I know I’ve mentioned this once or twice (or fifty times) before, but my littles—especially my daughter—love to read. Our collection of books is, well, extensive, and our bookshelves are just about full. I know I should pare down our library a bit, but to be honest, every time I think my daughter has lost interest in a book, she’ll rediscover it and it will become her story of choice for the foreseeable future.
As our collection has grown, I’ve been brainstorming ways to store and organize our books while keeping them accessible to the four little hands that reach for them constantly. Bookends are hardly an innovative solution, but I got to thinking—what if the bookend was just as enticing as the books it held up? I had seen animal-shaped bookends before, but I decided to try my hand at making one myself. And you know what? It was so easy, and by making it with a few simple supplies that you probably already have around the house, this DIY stuffed animal bookend is practically free.
Materials: stuffed animal of your choice, seam ripper, coordinating thread, needle, stockings, poly pellets (or other weighted material, like dried beans or rice)
Start with the stuffed animal of your choice—I purchased this cute little birdie from Target’s new Pillowfort collection, but you could even give new life to an old friend by choosing from your little one’s stash. The first step is to create a hole so that you can remove some of the stuffing and replace it with your weighted material. Use a seam ripper to open a seam along the bottom or the back of your fluffy friend.
Remove some of the stuffing, and set it aside. For reference, I took out about half of my birdie’s filling.
Set your not-so-stuffed animal off to the side so you can prepare its new filling. Cut one leg off of a pair of stockings, and carefully pour in your poly pellets (or weighted material of choice). These are very small, round pellets, so please keep the bag away from little hands. And keep in mind that slow and steady wins the race when you’re pouring—I learned that the hard way. #oops
Tie a knot in the top of the pellet-filled stocking, and squish, push and stretch it until it fits inside your animal. The great thing about using the stocking for the pellets (besides the fact that it contains the mess) is that it becomes kind of like a really flexible stress ball—you can form it into the shape you need to perfectly fill the hole you’ve made in your animal.
Add a bit of the extra stuffing to pad the booty…
And then—starting from the inside so that the end of your thread will be hidden—sew the seam closed again. I’m sure many of you are expert seamstresses and you’re probably going to cringe when you see my very novice attempt at sewing, so if you have any suggestions for a better stitch, please share!
And there you have it! One totally custom and adorable DIY stuffed animal bookend to adorn baby’s shelves!
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