If you read my behind the scenes post in May, you’ll know my studio has been ‘in progress’ for awhile now even though we’ve lived here for over three years (just call me Captain Slow). I’ll be the first to admit that I’m quite selective about my furniture, so it’s been a lengthy process to properly fit out my workspace… and yes, if you were wondering, that’s totally the perfectionist in me coming out to play 😉
So although I’ve been wanting a new place to store my favourite books for ages, I haven’t committed to buying anything because it had to be ‘just right’. And after searching around for awhile, I’d kind of given the whole thing up for lost. But then I found the Skurniture bench at Swenyo.
Two words: In. Love.
This little bench is amazing – it can function as storage or as seating, I can move it around easily and it goes well with all the other items in my studio. It makes the perfect mini bookshelf, but I can already see it turning into a space to house my photo props or a comfy place to park my butt while I edit photos. Multifunctional, lovely to look at, and a bit edgy and fun = win!
And because I was so happy about finding just the right piece for my studio, I celebrated by making some bookends to go with it! These faux granite bad boys are a great complement for the natural wood finish of my new bench and they’re lots of fun to craft (you get to play with concrete!). If you’d like to make some of your own, get yourself some granite spray paint and follow along 🙂
- Milk carton
- Packing tape
- Rapid set concrete
- Mixing tub
- Stirrer (e.g. wooden stick)
- Cylindrical object (e.g. narrow plastic bottle)
- Sandpaper (optional)
- Painter’s tape
- Granite spray paint
Start off by cutting your milk carton in half.
If you made the initial cut in your milk carton through the spout (which is what I did just because it was easier), then stick the top half of your milk carton together again with packing tape and also seal off the spout-end.
Mix your concrete according to the manufacturer’s instructions and fill both halves of your milk carton.
Before you fill the top half, tip it upside down and prop it up with a heavy object to keep it in place (I used a box full of notebooks).
For the bottom of your milk carton, fill it about halfway full. Then quickly place a cylindrical object in the centre to create a hole. Make sure you weight the object down with something heavy before you place it in the concrete (I filled mine with water, but you can also use rocks, sand or other weighty objects that you have close by).
Once your cylindrical object is in place, give it a twist and then continue to twist it every so often as the concrete dries so it doesn’t set in place (this makes it MUCH easier to remove later).
Side note: Creating a hole in your bookend isn’t an essential part of this project; you can leave the bookend solid, but I wanted to create a cavity so I could fill it with plants and flowers.
Leave your concrete to set according to the packet instructions. Once the concrete has hardened, remove the cylindrical object and peel off the milk carton. Give your bookends a sand if required to get rid of any rough edges.
At this point in time, you could leave your bookends as is (after all, concrete looks pretty awesome in and of itself). But I bought myself some granite spray paint which I’ve been dying to try out, so I just had to give these babies a coat or two of faux stone.
And call me indecisive, but I couldn’t completely do away with the raw concrete look, so I taped off a small section at the bottom of each bookend to let the cement show through.
Once your bookends have been taped, give them a few coats of spray paint. Multiple light coats are best to avoid drip marks.
Leave the spray paint to dry according to the instructions on the can.
That’s pretty much it guys – with just a little concrete and some spray paint you’ve made yourself some pretty groovy faux stone bookends. I love how well they go with my new bench – the combo of stone, concrete and natural wood is just perfect don’t you think?
If you’re in the market for some seriously lovely goods to fit out your office or apartment, go check out Swenyo – I’ve already got a list the length of my arm of all the items I’m going to buy (like this duvet cover, and this storage box and this pinboard and… okay I’ll stop now). Their aim is to inspire creative living in personal spaces and as far as I’m concerned, they do that in spades.
Oh, and guess what? I’ve got a special promo code for you to use if anything takes your fancy while you’re browsing around their online store! Just enter MAKETELL15 at the check-out to get 15% off Swenyo homewares and accessories from now until September 3rd 2015. Have fun shopping! 😉
A little note: This post was created in partnership with Swenyo. All opinions, photos and the DIY project are my own. I do not receive commission from your use of the promo code or from any purchases you make. Thanks for supporting the organisations that support Make and Tell.