How to Make a Quirky Bookend from a Repurposed Toy Soldier

This bookend may put a smile on your face, but making one is close to toy abuse - only something Sid Phillips from Toy Story would appreciate!

As well as being fun and useful, it’s also a great way of repurposing an old toy figure, I used G.I. Joe, but anything from an Buzz Lightyear to a WWF wrestler will do the trick (and perhaps even a barbie!).

Repurposed action figure bookend
Hey, who put that hole there?

How to make your own action figure bookend

This project first appeared on Makezine, as part of their quirky craft series. I have now reworked the instructions and made them available below.

A repurposed action figure bookend: illustrated guide
Can't read the instructions?

Step 1

Find an old toy action figure.

Step 2

Use a hack saw to remove a 20mm section from the waist.

Step 3

Cut two wooden discs slightly bigger than the toy's waist.

Step 4

In the centre of both discs drill one hole to fit the bolt, and another (halfway through) to fit the bolt head and nut. Use epoxy adhesive, such as Araldite, to secure the nut into the larger hole of one of the discs.

Step 5

Now glue the wooden disc (the one with the nut in it) onto the top half of the soldier (see illustration).

Step 6

Glue the bolt into the other wooden disc and then glue that disc onto the legs (again, check out the illustration).

Step 7

Finally, drill a hole through the shelf, push the bolt through, and screw on the body. Adjust the limbs and replace books

Do your own thing

The technique above is very dependent on the type of toy figure you use. The basic objective is to attach the top half of the toy figure onto the top of the shelf, and the bottom half of the figure on the underside of the shelf - so feel free to come up with your own method.

Left illustration
Right illustration