Free Printables, Houseware Crafts, Plaid Ambassador, Uncategorized

Library Card Book Ends

It has been a great couple of weeks for commerce – tons of Etsy orders, custom jobs and new stores carrying my work.

I’ve been plugging away in factory-mode but a little bit short on the “new ideas!” side of things.

Happily,  The Muse (Geralyn) has her head in the game and came up with a really fun idea for some very easy-to-make, inexpensive bookends.

And I came up with a good way to mess it up! (more on that later).

Here is what I used:


  • Metal Bookends (from Staples $7)
  • 2 pieces of 1/2″ MDF cut to 4.75″ by 7″
  • 2 library card prints done on a toner based printer
  • Waverly Super Premium black acrylic paint
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Foam Brush
  • Lock-Tite glue
  • Painters tape (not pictured)
  • Craft knife (not pictured)

I started off by marking where the metal bookends would connect with the MDF panels.

After painting the back and sides with the Waverly Paint I set them aside to dry.

After they’ dried I used Matte Mod Podge to attach the vintage library card graphics to the MDF smoothing out any wrinkles or bumps with my fingers.

Once that dried I trimmed away any excess paper using a sharp craft knife.

So far so good!  Everything was going swimmingly and I could sense the wave of praise that would come my way when it was all done.

All I had to do was glue the wood part to the metal part.

Child’s play!

……..I think we know where this is going don’t we……

Now, I’m sure your thinking, “David it’s just some industrial strength glue that allows almost no-margin-for-error.  What could go wrong?”

To which I say: “you must be a new here.  Welcome to Cheltenham Road!”

OK, so I applied the glue to both the metal bookend and the unpainted back of the MDF and then stuck them together.

I used some painter’s tape to hold them in place tightly as they dried

Can you spot the minor problem?

Yeah – they’re backwards.

I glued them together backwards.

The long sticky-out part of the bookend supposed to go UNDER the books…..

Upside?I did’t glue myself to anything and I can testify now that that glue works really well!  They are super attached!

Downside: they are super attached backwards.

Ah well.

But they still work and you still get the idea.

And, of course, Geralyn’s concept could be adapted to suit any interest:

You could use copies of actual book covers, tickets, photographs, favorite quotes, copies of children’s drawings – the sky is the limit!

But, if you wanted to make these exact ones then here are my library card designs Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Bookend Print Sheet

Just, um…. glue them together the right way and you will be golden!


14 thoughts on “Library Card Book Ends”

  1. Aw, you did it backwards on purpose so we would all marvel and say, see, even an experienced, creative guy like you makes mistakes. Seriously, that seems totally like the kind of thing that I would do, have done and will do in the future. So, thanks for reminding me the best thing to do is laugh and share the fails.

    When I was in 6th grade, I was asked to letter a big banner for an elections, since I am good at that…did I check my spelling? Guess who does now?

    1. Yes Susan! I like the way you think! That was my plan all along – to appear humble and fallible so as not to intimidate anyone……Yup. I’m sticking with that. And you’d think, having had numerous “banner” incidents of my own that I would also double check everything but, as you’ve seen from my posts….not so much…..sigh.

  2. “Cheltenhamroad and The Mystery of the Odd Bookends”. A classic children’s book to confound and befuddle the little urchins.

  3. David, so entranced by the nostalgic beauty of your bookends that I didn’t even notice that there was a little, uh, boo boo there. But I am glad to know that I’m not the only that rushes forward too quickly in my excitement over a craft project. (sheepish grin) I’ve created a free printable library card image in six different colors that would be a great option for your craft. You could complete the blank library card with your choice of book titles and signed names.

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