Books can sprout up quickly, and bookshelves rarely keep up. I needed a quick, cheap fix, so I used concrete blocks and wood boards to stack two low shelves. I’ve got all this glitter lying around and I once saw an exhibit at SF MOMA in which an artist glittered the edges of broken concrete blocks (cannot remember artist’s name). I also found these smoky quartz bookends pretty cool (Design Sponge featured them in one of their gift guides). So I took the blocks out front, did some smashing, and jazzed up the shelves. Kind of fool’s gold-ish.
- Concrete blocks (probably 4-6, depending on your smashing luck)
- 2 2x6 boards measured to your needs (mine were 30” long)
- Mod Podge
- Foam brush
- Super fine glitter (I used a silvery taupe color)
- Clear glaze
- Aluminum foil, or some other catch-all for the glitter
- A trash bag or large reusable shopping bag, for smashing the blocks within
Costs = <$28:
(yeah a little high, but you’ll use Mod Podge, clear glaze, & glitter for a million different projects)
- Concrete blocks = $5 for 4
- 2 2x6 boards measured to your needs = $2
- Super fine glitter = $3.47
- Mod Podge = $8.99
- Foam Brush = $1
- Krylon’s Triple-Thick Crystal Clear Glaze = $7.30
- Everything else = free or already available around the house
Want to see how easy it is? Click to keep reading.
- Go outside with your concrete blocks.
- Place in some sort of bag, so that clean up post-drop/smash is easy. One block at a time, hold the bag/block about waist high in front of you. Hold it so that the block will fall on its long, flat side. Drop away from toes. With any luck, it’ll break roughly in the middle (mine did).
- Prepare your work surface with foil. I cover a lipped serving tray.
- Using the foam brush, dab glue on the broken edges of the blocks (of the side that you will have facing away from the wall). Add glitter.
- After letting it dry, spray the glittered areas with clear glaze to set it. As always, do it outside so you don’t inundate yourself with fumes. Let dry for many hours.
- Add boards and then stack again. Any excess pieces make good bookends, though they’re more decorative than functional, since their base isn’t properly weighted.
- You could definitely do this just for the bookends. They make good gifts. And I’m sure any smaller broken pieces make good paper weights also.
- Please note: this is not a good project for homes with babies/toddlers, or for homes in earthquake prone areas. Otherwise it’s a good, quick bookshelf solution!