{DIY} Animal Bookends

Hello and happy February 1st! Where have you gone, Father Time?! Did you know February has 29 days this year? Does that mean there are 366 days in 2012? Weird. I guess our employers get a free day out of us. *disgruntled*

Today’s project is one I am stupidly, inappropriately giddy about, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you! I’m also on a roll with the $2 project this week, since my only purchase was….wait for it…..


…..Plastic elephants from the dollar bin! I found these at the Target Danger Dollar Zone for $1 each, and the spray paint I already owned (duh). As for the rocks, you can find them in the garden department of the hardware store, on walks in park, or stone yards. I happen to have a stone yard nearby (kind of random, right?!), so I grabbed my ‘Rattlesnake Rocks’ (that’s really what they’re called) there. The poor guys were so confused by my request, they just let me wander around and take whatever scraps I wanted.

I originally planned to use stone tiles as the bases, but they were too small and not heavy enough to hold the weight of books.

I didn’t love the tusks, so I trimmed them off with scissors, then gave each animal a few light coats of spray paint. I wanted the rocks to sit straight, so I filed the bottoms down using our concrete driveway. A dot of super glue to the bottom of each foot adheres the plastic to the stone.

bookend collage

Here are the mighty elephants now!


I think my Living Room was getting too sweet, with all the soft blues and pinks, so I’m adding some pops of red to liven it up. The Elephant Bookends are the perfect addition to our Updated Bookshelves!




Oh, Elephant Bookends, how I love thee! (See, stupidly, inappropriately giddy!)


So are you off to raid your kid’s toy closet, or the local dollar store? You can find these plastic animals everywhere! In fact, I can’t seem to stop spraying them, and have another goodie to show you soon! As well as more red accents!

Leave a Comment


  1. So cute, had to pin it. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing, liz

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  2. Oh my gosh these are SO stinkin' cute! I MUST do this soon!!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  3. Amazing! You never cease to impress me. I too am obsessed with the target dollar bin. It is quite the money trap! Love the book ends ! oh and glad you trimmed the trunks they were extra long ( wonder what that means in the elephant world)!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  4. GIRL!!! This is why I love you! Fabulous and affordable. A project with scissors and spray paint. This is a DIY I might actually try! Don't be too shocked if you see something like this in baby boy's room soon 🙂

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  5. They look great with the lined bookcase, pretty clever!! Janell

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  6. Love the little things that can make us giddy!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  7. Katie wrote:

    Love it! So cute and easy. What a great idea!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  8. Virginia wrote:

    Very impressive!! You are so creative! I can't wait to make my own set.

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  9. Love these so much! Just yesterday I was spray painting little animals for a project I plan to share tomorrow. This is super inspiring and I might try it!


    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  10. Tiffany wrote:

    There you go again…genious. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought of this…they look fantastic!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  11. These are so great! Love them! They go perfectly with your eclectic and fun decor!!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  12. Leslie wrote:

    Those are such a great idea! You really are so clever. I love that they look so posh, but were done so economically!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  13. Love your newly styled bookcases! They look magazine worthy!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  14. This is ridiculously genius and adorable!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  15. Amanda wrote:

    ok you are the smartest little gal ev-ah!!! I love this!!! I've been trying to think of something for my boys room and I am totally going to steal- um I mean borrow this idea!! LOVE it!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  16. Genius!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  17. Such a cute & clever project Cassie! Love it.

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  18. Kristin wrote:

    So smart!! I love them!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  19. Haha! Those are so cute! You are too creative!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  20. shannon wrote:

    I.LOVE.THEM!!!! As a mattao'fact, headin' to Tarjay right now!!!!;)

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  21. Oh Cassie this is SO fabulous! I have so many of these little guys left over from Operation Shower. Maybe I should make some for Lauren's room.

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  22. AWESOMESAUCE! i am all over it!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  23. This is pretty darn amazing!! Love how high end they look once they're finished!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  24. Ok, those are rediculously perfect!!! And you are insanely creative! I'm pinning these bad boys 🙂 This makes me want book shelves so I can decorate them.

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  25. Cassie…these are just too cute! Love a cheap DIY that turns Fab!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  26. Genius! I would love to try this in H.'s room or for on top of my piano. Your shelves are looking so fab. Just pinned them to my "shelves/styling" board. 😉

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  27. Adorable!! You are so creative! Love them!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  28. So cute! I love elephants 🙂 What a fun idea…

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  29. So perfect!! Love them… Please link them up to my no spend link party!! I am digging through my sons animals is I type!!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  30. Danielle wrote:

    Ah! So cute! You blow me away with your creativity – so great! And love the colour!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  31. Mrs. H wrote:

    love it!!!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  32. Ali wrote:

    awesome, you seriously have some of the best ideas.

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  33. Well your brilliance has helped me deal with a little dilemma. I was thinking I was so brilliant to come up with the idea of spraying some cheap animals but couldn't for the life of me figure out what to mount them on. Look for my brazen rip off of your idea coming soon!!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  34. Such a smart idea!!! I like the pops of red. I also love the white vases with the pink bases on the top shelf. Did you paint those? How did I manage to miss those beauties in previous posts?!?!?

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  35. LOVE it!!!! This is an awesome project Cassie 🙂 Keep 'em comin'!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  36. You smart cookie you! I love. The styling on the bookcases is looking so great.

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  37. Yep, that dollar bin will get you every time! Love the red Elephants!! So cute!!

    Posted 2.1.12 Reply
  38. How fun! I love the rocks you used…(is that a weird thing to love?) they didn't scratch up your driveway? Genius!

    Posted 2.2.12 Reply
  39. Now that is just awesome! Your bookshelves look really cool- I love those pink dipped bottles at the top too.

    Posted 2.2.12 Reply
  40. I LOVE them! What a great idea! The red looks great in the bookshelf.. good call:)

    Posted 2.2.12 Reply
  41. Shanna wrote:


    OMG. I am so doing this in my son's room. What a great idea, Cassie!

    Posted 2.2.12 Reply
  42. Amber wrote:

    Ha! Now THAT is creative! I love it! The red paint was the perfect choice of color too! Very cute!

    Posted 2.2.12 Reply
  43. What a clever idea!! Love them!

    Posted 2.2.12 Reply
  44. Melissa wrote:

    I was totally thinking about spraying the dollar giraffe I bought! hahah! awesome!

    Posted 2.2.12 Reply
  45. Andrea wrote:

    So darn cute and clever!

    Posted 2.2.12 Reply
  46. what a wonderful idea!

    Posted 2.2.12 Reply
  47. LOVE this idea! might have to try it in turquoise or orange for my girls room!!! thank you


    Posted 2.2.12 Reply
  48. My oh my, those are awesome! How clever you are. They look so professional.

    Posted 2.3.12 Reply
  49. These are so great!!! They look really high-end! And I am so in love with your whole styled book case. It seriously looks like a magazine!

    Came over from Serenity Now party!
    xo Megan

    Posted 2.3.12 Reply
  50. Just too cute! I love the Dollar Zone too:)

    Posted 2.3.12 Reply
  51. Pamela R wrote:

    These are awesome! Although I must say I would have loved the tusks myself! I can definitely see myself making this project in the future!

    Posted 2.3.12 Reply
  52. Anna wrote:

    These turned out great. Spray paint never ceases to amaze me!

    Posted 2.4.12 Reply
  53. Wow love that cross section fabric behind the shelves. Did you do that yourself?

    Posted 2.5.12 Reply
  54. Kimbo West wrote:

    i featured these adorable bookends at my blog today!

    Posted 2.5.12 Reply
  55. Amazing! What creativity! I love them, they look great.

    Posted 2.6.12 Reply
  56. What a great idea! You are so creative. I will be pinning this so I can recreate it!


    Posted 2.6.12 Reply
  57. Katie wrote:

    so much better red! I love them!
    You should join me for handmade 52 http://raisingoranges.blogspot.com/2012/02/handmade-52-5.html

    Posted 2.7.12 Reply
  58. Are you kidding me? Plastic animals? I never would have thought to do this! And how perfect and interchangeable for whatever animal or various themes you'd like. I love it! Thanks so much for this GREAT idea! I'm always looking for wonderful ways to hold up my books.

    Posted 2.7.12 Reply
  59. Kelly wrote:

    Hey! I did this too a while back in November, I got my elephants for $1 at Target! I picked gold spray paint! Check them out on my blog Hello Boudreau or over at Mr. Kate from The Nate Berkus Show 🙂



    Posted 2.8.12 Reply
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    Posted 2.10.12 Reply
  61. Jamie wrote:

    so cute! love them

    Posted 2.21.12 Reply
  62. Anonymous wrote:

    Passing this one on to the school – i think i may have more than i can use soon lol

    Posted 2.23.12 Reply
  63. Jenna wrote:

    {Popping over from Mrs. Limestone's} I seriously want to go out and buy some plastic elephants right this very second! This if fab!

    Posted 3.16.12 Reply
  64. leah wrote:

    Hey Cassie, love your blog. I didn't realize you made animal bookends too! I also have an obsession with spray painting things! Thanks for checking out my dino bookends too. xoxo

    Posted 3.27.12 Reply
  65. Thanks for giving me another great idea on how to decorate my bookends. I think this would do it. Using other items that i can stick into it would be very cool. I can also use action figures in this.

    Posted 4.17.12 Reply
  66. Thanks for sharing such kind of nice and wonderful collection……Nice post Dude keep it up.

    I have appreciate with getting lot of good and reliable and legislative information with your post……

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    Posted 9.2.12 Reply
  67. so very cute! I must do this project one day.

    Posted 12.20.12 Reply
  68. These are so cute and elegant! I've just featured this tutorial on my blog: http://jadeandfern.com/2013/04/05/friday-finds-not-so-hidden-inner-child/

    Posted 4.5.13 Reply
  69. Love this tutorial! Very cute but still elegant. I've just featured it on my blog: http://jadeandfern.com/2013/04/05/friday-finds-not-so-hidden-inner-child/

    Posted 4.5.13 Reply
  70. Can you tell me who the artist is for the picture on your bottom shelf (girl in flower field)? I lOve it! Thanks.

    Posted 5.4.13 Reply
  71. Chloe Choo wrote:

    Is it possible to use normal acrylic paint to paint the animals?

    Posted 11.5.15 Reply
  72. Emma wrote:

    Hi there! I just wanted to let you know that I featured this project on my website as one of my Top 10 Favorite Back To School Crafts! You can check it out at


    I love it! Thanks for sharing this great idea! You're amazing!

    Posted 8.17.16 Reply
  73. Mark Man wrote:

    I really like this red color elephant, that’s so awesome and looks beautiful. I love to have one set in my office. 😀

    Posted 11.11.19 Reply