Making Bookends with Recyclable Materials

November 27, 2019
There are books on your shelves and you'd like to add some decorative bookends. You've come to the right place because today we're going to tell you all about making some interesting bookends with the materials in your recycling bins.

Today we’ll give you some ideas for making bookends with recyclable materials. Usually, our own creativity inspires us to come up with interesting ideas we can integrate into our home decor. However, ingenuity is also an important factor when realizing that pretty much any element can fulfill an aesthetic function.

We live in a world in which we’re all constantly generating trash and it’s polluting our environment. Cities around the world collect tons of garbage every day. So, we must reuse as many of those materials as we can and come up with ways to give them a second function instead of sending them into landfills.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you’ll be able to reuse everything. However, if you need another object and can make it with recyclable materials, then why not do it?

The importance of recycling

Three recycling buckets.

We must emphasize how important the work we all do is when we take the time to separate our trash and place it in different bins. It’s very common to see at least four containers in most homes these days, labeled as plastic, paper, glass, and organic waste.

Recycling is everyone’s responsibility. Trash collectors take all of our waste to specialized plants where the reusing process usually takes place. However, we can give a second life to some of our trash ourselves.

We must try to use as many of these materials as we can instead of deciding to throw them away. There are so many ways to repurpose them at home. So, stop contributing to the growth of the landfills and think about the many ways in which you can integrate things into your home decor.

– Recycling and decoration go hand in hand.

Making bookends with recyclable materials

A woman painting jars.

Books on shelves don’t only require proper organization but also lateral reinforcement at times so they don’t tip over. This is where bookends become a must. But, must we always buy them at a store? No! Because we have plenty of materials to make them ourselves.

Here are some ideas for making bookends with recyclable products:

  • Vinyl records: These vintage objects are seldom played and some people use them merely as home decor. So if you have a collection in your basement that you’re about to throw away, use them as bookends instead.
  • Landline phones: These are no longer useful because landlines are becoming a thing of the past. But, you could use the headsets as bookends. Mount them on a base to make them stable. They’ll add a very original touch to your home.
  • Glass jars: Wash them and fill them with stones, sand or plants.
  • Toys: You might have a lot of these because your children are no longer interested in them. Just cut them in half, vertically, and placed them on each side of the books. Make sure the halves are stable. Mount them on a block of wood if they aren’t.

Wooden bookends

A pair of wooden bookends.

Sometimes we have pieces of wood that are no longer in use. Don’t let them go into the trash, use them for making bookends instead.

  • Wood is a sturdy material that’s great for holding books.
  • The most common bookends have an “L” shape. It’s very simple to make this cut as all you need is a saw and sandpaper to remove any rough edges and finish the surfaces.
  • Place an ornament on the wood or just varnish and paint it if you prefer a more elaborate piece. The goal here is to make something that’s visually interesting and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Another idea is to make a right-angled triangle as these have a base that’s shorter than their height. It’s the perfect structure to hold books in place.

Boxy bookends

House shaped bookshelves.

Another great recyclable material for making bookends is cardboard. People discard tons of it every day. Making bookends with cardboard is quite simple:

  • Figure out which books you want to place in the boxes as they may be large, wide, narrow and even small.
  • Use cardboard that’s still in good shape and sturdy and make some straight, well-measured cuts. Keep in mind this golden rule: measure twice, cut once.
  • Once you’ve cut all of your pieces, embellish them with paint, drawings, or printed paper.
  • Finally, glue it all together to make a wide strong structure.

As you can see, making bookends with recyclable materials is about using your ingenuity. We hope you’ve enjoyed this article.

Asenzo, Matilde; Menzel, Nora: Reciclado de muebles y objetos. El arte de renovar lo viejo, Madrid, Albatros, 2003.