As we’ve mentioned before, our house came with a large pile of bricks that we found EVERYWHERE around our yard. And since we like to reuse and repurpose things instead of throwing them out, we’ve been brainstorming ideas for how to use our lovely bricks. And by lovely, I actually just mean annoying. But while I was perusing Pinterest the other day, I came across a picture of a brick book end. Ding, ding, ding.
We ended up stashing our bricks in the garage since we were having company over last weekend. And yes, I got to move the pile once again. I think Dain is trying to get me to work out more by having me move a huge pile of bricks every three days. I’m on to him.
For the bookends, I started by picking out two “nice” bricks. And by nice, I mean the ones with the least amount of dirt on them because some of them are pretty skunky and gross.
Then I let them soak in soapy water for about thirty minutes and scrubbed them with an old sponge to get as much of the grime off as I possibly could.
And then I enlisted my artist friend and husband to help me come up with some ideas for how we could make them look cool. He was an easy sell since he loves himself an art project. The ones I had seen online were a little different because they had made their own bricks (with a monogram) using a concrete mold. Since ours were already made, we just had to worry about the paint. Initially, we were planning on spray painting them, but Dain thought a different kind of paint might adhere better. So we went into our creepy closet of paint and found a few Benjamin Moore paint samples that my mom gave to us awhile back when she was done contemplating colors at her house.
And we settled on Coastline. Then Dain remembered that we had some stencils leftover from an art project that never came to fruition. While I do like the idea of a monogram, it doesn’t really work for us. We don’t have the same last name (yes, I kept mine, which people are continually surprised by….not sure why since it is 2011). And our first name initials are of course R & D, which looks like research and development (which we are actually in charge of at our house anyway) or it’s D & R, which looks like the DNR (or Department of Natural Resources, which we play no role in). So yes, monograms and initials don’t really work for us. Stencils it is.
We decided to stencil the bricks with a little pattern from one of our stencil sheets. And we turned to Dain’s shoebox full of paint for the perfect color for the stencil. Dain has an array of acrylic paints, but we decided on a sparkly gold tone (mainly because gold speaks to me….not so much Dain).
After we agreed on our plan for the bricks, Dain started by applying the Coastline. And then we let them dry.
After they had time to set, we settled on which stencil pattern we wanted, and Dain worked his artsy magic.
We ended up just using a piece of one of the stencils we had, and we did it on the wider side of the brick. But after those were done, we realized it might be better to have the bookends sit on the shelf the other way. So we grabbed another stencil sheet and did the narrow side of the bricks too with a vertical design.
After they dried, we added the finishing touch: felt pads so the bricks don’t scratch anything.
And the end result is holding all of our bar related books together on our living room console.
We have them vertical for now, but we do have the option of the horizontal version too.
And we are pretty happy with how they came out. After all, they were completely free since we already had all of the supplies. And those are really the best kind of projects. We of course have no true need for bookends, but we were excited to think of at least one way to begin to deplete our brick pile. Let us know if you have any ideas for other fun projects we could do with bricks…..or if you have a need for some bricks. We share.