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DIY motorway bookends
duration: 0:1:33

With just a couple of plywood squares and rectangles, toy cars and Resene testpots, you can put a pair of boring bookends on the highway to fun.

You will need:

  • Plywood sheet approx. 5mm thick
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Table saw, circular saw, jigsaw or similar
  • Sandpaper
  • Metal bookends
  • Quick bond glue suitable for wood and metal
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks or small nails and hammer
  • Resene testpots in colours of your choice – we used Resene Shark, Resene Broom, Resene Sebeedee, Resene Untamed and Resene Mystery
  • Resene testpot brush
  • Small artist paint brushes
  • High quality painter’s masking tape (approx. 1”/2.5cm wide)
  • Small wooden or die cast toy vehicles

Step 1 Using a ruler, measure the upright face of your blank metal bookend to determine their width and height. Then, using your ruler and pencil, draw two rectangles and two squares on to your plywood. Our bookend measured 135mm wide and 200mm high, and we wanted our roadway to extend past the top and sides of our metal bookends, so our plywood rectangles measured 250mm x 140mm and our squares were 140mm x 140mm.

Step 2 Using a table saw, circular saw, jigsaw or similar cut out you rectangle and square shapes and sand down any sharp edges. Wipe away sawdust with a clean, dry cloth.

Step 3 Paint plywood shapes using a Resene testpot in the main colour of your choice. We used Resene Shark. For best results, do two coats and allow adequate drying time in between. If desired, you can use a hair dryer to help speed up the drying process.

Step 4 Once your plywood shapes are dry, measure to find the centre on the short ends of your shape and then mark 5mm on either side of it. Apply high quality painter’s masking tape at each mark, leaving an open area between that’s 1cm wide. Then, apply small pieces of masking tape perpendicularly along the opening with 2.5cm spaces in between to create the lines on the road. Paint the openings in Resene Broom in 2-3 thick coats, allowing the paint to dry completely in between each coat.

Step 5 While your roads are drying, paint your wooden or diecast vehicles using Resene testpots in colours of your choice. We used two coats each of Resene Sebedee, Resene Untamed and Resene Mystery for our cars. Allow your cars to dry completely.

Step 6 After your roads have dried, use quick bond glue to attach your longer road section to the back of your metal bookend. Once it has bonded, use hot glue or quick bond glue to glue the end of the smaller road section perpendicularly so that it creates an 'L' shape. Allow the glue to dry before moving on.

Step 7 Using quick bond or hot glue, attach the wheels of your vehicles on to your roadways so that they appear to be driving up and down your bookends. Let your bookends dry overnight before using them to make sure the glue sets completely.

Kids who love reading as much as they love cars will appreciate these motorway bookends. Roads in Resene Shark and Resene Broom, toy cars in Resene Sebedee, Resene Untamed and Resene Mystery, wall in Resene Highland with road in Resene Shark and Resene Broom, toy chest in Resene Sebedee with lid in Resene Broom, and magnets in Resene Sebedee, Resene Broom, Resene Anise, Resene Japanese Laurel, Resene Javaand Resene Bubble White.

projects and styling Laura Lynn Johnston
images Bryce Carleton, Ben Whorwood
videos Ben Whorwood

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Category: create with paint

Published on Apr 29, 2020

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