gilded animal bookends.

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

 These Quick & Easy DIY gilded animal bookends are simple and easy. They 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.

Can't you imagine putting these in a nursery? Your kiddo can start learning about animals from the beginning. It'll be so cute and so perfect!

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Use gilding to create quick and easy gilded bookends

I used Martha Stewart liquid gilding for this craft, and you absolutely want to use something like it.  This turns everything you touch into gold. It’s brilliant. You feel like Rumpelstiltskin.  You could also use a different color, something darker for a more masculine look. Or maybe bright pink, if that's the kind of thing you like.

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

This is the animal I chose, because giraffes are great. I also wanted to make sure you could tell what animal it is when I covered it in gold. If I chose a tiger you might not be able to tell what kind of large cat it is. But a giraffe? Definitely identifiable.

step 2 to gilded bookends

This is the super glue I used. Use whatever brand you prefer, or a different adhesive if you think it'd work. The important thing is that it needs to stick, so just be aware of that when you decide.

step 3 to gilded animal bookends

           These giraffes were only $1 each. What's great about these bookends is how inexpensive they are. If you're lucky you might even have the wood for the bookends already lying around!

step 3 to gilded animal bookends

Look how cute they are and I haven't even added the gold! Honestly, you can keep them like this if you'd like. I think they look more put together after you add the gold, but to each their own.


step 4 of gilded animal bookends

        This is the gilding I recommend. You can find it at most stores that sell craft supplies.

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

You will want to gild everything once you use this. Even pears and cake plates.  Maybe even your toilet (not recommended).


  • [easyazon_link identifier="B003W0AAJG" locale="US"]Gilding[/easyazon_link]
  • 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)

To Do:

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 cleaner). If you need to know what bookend form looks like, see the photos above or below. My squares were about 5" x 5", but that's just a guideline. If you want yours bigger or smaller, go for it. Just make sure your animals will fit.

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

Cover the animals and bookends in gilding.  You only need one coat. It goes quick and dries quickly.

You're done! Sit back and look at your creation, isn't it precious?

If you love bookends crafts, check this out. It's a pinterest full of bookend ideas.



Some questions people have had, answered:

What size wooden blocks did you use and where did you get them?

I just used normal 2x4s that I cut into 4 inch blocks. You can find them at most hardware stores, or Menard's or Lowe's.

What size should the toy animal be?

That really depends on the size of the wood you're using, or vice versa. I'd say start with whatever you already have and decide the size of things from there. If you already have wood for your bookends, choose a toy that will fit them. If you already have the toys, choose your bookends accordingly. If you have neither, choose whatever you want!

35 thoughts on “gilded animal bookends.”

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

  2. 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

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

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

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