DIY Shabby Chic Coral Bookends

My grandparents on Tom’s side just recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. The traditional and modern 35th wedding anniversary gifts are coral and jade, which aren’t exactly the easiest gifts to find… Liz and Tom found a nice jade-colored picture frame from Home Goods, but weren’t as successful with a coral gift. They liked the coral accent pieces found below from Black Band Home & Design, but weren’t sure about the colors.

Liz remembered seeing a tutorial from Beth at Home Stories A to Z, on how to make faux coral (inspired by Pottery Barn). Beth’s results looked great, so Tom and Liz decided to use this tutorial to make some cute shabby chic coral bookends!

The bookends were surprisingly easy to make. The main supplies they used were two “innkeeper signboards” (which they found at their local craft store) and two faux coral fish tank decorations (found at Petco).

They started by spray painting the coral pieces white.

They then cut each of the signboards in half and attached the sides as shown below using wood glue and a few nails. A 45 degree cut would have looked A LOT better, but Tom’s mitre saw was too small to make the cut — so they improvised!

They used the same shabby chic painting technique as the one they used to refinish their set of shabby chic benches. They painted the corners of the bookend pieces (and any other places where the shabby look would pop through) using brown paint.

After the brown paint dried, they used petroleum jelly in those areas to make the sanding easier…

And then used a soft blue-green color to paint each of the pieces (Valspar Signature Sea Salt Blue, to be exact).

They used steel wool to sand down the corners…

And then attached the coral piece using a hot glue gun and sprayed on a clear top coat to keep the finish.

The two look great together — I just love them (and so did my grandparents)!

Hope you had a good weekend!


P.S. I’m linking to some craft blog parties, so be sure to check out my friends listed on my links page for other great DIY projects and transformations!

33 thoughts on “DIY Shabby Chic Coral Bookends

  1. What a fantastic tip about the petroleum jelly- I never thought about that! These turned out fantastic! I really want to make some of these- I’ve been working to lighten up my decor and go more towards a beachy vibe. Thanks for the great tutorial! I hope you’ll stop by sometime- I throw a linky party on Mondays. :)

    • Thanks Melissa – the petroleum jelly definitely makes the sanding easier! And I’m glad you told me about your linky party… I’m now following you and went ahead and linked this post :)

    • Thanks Pat! Liz and Tom almost didn’t want to give them away after they were finished :) I’m sure they’ll be making a second set for our house soon!

    • Thanks Debbie :) The coral was actually harder to find than you’d think! Liz dragged Tom around to at least 4 different pet stores before finding it at Petco. It was worth the search though — they were on sale at less than $3 each!

  2. this is just awesome! the end result is totally amazing! thanks so much for sharing this! found you on met monday! could the dog get cuter…NO!!!! now i am going to go try to find how to join as a follower : ) hugs…

    • So glad you like them, Andrea! And THANK YOU for the follows! I’ll be checking out The Cottage Market later today :)

  3. Hi Charlie… just found you over the Sunday Showcase Party from Stephanie`s “Under The Tables And Dreaming” because my mom was interested in how to do your beautiful project and then I found out that our mom`s having the same idea in doing their blogs… how funny is this…. Never ever found another Kumpel who had his own Blog talking about doing mom`s projects…. ;o) hahahhahahha….Great!!!!! Come hop over and visit me and lets have fun together… Big Hug from Popeye from Germany (another Blog With A Dog :o)

  4. These are absolutely awesome! I did a coastal bedroom redo last fall and I so am stealing this idea! Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Super Bee Crafts.

  5. Hi – what a great project. I love it…it’s great for a summer decor change (and/or a gift). Didn’t know what that wood piece was called…new one for me!!

    Thanks…please check out my latest project also – a Transformed Range Hood. I am also on Boogie Board Cottage and other link parties!


  6. Wow!! So beautiful! Great job. These look like something you’d buy at an upscale place.
    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
    Wildly Original Round Up party is open!

  7. This is so beautiful. Awesome job. This is such an inspiring post. I would love it if you would share this wonderful post at our WIW linky party. Hope you can join us!


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