So…sliced agate bookends are a big THING…but they can be ridiculously expensive. Just browse One King’s Lane or Joss & Main (and those are discounted to around $66, sheesh!) to see what I mean. Or Z Gallerie to see the full-priced version at $99. Even Target released a pair as part of their Threshold line…and of course the pair is about at the $25 mark. That’s still a price I think I can beat, so I began searching for how to create these lovely bookends for less.
Unfortunately to get good-quality sliced and polished matching agate chunks, you’ll have to pony up some cash, there’s no way around that. If you can score a pair on eBay for cheaper, that’s awesome…just be aware to factor in shipping to make sure you’re getting a good deal (those things can be heavy). Amazon has some great agate bookend options…similar to the lower pricepoint I found mine at – so I’d recommend buying through them!) Personally, I like to source my gems at local rock shops since I can get a pretty good deal depending on what they have in stock – and a favorite of mine is Ed’s House of Gems in NE Portland (don’t look at their website, it doesn’t begin to do this amazing store justice). Needless to say, I managed to find a beautiful pair of agate bookends there recently for a mere $18 – and set out to spice them up and make them look as nice as the Target (or the more expensive!) versions. (You could also cover the rough sides in actual gold or silver leaf if you wanted…but I had some spray paint on hand and figured that would be easiest.)
How to Make DIY Gold Painted Agate Bookends
sliced agate pair | painter’s tape | gold spray paint (here are a variety of great options) | acrylic sealer (optional) | newspapers or something to protect your surface | sticky-back felt dots (optional)
1. Spread painter’s tape over the flat sides of each bookend, extending the tape beyond the side.
Press firmly at the edge where the flat polished side meets the rough, rocky edge to prevent seepage.
2. Place on newspapers outside, and spray the rough, rocky sides gold. 1-2 coats should suffice.
3. Allow to dry.
4. (Optional) Hit the gold-painted side with a coating of acrylic sealer if you’re concerned about the gold rubbing off.
5. (Optional) Place sticky-back felt dots on the underside of the agate pieces to keep your shelving safe.
And there you have it!
You could easily just place the agate pieces as-is on your shelves and none would be the wiser…but I wanted some more finished pieces. They would also make a fabulous gift that looks oh-so-expensive…and you never have to tell anyone that you crafted them for a steal!
If you’ve made your own version of these popular sliced DIY agate bookends – how did they work out for you? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks, Francesca! 😀