DIY – Dollarstore White Lion Bookends

Earlier this year I was exploring the aisles of my local Dollarama when I came across some rather interesting garden decorations in the form of lions. I liked the shape of them, but since I don’t have a garden where they could sit proudly amongst the flowers I left them where they sat on the shelf. On my way home from the store I had what I consider a rather brilliant idea, and a day later returned and purchased two.

Dollar Store Garden Lions

For some time I’d been eying all those white ceramic animal book ends which seem to be everywhere recently, but hadn’t yet managed to bite the bullet and buy some. In particular this owl set at Chapters had caught my eye.

Chapters Owl Bookends – $39.99

Anyway, my brilliant idea was to transform those somewhat regal dollar store garden decorations into a set of bookends.

My first step was to fill my garden statues with the river rock that I also got at Dollarama.

Filled with Dollar Store River Rock

Once all the rock was inside I discovered that the rocks moved around a bit if I moved the lion, so I used paper towel to fill in some of the gaps and reduce movement. I sealed up the hole on the bottom of the lion with some thin cardboard from a box of frozen pizza.

Cover the holes with cardboard

Next up was painting. I decided that spray paint would be the easiest to apply. I mounted the lion on the painters pyramids I used during my first spray painting project. This allowed me to easily spray around the base of the lions. I did three coats of glossy white spray paint, letting it dry completely between coats.

Getting Ready to Spraypaint

The last step was to glue some white felt to the base of the bookends. This serves two purposes – it covers the unsightly cardboard, and it will also protect any surface I place the bookends on. I traced the base of the lions and then cut inside my pen mark to get pieces of felt that were slightly smaller than the base. I affixed it to the bottom of the lions with my glue gun.

Tracing the base on felt

I have to say that I’m quite pleased with the way that these turned out.

The Finished Bookend

Here’s what this project cost:

  • Two dollar store garden decorations: $4 at Dollarama
  • Two bags of dollar store river rock: $2 at Dollarama
  • White glossy spray paint: $5.49 at Home Depot
  • White felt: $1.02 at Fabricland – the location was closing, so it was 60% off $17/yd and I only bought 6.5″.

For a total cost of $14.31 (tax. included) I think I made a really nice pair of DIY bookends.

Fred and George – the Lion BooKends

I’ve decided to name them Fred and George – I’m sure you can guess why.

linked to: The Shabby Nest, At the Picket Fence, Remodelaholic, Addicted 2 Decorating, Making the world cuter, Coastal Charm, Polish the stars, Home Stories A2Z, The Kurtz Corner, DIY by Design, Savvy Southern Style, Decor to Adore, Beyond the picket fence, Chic on a shoestring, Addicted 2 Decorating, The CSI Project


  1. says

    Wow…I’ve seen this done before, but your detailed tutorial makes yours above and beyond. These lions are super cute…I like the picture of the lion in the box…looks like it’s in time out! Thanks.

    Would love it if you would link this up to our Rockin’ link party going on now at RoCa and Company. Here is the link: Come and show off what you got. Hope to see you there…

    Remember…YOU ROCK!!

    Carmen @
    RoCa and Company

  2. says

    these are fabulous. so creative of you!
    i would love for you to link this post up to flashback fridays going on now over at love notes.
    go check it out!
    {love} lauryn @

    • says

      I wish I had known how well they would turn out – I would have bought more lions and made gifts.
      Oh well – maybe next spring they’ll have a different garden ornament I can transform!

  3. says

    How wonderful and creative! Hmmm, I’m going to have to really look at the ceramics at the dollar store today, you’ve made me see some real possibilities!

  4. says

    These are so cool! I love bookends and I think it’s really cool that you came up with them yourself. I wish they sold better figurines at the Dollar Tree here in AZ! I’ll have to look around the next time I’m there for potential copycat bookends! :)

  5. says

    What a great idea! I’ve been wanting bookends, but they’re so pricey. I would love for you to share this idea on my link party at

  6. Manie Dumdei says

    I have spent a bit of time going through your posts, more than I should have but I must say, its worth it!

  7. says

    OMG Michelle, I didn’t realize yesterday this was your blog! I remember seeing this post a while back and thinking you were so clever! I think I may have emailed you a question about linky parties, and you were incredibly friendly and helpful. So glad we connected yesterday. Great idea, luv the makeover you gave Fred and George.

  8. cindy says

    This is hilarious! I had this exact idea last year when I saw these lions at the dollar store. I bought a pair and went so far to paint them white. I had intended to fill them with sand or even concrete. But I abandoned the projects, as I had too many on the go and decided I may never get to finishing them so off to the Goodwill they went.
    Fast forward to today when I saw those white owl bookends (the black ones are on sale) on the Chapters website.
    I sighed knowing that I wouldn’t splurge the $40 and googled DIY bookends. And lo and behold, I see your set of white lions.
    Great minds!

  9. Holly says

    Love ‘em!! You can still buy these lions at Dollarma this year :D I have also spray painted these guys. I thought about book ends… maybe I need to buy more lions. LOL… and I already have three… I have a white one in my bedroom (with a white spray painted wooden elephant from Dollarama), and two black lions on either side of my front steps. Aren’t they an amazing find? :D

    Someone else had this idea too:

  10. says

    This is fantastic! I’m sharing this! I wouldn’t have thought to use garden statues like that. I have this huge thing for gnomes, and I found this beautiful grandpa gnome holding grandson on GalleyDirect I am totally using this idea to make them into book ends for the living room shelf. Thank you soo much for the post

  11. Cherie says I love them!! Being a Leo I would’ve bought them just because & hopefully found this blog to figure out what to do with them :) I love the ideas all around of painting everything a glossy white. But what is upsetting is all of the awesomeness found at Dollaramas… because being in the states we don’t get such finds! So sad :( Anyhoo thanks for this post!!


  1. […] When Michelle from Sweet Suite 10 spotted a shelf of lion garden statues at Dollarama, she initially passed them by.  After all, her condo doesn't have any kind of garden space in which to display them.  She went back and snagged them, however, after she was struck with a brilliant idea: turn them into bookends!  Her inspiration was a pair of white owl bookends she'd found with a $40 price tag.  Her lions cost just $2 each, with a makeover coming in at just a few bucks more.  [how to turn garden statues into bookends] […]

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