Antique Iron Bookend

Greetings from the road in West Virginia! We are heading back home to SC after visiting my oldest brother, who lives in the Pittsburgh area. He’s lived up there for a little over two years, and we finally made it up for a visit! We brought the little dog along with us – his first-ever overnight road trip!  He’s mostly been sleeping in my lap (so my clothes smell pretty fantastic, despite the fact that he had a bath and haircut the day before we left!). 

Try blogging with this little guy in your lap!
He’s been banished to his giant pillow bed in the back seat for a bit. 

But now, let’s talk about the project. I found the old iron at a thrift shop.  In fact, I bought it on the same trip as the skirt in Project #3.  The iron was about the same as the skirt, somewhere around $1.00.  I thought it would make a great bookend because it’s very solid and heavy for its size.  But it seemed like it needed a little something extra to be complete.  So, when I went to Lowe’s to get the wood cut for the Singer shelf and drawers, I had them cut the wood for this project at the same time.


  • 2 small wood pieces (7″x 7″ and 7″ x 8.5″), sanded, stained, and coated with polyurethane
  • 2 L-brackets w/ ~3/4″ screws
  • Wood glue
  • Screwdriver
  • Old iron
  • Rust remover
  • Steel brush
  • Rags
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Clear acrylic sealer
  • Sponge brush
When I bought the iron, it was very rusty and in need of being cleaned up.  What a great coincidence!  While I was working on the Singer shelf and drawers, I needed to remove rust so had the supplies out already. 
…and Rusty!
So, I grabbed the iron and scrubbed it up.  Look at the difference!!  The handle will need repainting now, but that’s an easy fix!
Add a little bit of elbow grease…
Much better!

After the iron was cleaned up, I sanded, stained, and coated the small wood pieces to prepare them for assembly.  Once they were dry and ready, I used a dab of wood glue across the side of the smaller (bottom) piece and stuck it to the lower edge of the side of the larger (upright) piece, then wedged this configuration up against a wall to allow it to dry in one piece.   Once it was dry, I eyeballed where the L-brackets needed to go (I’m a big fan of the ‘eyeball it’ technique!), and screwed them in place for additional stability (L-brackets not visible in photo below).

Bookend frame assembled and ready for the iron
All that was left to do at this point was to repaint the handle of the iron…sooo I grabbed my acrylic paints and a sponge brush and gave it a coat of black paint, followed by a coat of shiny acrylic sealer.
Look at that shiny handle!
Then, found some antique books in need of being held up and called it a day!

Since the iron’s not actually attached to the frame, it can be adjusted to 
face in different directions if I feel like it.
Time:  ~5 hours (including paint/stain drying time – about 1.5 hours active time)
Cost:  ~$15

Thanks for reading!! 🙂