Wise old owls

Watchful wooden birds are perfectly positioned to keep books upright and tidy on the shelf

Owl book ends

by Holly Duerden |

Much of the charm of these owl bookends comes from the nature of the reclaimed materials used to make them. Old pieces of shelving, off-cuts from previous projects and wood from pallets are used, with any flaking paint and weathering retained to add detail and character.

The owls’ eyes consist of jar lids and bottle tops to give the birds a wide-eyed, bookish expression, much suited to their place in the home.

They are simple to make, and the sizes given can be adjusted to suit the materials available.


Makes one pair of bookends

• Plank of wood, 2ft 6in by 51/2in by 3/4in (75 x 14 x 2cm)

• Contrasting offcuts of wood: 2 x 51/2in by 6in (14 x 15cm) and 2 x 4in by 31/2in (10 x 9cm)

• Ruler and pencil

• Saw

• Fretsaw

• Sandpaper, 100 grade

• Wire wool

• Drill bit, size 3mm

• Wood glue

• Hammer

• Screwdriver

• Screws, 11/4in

• Assorted jam jar lids, bottle tops and washers

Step-by-step guide

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7 photos
Owl Make
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Step 1

To make the base and side support for the first bookend, two pieces of wood, each 63/4in (17cm) long, are marked out along the plank, then cut. Each piece is smoothed with wire wool and the cut ends rubbed over with sandpaper to remove any rough edges and splinters.

Finished project

Owl Book Ends

Project: Sue Martin; Photography: Richard Faulks

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