How to Make Bookends From Ceramic Tile




Introduction: How to Make Bookends From Ceramic Tile

About: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.

For a fun and easy craft on a rainy or snowy day, get your glue gun, some old, recycled, reusable, or even new 3 or 4 inch tiles and make a pair (or more) of bookends. The tiles are very dense materials so the bookends are quite heavy and able to support large books.

Step 1: Supplies Needed

All you really need is the tile and a glue gun.  Embellishments and or decorations are optional, and these can be unlimited as you will see.

Step 2: Select Four Tiles for Each Set of Bookends

Clean tiles, if recycling them, or if new, simply pick four tiles to use. If making the bookends from three inch tiles, use eight tiles for each bookend.

Step 3: Glue Tiles Together

Using the hot melt glue gun, glue tiles together as shown.  My tiles were cold so I had to act fast to get the tiles lined up properly.  Glue one pair of tiles together, then the other. Butt one pair together as shown to make the book end.  For one bookend, I taped it as shown to ensure it would remain in place.

Step 4: Cover Bookends With Material of Choice

I made a template out of yellow paper I had on hand. I wanted to cover them with decorative paper(s) so made the template. That way I could cut as many pieces of paper as needed to make several bookends if desired. I would include a pdf of this pattern, but undoubtedly your tiles are different sizes than mine.  And, a template is not necessary. Just lay out paper and measure and cut to cover areas of the tiles. See pictures and image notes.

Step 5: Decorate or Embellish

Bookends at this stage can be decorated with paper of choice; paint your bookend with craft paint or tempura if you choose.  Glue on articles like small statues, vehicles, marbles, flowers, sea shells, or any small object ad infinitum.  For papers, choose decorative papers, fabrics, magazine pictures, pictures you have, maps you no longer need, etc.  As you can see the possibilities are endless. Have fun!

Step 6: Add Your Books, Project Completed!



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    16 Discussions

    I am trying to make fairy houses using tiles. I tried a hot glue gun to put the tiles together in a box-like form and it wouldn't stick. How well do they stick for you and is that why you bind them with material later?

    1 reply

    the glue works well...not sure exactly what you are doing???

    If 3 inch tiles are used, it's best to use 4 on each "leg" of the bookend, I believe. The one I made with the 4 inch tile only needed 2 on each leg. Thanks for your question. Cman

    A lot of tiles are so nice that further decoration would be a shame. I would glue a piece (or four tiny pieces) of thin leather underneath to protect the shelves - nothing else if the tiles are nice.

    1 reply

     This is a great idea after a tile project. You always either have too few or way too many - it would definitely help turn the leftovers into something useful. :)

    1 reply

    Hey, thanks jesse: My tiling days are over, but you are right: whenever I would do a project, the directions always said "add 10 to 15%" to your order...just in case. well I always ended up with too many. Do you suppose the tile co.s had a stake in the directions? But then I'm cynical....Cman

    I know where to pick up an abandoned car-battery, you're making me thing of lead... thanks.


    Nice book-ends

    2 replies

    Huh? I don't get the reference to a car battery.....but thanks for the compliment, anyway.

    You've got the weight you need for book-ends, in thinking of heavy-stuff you might not think of using for book-ends you got me thinking about lead-electrodes.