Aha! Crafts

gilded animal bookends.

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diy gilded animal bookends

 These Quick & Easy gilded animal bookends make my heart beat a little faster and my smile a bit bigger.  They are one of those craft ideas I came up with randomly and didn’t realize how much I would love them until they were finished.  But they are absolutely fantastic!  I love how they take something as simple as a few blocks of wood and toy animals and turn them into something that looks classy and intentional.

Use gilding to create quick and easy gilded bookends

I used Martha Stewart liquid gilding for this craft, and you absolutely want to use it.  This turns everything you touch into gold. Literally. It’s brilliant.  You could also use a different color, something darker for a more masculine look.  


  • Martha Stewart Gilding
  • 4 blocks of wood (the size you want for your bookends)
  • 2 dollar store animals (make sure they look cool on bookends)
  • super glue
  • paint brush
  • sand paper (if needed)


step 1 for quick & easy gilded bookends

quick & easy gilded bookends step2

  1.  Use superglue to put 2 blocks of wood together in bookend form. (I sanded the corners of my wood to make them look a bit more “classy”.)  My squares were about 5″ x 5″, but that’s just a guideline.


step 2 to gilded bookends

step 2 to gilded bookends

step 3 to gilded animal bookends

               2- You need to super glue your animal to the book end that you created. Make sure to give them a few minutes to dry.

              I used these great giraffes from the dollar store…$1 each.

step 3 to gilded animal bookends


step 4 of gilded animal bookends

                3- Cover the animals and bookends in gilding.  You only need one coat. And it goes quick and dries quickly.

And you will get this…

NellieBellie: quick & easy gilded animal bookends. a tutorial.

You will want to gild everything. Even pears and cake plates.  Maybe even your toilet. 

Nellie is the founder of NellieBellie, and takes basically every photograph you've ever seen on this site. She also runs our web design business, the Savvy Sites Administration.


  1. Dawn Ambrose

    October 3, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Just what I was looking for to figure out how to make something I saw on etsy! Thanks for the wonderful tutorial :)

    • Nellie

      October 3, 2014 at 9:54 am

      I’m so glad!! These are still one of my favorite little diy’s we’ve done!

  2. miss k

    July 13, 2013 at 12:17 am

    I’m just curious what size wooden blocks you used & where did you get them? This is such a cute idea!

    • miznelliebellie

      July 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      These were just a 2 by 4 I cut in 4 inch blocks. Thanks!

  3. Tausha

    November 29, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Love this! I too got a box of Martha goodies, but I never thought to gold up some animals. I see friend gifts that my girls can make all by themselves. Thanks for the idea. Pinning!
    Have a happy day

    • miznelliebellie

      November 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

      What a great craft for your girls!! I can see them picking cute animals like Koalas and bears :). Have a great week!

  4. Emma Briggs

    November 29, 2012 at 12:47 am

    What great ideas! First, I saw this I thought it was a wood but it is made of plastic…by the way you did a good job here….

    • miznelliebellie

      November 29, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Thank you!! That gilding is fantastic stuff!

  5. Barbara Hiatt

    November 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Ha gild your toilet! Love it!!! You did a fab job!!
    Barbara at Chase the Star

  6. Bella

    November 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Are you kidding me? I can’t believe that’s plastic and wood! LOVE lurve luuuuuvvv it.

  7. Johnnie Lanier

    November 28, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Ummm… genius. I have been wanting to use that gilding. This is perfect. I can’t believe you used plastic Dollar store animals. Love it!

    • miznelliebellie

      November 28, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Thanks! That gilding is amazing stuff…I think I’m going to be gilding everything!

  8. Beth Laverty

    November 28, 2012 at 7:30 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! Will have to steal it!

    • miznelliebellie

      November 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Steal away! Pretty sure I probably unknowingly stole it from someone else!!

  9. Jen @ Four Marrs & One Venus

    November 27, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Close the book! WOW! These are great- and so stinkin’ golden cute!

    • miznelliebellie

      November 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      Have I ever told you have the best exclamation points! I mean, everyone uses them but you USE them!!
      Love it!

      *Janel Hutton*
      * blogger**, NellieBellie*

      http://nelliebellie.com [image: logo]
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      [image: Google Plus] My latest G+: gilding is my new best friend. and giraffes. and easy peasy crafts. like this… My G+ – Posts- Add
      to Circles – 08:15 Nov-27
      Get this email app!

  10. Patty

    November 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Oh my gosh! These are so cool!!! Great idea!

    • miznelliebellie

      November 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      Well thank you!!! It was so easy I feel bad sounding so clever :). Have a great week!

  11. Kiana

    November 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Oh I am Sooooo doing this!! cute and clever!

    • miznelliebellie

      November 27, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks so much!! Have a great week!

  12. Gwen

    November 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    How fun! I Love Martha’s Metallic Paints! They rock and roll all night…

  13. Erin

    November 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I think this would look good in any solid colour, I think I would go for black.. or white… or teal

  14. debbiedoos

    November 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    OK that is the cutest most clever idea ever. LOVE the look too. Thanks for sharing at our dollar tree party.

    • miznelliebellie

      November 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      :) Thanks so much Debbie!!

  15. Leeann

    November 27, 2012 at 11:53 am

    My mom and I were just talking about how to find a seat that will match the avocado bathroom, I’m betting gold is the way to go.

    Love the bookends, and really need some. I’m off to raid my son’s room for cool toys while he’s in school :)

  16. Shannon Fox

    November 27, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Oh wow! They look so pretty in the gold! SCORE finding matching animals ;) Love that gilded look. I’m going to have to get me some Martha ;)

    • miznelliebellie

      November 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Absolutely! Martha is a must have! Actually, the animals are pretty easy to find matching. They usually only have 1 or 2 kinds at a time.

  17. Chance DesignedbyChance

    November 27, 2012 at 8:59 am

    What a great project. I really need to update my book shelves and this project may just be the thing I need.

    • miznelliebellie

      November 27, 2012 at 9:01 am

      Oh the things you can gild!! I’m planning on attacking my vases, frames…nothing is safe!

  18. ChiWei

    November 27, 2012 at 8:39 am

    That’s awesome! I can’t believe that dollar store animal looks so good with that paint! Now I’ll need to put together an entire animal safari man cave and guild me some elephants and antelopes :-) Thanks for a great idea!

    • miznelliebellie

      November 27, 2012 at 8:56 am

      I know!! I want to go grab all the toys in Levi’s room and gild them :). Think he would notice??

  19. Evelyn @ My Turn (for us)

    November 27, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I gotta get me some of this stuff! My Fellow loves Gold Prospecting and I think I could have fun making nuggets? And of course crafts too:)

    • miznelliebellie

      November 27, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Gold nuggets…that’s a great idea!! You could just get pea gravel and roll some around in the gilding. Seriously, this stuff has
      endless possibilities. I love it!

  20. cassie

    November 27, 2012 at 7:29 am

    adorable! i love all things gilded, especially animals.

    • miznelliebellie

      November 27, 2012 at 8:28 am

      I do too!! I was so excited to see how easy it was to do it myself!

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