to make rubbings of these brasses and it can be fun and educa
  • Simple Paper Crafts for Kids
    Paper crafts are a great way to improve kids' fine motor skills. The equipment is inexpensive and they can have lots of fun paper tearing, folding, cutting, glueing and weaving paper.
  • Christmas Crafts for Toddlers
    This article suggests some easy-to-do, economical ideas that will help to involve toddlers in the exciting lead-up to Christmas. it also provides instructions for these crafts.
  • How to Make a Tree Invitation
    A Pre-Christmas tree-trimming party can be great fun, especially for children. This article gives instructions for making invitation cards for the event and is a good handcraft project for either children or adults. Handmade cards are always a hit.
  • Angel Place Cards
    Angel Place Cards are great for Christmas, but they could be used at other times of the year as well. The article includes a list of the materials needed and instructions on making the angels and the cards. They are fun to make and will delight your


Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on November 15, 2015:

Velour: Bookmarking the bookends! A good idea and thank you for the comment.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on November 14, 2015:

This is a great idea, have bookmarked for future reference.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on May 21, 2013:

Scroll to Continue

Enjoy! I'd love to see the result.

Deborah Sexton on May 20, 2013:

I have all my material and I am ready now to put them together. I would have never thought to do this on my own

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on May 18, 2013:

Deborah Sexton: I'm glad you like them. Hope you have fun making them.

Deborah Sexton on May 17, 2013:

Very good ides and so pretty. I'll be making these

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on February 02, 2013:

RTalloni: How lovely! Thank you.

RTalloni on February 01, 2013:

This is a delightful craft for children with great creative potential, and that it helps them focus on reading gives it 10 extra points! :)

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on January 25, 2013:

ChitrangadaSharan: Thank you. Children love being creative and even if the results are not so wonderful, it's good to encourage them. That's the way to improve.

Lipnancy: Recycling has always been 'in', it's just that we talk about it more these days. Thank you for your comments.

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on January 24, 2013:

How very cute. I love the reuse of items.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 24, 2013:

This is so creative and useful. The pictures are great with well explained instructions. It is a good idea to involve the kids in making them.

Thanks for this interesting hub.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on January 18, 2013:

JohnMello: As well as using them, it's a great way to keep some of the best ones where you can also see them. Thank you for your vote.

JohnMello from England on January 18, 2013:

Great way to use up Christmas cards when the holiday's over! Voted up and useful :)

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on January 17, 2013:

Eiddwen: I hope they - and you - have fun making them. Thank you for your good wishes, Eddy. I've been away at a summer camp and just came back. Hope you have a lovely day today.

LadyFiddler: Thank you for your lovely comments. May God bless you, too.

Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on January 17, 2013:

Hey this was pretty simple and cool i LOVE the idea, very nice for kindergardeners to do for art and craft.

Have a lovely afternoon

God bless you sweedie

Eiddwen from Wales on January 10, 2013:

So clever and useful;lots to do when my grandchildren come to stay next.

Have a wonderful day my friend.


Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on January 09, 2013:

flashmakeit: Yes, it's creative and gives them quite a while to make and enjoy.

aviannovice: Learning to make birdhouses would be fun and I'm sure the kids would have lots of fun doing that.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on January 08, 2013:

These are fantastic. I'm sure that a lot of kids out there would love to do crafts like this. Our Lowes and Home Depot teach kids how to make birdhouses and other things on weekends.

flashmakeit from usa on January 08, 2013:

That is a very useful craft idea for children.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on January 08, 2013:

shiningirisheyes: Thank you. Having has a number of children probably helps.

billybuc: The young ones do seem to take their time in providing grandchildren these days, don't they?

Frank Atanacio: Thank you for your comment, good hub-friend.

MsDora: Now there's a good creative idea!

pstraubie48: How lovely! Thank you. I hope he has fun with you when he's old enough.

mours sshields: Thank you, Marcia.

peachpurple: I'm glad you like it and thank you for your vote.

cuttler: Thank you for sharing it. Economical ways of doing things are often the most rewarding.

Cuttler from HubPages on January 07, 2013:

Always a pleasure to share in your creativity. What a cheap and fun way to make bookends. Voted up as usual.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 07, 2013:

i love your book ends. Well illustrated and easy to follow with the photos. Voted up

mours sshields from Elwood, Indiana on January 07, 2013:

A very creative craft and many ideas one could use for this also.

Marcia Ours

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 07, 2013:

Cute idea....and so practical. My grandson is a little bit young to make these but when he is a bit older I will have him help me make them. Am book marking this for later use.

Pinning....Sending Angels your way :) ps

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 07, 2013:

With no kids in the house, I think I'll like to make a pair of these bookends for myself and "decorate" with an inspirational quote." Awesome! Thanks, Blossom.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on January 07, 2013:

blossoms your arts and crafts are just so useful thank you :)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 07, 2013:

I don't have any little kids in my life, but if I ever get any grandkids I'll remember this very useful hub. Good job Blossom!

Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on January 07, 2013:

Blossom - another fantastic idea. You are a plethora of interesting ideas.

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