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Stately bookends: create elegant bookends from simple supplies.

SEVERAL YEARS AGO ON A TRIP TO ENGLAND with my husband, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law, we stayed at Cliveden, an Italianate mansion and estate in the heart of the Berkshire countryside. In the early 1900s, it was owned by the Astor family of America and was the center of social activity with guests from Churchill to Chaplin and Roosevelt. This was one of the most wonderful experiences with luxury and beauty at every vantage point from manicured gardens to panoramic views of the River Thames, and the mansion itself was beyond architecturally wonderful.

The interior of the house was elegantly decadent with period furnishings; amazing art, accessories, and floral displays; and magnificent fabrics. Our room was decorated in soft blues and creams with French and Italian accents.

While touring the house, I noticed, among many extraordinary things, the most beautiful bookends holding interesting books for guests to enjoy in every room. They were made from simple wood blocks covered with handmade Italian marbleized paper. I immediately decided that the bookends would be the perfect gifts for my book-loving, designer friends, so I hurried to the gift shop to pick up several sets, only to discover, they were not available. So, to be like the Astors and their guests, I decided to come up with a simple version of the Cliveden bookends for all of us to create with craft store supplies. They are just perfect for gifts or for your own stately bookshelves and important offices.


Metal bookends (4 5/8 x 5-inch) (available at office supply stores) Blocks of wood or wooden plaques (5 x 7-inch) Soft wood molding and small miter box Embellishments and letters for initials Marbleized paper or craft paper Mod Podge Hot glue gun and glue sticks 18Kt. gold marking pen, gold-leaf paint, or wood stain


1. Cut 2 wood blocks to cover metal bookends

2. Sand edges of each wood block

3. Paint top edges of wood blocks with gold-leaf paint or stain. Allow drying.

4. Paint molding with gold-leaf paint or stain. Allow drying.

5. Glue paper around block with Mod Podge. Allow drying.

6. With miter box, cut molding to fit top and bottom edges of wood block.

8. Hot glue wood blocks to bookends.

9. Hot glue embellishments on each bookend, if desired.


1. Sand edges of wooden plaques.

2. Paint back of plaques with gold-leaf paint or stain. Allow drying.

3. Paint front edges of plaques with gold leaf paint or stain.

Allow drying.

4. Cut paper to fit center panel of plaque and glue paper in place with Mod Podge. Allow drying.

5. Hot glue wood plaques to bookends.

6. Hot glue embellishments on each bookend, if desired.

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Title Annotation:FOOD & ENTERTAINING: Easy Does It: Entertaining
Author:Roper, Patty
Publication:Mississippi Magazine
Date:Sep 1, 2015
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