By Scott Bedford
Turn war into peace by converting a children’s action figure into a peace-loving bookend. Or if you don’t have a soldier, try using an old space ranger (you know the one I’m thinking of) or any other large toy figure.
For a PDF of this tutorial, visit the build page on Make: Projects.


Large plastic action figure
Sandpaper or craft knife
, if necessary
Piece of 10mm (a little over 3/8″) thick wood
, MDF/plywood
Electric drill
Nut and bolt
6-8mm diameter, 40-50mm long
Epoxy adhesive


The technique for turning your action figure into a bookend is slightly dependent on the type of action figure you have and the thickness of the shelf – so please treat the instructions below as a guide, and be prepared to improvise if necessary.
Step 1-2: Use a hacksaw to remove a section, about 10-15mm (approx. 3/8″ – 5/8″) wide, from the waist of the figure. If necessary, use sandpaper or a craft knife to smooth any rough edges.
Step 3-5: Using a jigsaw, cut two oval discs from a piece of the wood – each disc needs to be slightly bigger than the waist. Drill a hole through the center of each disc (large enough for the bolt to pass through). Now drill a counterbore (another larger hole over the first hole, but only halfway through – for more details see This needs to be big enough to accommodate the head and nut of a bolt. Use epoxy glue to attach the nut into the one hole, let it set, then use more epoxy glue to stick the torso of the action figure to the wooden disc.
Step 6-7:Glue the head of the bolt into the other piece of wood. Once set, use more epoxy glue to attach the wood disc to the legs.
To install the bookend, drill a hole through your bookshelf and push the bolt attached to the legs through the hole. Screw on the torso, but don’t over-tighten. Have fun arranging the arms and legs into crazy positions – and if at any time the arms and legs start bending due to the weight of the books, use the epoxy-based glue to fix all the joints.
About the Author
Scott Bedford is author of the award winning – a quirky arts and crafts blog containing an eclectic mix of recycling projects, décor, kids crafts, and utter nonsense (all supplied with fun hand-drawn tutorials and downloadable artwork).