Halloween DIY: Make Weighted Bookends from Dollar Store Skulls

by on Oct 7, 2014

Three toy skulls on top of a white towel.Brittni Mehlhoff

With a couple of dollars worth of plastic skulls, some scrap wood, and a few other materials, you can create a pair of weighted bookends that are strong enough to hold up plenty of books on the shelf, while also adding a little Halloween flair. Want to see how these turned out? Click through to see the after photos, along with the step by step tutorial.   

Some white powdery material, a bottle of glue, a skeleton head, a block of wood and a can of gold spray paint.Brittni Mehlhoff

Supplies + Tools:

  • 2 hollow plastic skulls (or 3 if you think you’ll want an extra, in case of errors)
  • scrap wood
  • heavy duty craft glue
  • small funnel
  • sand
  • spray paint
  • hand drill with twist bit

A six photo collage shows painted skeleton heads.Brittni Mehlhoff


1. Start by drilling a hole through the bottom of each skull, that will be large enough to fit a small funnel into.

2. Next, spray paint each skull with 1-2 coats of your favorite color spray paint. Let paint dry in between coats.

3. Once dry, turn skulls over and fill with dry sand, using a funnel. To keep the sand contained, you may want to sit the skull upside-down in a large bowl before adding sand.

4. Next, it’s time to spray paint (or stain, if you prefer), two pieces of scrap wood that are slightly larger than the skulls. Let paint (or stain) dry completely.

5. Next, seal up the hole on each skull with glue and wait for it to dry completely (overnight). Then, secure the skull to the base of each piece of wood with more glue. Let dry overnight before using.

Two skuls spray painted a metallic gold and a metallic spray paint bottle laying next to them.Brittni Mehlhoff

NOTE: After the skulls were finished, I realized that the blue color wasn’t quite right. So, I removed the skulls from the wood and repainted them, this time in metallic gold. And the final results work much better with my style.

Here’s what the bookends look like now…

A dark room has books and decorations on a white table.Brittni Mehlhoff

Depending on your decor and overall style, you may even be able to get away with using these skull bookends year round. Especially if you go the metallic route.

Here are a few more photos of the finished project…

A gold skull used as a bookend on a counter.Brittni Mehlhoff

Stack of books with golden skull bookend on table.Brittni Mehlhoff

A gold skull props up books.Brittni Mehlhoff

A gold skull bookend secures a red, green, and black book on a shelf, next to green mints, and red flowers.Brittni Mehlhoff

How do you like to decorate for Halloween? Think you might give these bookends a try?

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