DIY Coral Bookends for $2!

Stunning DIY Coral Bookends for 2 Dollars! | Up To Date Interiors for Home Made by Carmona

Hello, hello! I’m just thrilled to be hanging out with you today. I’m Kathy and I blog at Up to Date Interiors. DIY projects with supplies from the “dollar store” are one of my favorite ways to add handmade decor to our home. It can be tricky to make these DIYs look fabulous but it’s so rewarding when they turn out lovely. Today I’m sharing with you how to create high-end looking bookends with finds from the beach and dollar store.

Meet Kathy


DIY projects with supplies from the “dollar store” are one of my favorite ways to add handmade decor to our home!

DIY Coral Bookends

We live super close to the ocean on Okinawa. Most of our summer is spent snorkeling and collecting shells, coral, and drift-wood. I found these two pieces of coral and knew they would be perfect for a project! Y’all, this project cost $2 and took under 10 minutes to make.

Coral Pieces - bookends

Here’s what you need for this simple DIY:

2 large pieces of coral

2 basic bookends from the dollar store

Dollar Store Bookends

white craft paint and paintbrush

painter’s tape

hot glue gun

Tip: If the coral hasn’t been bleached completely by the sun, a light coat of white spray paint will help make it brighter!

Step one: Tape off 1/2 inch sections on the sides of the bookends with painter’s or washi tape.

Bookends Washi Tape Paint


Use white craft paint (acrylic) to fill in the stripes. It should take 2-3 light coats for good coverage.

Bookends Washi Tape Painted


Peel off the tape before the paint completely dries for nice, clean lines.

Bookends striped painted

Hot glue the coral onto the bottoms of the bookends. (So now the bookends are actually backwards in their new position.)

coral bookends painted stripes

I contemplated painting the bookends white or gold but I’m glad I left the natural wood. There’s plenty of books with gold backs to add metallic sparkle!

DIY Coral bookends, designer style | Up To Date Interiors

Our Japanese rental is very small so our living room works for my office, piano studio, blogging corner, and entertainment. These bookends were perfect for keeping my design, decor, and craft books together.

Do-it-yourself Coral Bookends | Up To Date Interiors

The coral is such a nice contrast to our Okinawan pine table. It’s also good friends with my peach Buddha head. :)

Vignette Styling | Up To Date Interiors


Styling a sofa table can be tricky, but using books in vertical and horizontal positions with a sculptural object is a good recipe for an interesting vignette.

How To Make DIY Coral Bookends | Up To Date Interiors

Kitty likes to hang out here too. He knows good decor when he sees it and since he’s a neutral, he’s allowed to be in my pictures. That’s how my mind works y’all!

Designing with books and high end DIY bookends | Up To Date Interiors

For more ideas on different ways to decorate with books, click HERE and HERE. Thanks so much for having me today!

Kathy Baugher
creator and editor of Up to Date Interiors

Like this, love this -1200 x 100

5 Comments on DIY Coral Bookends for $2!

  1. Leslie Wilson
    April 27, 2016 at 4:42 pm (2 years ago)

    The bookends look amazing! I loved it specially now that Summer is coming. I made a tray of sea shells and a couple sea glass fillings on vases, so the coral bookends will go with them! Thank you for the idea =)

  2. Iris
    March 6, 2016 at 1:06 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh you know I love these! Coral anything is right up my alley!

  3. Jessica
    February 18, 2016 at 7:40 pm (2 years ago)

    I love this and the white stripes…genius! —the up to date stamp of approval!


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