Unique bookends can add a lot of character to a shelf. I was recently looking for some cool bookends online but the ones I found were either a little pricey or not quite my style. Since I had a specific idea in mind, I decided to just make them myself! These Action Figure Bookends are functional and a fun way to display your action figures on the shelf.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 2 Action Figures
- 4 pieces of hardwood cut to the size you want (mine are 5.5”x6”)
- Spray Paint
- Wood Glue
- Sandpaper (Coarse & Fine grades)
- Glue Dots
- Tacky Glue
When it comes to selecting your wooden pieces, I recommend using a hardwood like poplar or oak. Unlike softwood, hardwood will be heavy enough to hold up your books. I found a 0.75” x 5.5” board of Red Oak that was 2 feet long. Then I had this kind gentleman cut four 6” pieces from the wood so that each piece was 5.5” x 6”.
Once you’ve got all your materials, sand your wooden pieces to get a smooth & even finish. Use coarse sand paper first, then fine sand paper to finish and polish the wood. Use a cloth to wipe away any residue left after sanding.
Use wood glue to adhere two of the wooden pieces in a 90 degree angle. Remove excess glue with a wet Q-Tip or damp cloth if necessary.
To apply pressure while the glue sets, I used a one-handed bar clamp (available at hardware stores).
Or you can place a couple of heavy books on top of the bookends. Let the glue dry for at least 30 minutes.
Once the wooden pieces are glued together, spray paint them in a well ventilated area. Spray on several thin coats of paint covering all sides of the bookends.
Let it dry for 2-4 hours, then flip the pieces over and spray paint the bottom of the bookends.
TIP: Before applying your main color, be sure to spray paint your wooden pieces with a primer. Or use a spray paint + primer combo like this!
Once all the sides are completely dry, cut 2 pieces of felt slightly smaller than the bottom of the bookends.
Using Tacky Glue, glue the felt pieces to the wooden pieces.
The felt will prevent the wood from scratching up your bookshelf.
Now it’s time to add your action figures! I decided to go with a Transformers theme. Since I wanted to represent both sides of good and evil, I chose Autobot Commander Optimus Prime and Decepticon scientist Shockwave. Since both Transformers are from the Beast Hunters Voyager Class series, they’re the same height. However, mixing and matching different size action figures would also look cool! Work with whatever you have in your collection!
Now the big question…to glue, or not to glue? When it comes to my action figures, I don’t like doing permanent modifications—mainly because I use mine for photos, dioramas, and to be costars in my YouTube videos! So for these bookends, I chose the temporary solution of Glue Dots. You can find Glue Dots at most craft stores. They’re quick to use and have certainly made my crafting life a lot easier.
Remove a few glue dots from the roll and place them on the bottom of your action figure.
Then place the action figure on the bookend. The Glue Dots will provide just the right amount of stickiness you’ll need.
TIP: If you want a more permanent solution, use a drop of super glue on the bottom of your action figures and stick them to the bookends.
Once the figures have been attached to their bases, your Action Figure Bookends are done!
These bookends are a great way to show off your action figures and keep all your books in place!