Farmhouse Bookends and Architectural Salvage

Farmhouse Bookends and Architectural Salvage

When I spotted this pair of wood bookends at the thrift store, I grabbed them right away. They were just heavy enough to scream “well-made” to me, and were blank slates for an upcycling idea. I envisioned them paired with architectural salvage to create some farmhouse bookends.

Wood bookends at a thrift store for upcycling into vintage farmhouse decor

When I brought them home from the thrift store, I removed the tape and was even more pleased. Outside of some leftover felt bits, they were in great condition and primed for a makeover.

Farmhouse bookends as antique farmhouse decor

And yes, I’ve upcycled other plain wooden bookends from the thrift store before! But I went in a VERY different direction with that pair

boho bookends as botanical home decor

But back to these! I took measurements of the wood bookends and found a pair of wood finials that would fit perfectly!

Wood finials or architectural antiques for vintage farmhouse decor

Now I just needed to marry them together to create the vintage farmhouse decor of my dreams!

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Transforming the Wood Bookends into Vintage Farmhouse Decor

Not that it really matters, but these wood finials were actually half finials (I found them on Etsy, if you were curious). But that worked in my favor as they fit on my wood bookends even better.

Decorating the wood bookends with architectural salvage


First, I roughed up the surface of the wood bookends with 80-grit sandpaper and drilled a pilot hole through the underside of each one. They were already a little scratched up here and there, as you may have noticed!

Then, I chose one of my favorite paint colors for their makeover.

Painting the vintage farmhouse decor with Behr In the Moment

You may have seen me use this paint before! First on my cork board project and again as part of a faux finish project that looked like oxidized copper.

The farmhouse bookends received two coats of Behr “In the Moment”. When the paint had dried, I distressed them with 220-grit sandpaper.

After I wiped away the sanding dust, I buffed on clear wax to protect the distressed finish. I used my Annie Sloan wax, but there are lots of other (cheaper) versions out there.

Behr In the Moment on vintage bookends as vintage farmhouse decor

The farmhouse bookends “cured” overnight (to allow the wax to harden a bit), and then I drilled screws up from the bottom into the wood finials.

I didn’t pre-drill pilot holes into the finials because the older wood was soft enough to take in the screws without a fight.

One last step! To help the farmhouse bookends do their job well, I glued on some non-skid shelf liner to the underside of each one. The non-skid shelf liner also covered up the screw heads to protect the surface underneath the bookends, so it’s a double-duty material!

Shelf liner on the bottom of wood bookends to keep them from sliding

Farmhouse Bookends with Architectural Salvage

And that was it! The farmhouse bookends were done and were ready to be used.

Vintage farmhouse decor with architectural antiques and wood bookends

Pretty easy and I simply love the end result- I adore how the dusty green color pops against the chippy white paint on the wooden finials.

Farmhouse bookends

Not too shabby for a pair of wood bookends that cost me $2.89, eh?

Vintage farmhouse decor


And, as a bonus, it’s the second Wednesday of the month which means it’s Thrift Store Decor Team Day! To see how each of these pieces were upcycled, simply click the corresponding links underneath the collage.

Upcycling ideas for thrifted or thrift store pieces from the best upcycling bloggers around_February 20191. Vinyl Record Bowl

2. DIY Earring Holder

3. Lazy Susan Thrift Store Makeover

4. Folding Tray Table Stand Table

5. Vintage Farmhouse Decor with Architectural Salvage (that’s mine, you’re already here!)

6. DIY Aged Terracotta Pot

7. Decoupage Basket | Hydrangea Napkins

8. Vintage Look Tray Makeover


I’m definitely curious- what would you have used to transform these bookends? I think there are probably all sorts of options.

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for vintage farmhouse decor, then you’ll also love this shabby chic wall decor that I made with a vintage window frame!

Framed doilies as shabby chic wall decor

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Well those turned out cute! Love the shelf liner trick.

  2. I really love how those turned out! I think they could work with other styles of decor as well – I don’t have a lot of farmhouse but I bet I could make them work! Now to scour my fav thrift store…

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Yes, definitely!! My house is a cluttered, eclectic mix so I understand – for me, the common denominator is “vintage” more than anything else!

  3. Patty Soriano says

    I LOVE old books and these are the perfect bookends for such a collection. I’ll have to keep an eye open for something similar. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Sarah,

    That color is scrumptious!! I love how your bookends look with the finials attached!


  5. These are fabulous, I love how you “married” them together, they make the perfect couple 🙂

  6. Maggie Martin says

    Great job on the bookends! I love the books.
    Thanks Sadie

  7. Love these bookends! So cute and not heavy looking.

  8. Wow, girl!!! These are stunning. I love the color, but adding that finial makes them so special and unique!!!

  9. That paint color!!! LOVE!!! They turned out so cute!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Isn’t it delicious??? Three projects so far with that color because I seriously can’t get enough of it!

  10. Naomi Shelton says

    VERY cool!

  11. Another great project. Shelf liner is good for so many surfaces that you want to be nonskid. Your distressing + the finials’ chippiness is a great combo!

  12. Love them! I can’t believe you don’t have a local junk yard where you can find finials!

  13. I love everything about these, such a great up-cycle!

  14. Jean carlock says

    How did you get those pumpkins to look like rusty?Thank you for your answer.


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