diy project: halligan’s alchemy bookends

High-end geode and crystal home decor is everywhere! Having a rock garden in my home is right up my alley, but can be expensive. So today I’ll share how to get the look of pyrite bookends using rocks scavenged from your neighborhood streets. — Halligan

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • rocks of all different shapes and sizes (make sure to get several that are flat on two sides)
  • metallic gold spray paint
  • hot glue sticks
  • industrial strength glue such as liquid nails #3 or E6000
  • gold leaf adhesive and gold leaf
  • weighted cardboard box (You can fill the box with books!)


  • hot glue gun
  • toothpicks
  • old paint brush
  • soft brush
  • soap and dirty toothbrush


1. Gather rocks and scrub with soap and brush. Let dry completely.

2. Spray paint rocks gold. Make sure to get all sides and angles nice and covered. Let dry according to spray paint instructions.

3. Pick out rocks that are flat on the bottom and one side. Look around until you find three that can serve as your starting point. Use hot glue to quickly tack them together. Place them next to your heavy box and keep building! This project is like a 3D puzzle that can have slight imperfections. After you have a good start, stop and reinforce the rocks with your industrial-strength glue. Hot glue alone will not hold these gems together forever!

4. Use your box as a guide to make the flat side of the bookend that will hold up your books. Keep building by hot-gluing and then reinforcing until you have a nice shape that you are happy with.

5. To add a “facet” shine, gold leaf some rock edges. This is also a great way to cover any glue that’s showing!

6. Enjoy! Happy October from Halligan.

  1. Haley says:


  2. FinderMaker says:

    Nice project! The addition of gold leaf really takes it to the next level!

  3. omg, this is stunning! I must try it out! Love the look of metallic stones!

  4. iHanna says:

    Great project, easy and useful. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Beautiful! Just might have to try this one.

  6. what a fun idea. It’s really great if you are the NEED to do some DIYing.

    Thanks for sharing


  7. Sing says:

    Nice, I really like this idea.

  8. Agne Nananai says:

    Awesome and so simple!

  9. haylie says:

    i’m always on the hunt for old geodes to use around my house & indeed they can be costly- this is such a fun idea and so simple too!

  10. libby says:

    this is totally, totally awesome.

  11. Fabulous DIY idea. What a great way to produce organic and glamorous at the same time!

    I might add though, maybe putting felt on the bottom would be a good idea. Don’t want to scratch the furniture!

  12. Jules says:


    I just love this, and I know my dinosaur/fossil loving boys are going to lose their heads over this idea. Thank you!

  13. Gaaaaaahhhh!! This is So FantasticO! Halligan is simply too cool for school!!

  14. nikki says:

    This is so original and useful! Fantastic!

  15. Maggie says:

    I have a rock collection from my youth that’s been a bookend in a peanut butter jar for years. What a great way to spruce it up!

  16. Katie says:

    As a geologist, this is both hilarious and awesome. Rocks make great bookends.

  17. chelsea says:

    This is such a great idea! I particularly love the juxtaposed look of the sparkly gold against the black, distressed mantel.

  18. Annapiana says:

    What a great idea! I just did the same thing to a heap of pebbles and buried them in our sandpile for a pirate-themed kids’ birthday party. It was a massive success. I chose stones that looked pyritish in shape, sprayed them with 3 coats. The pirates dug for hours…

  19. Alicia says:

    I love this project. I wish I had the pyrite from my childhood rock collection still… I’d make a ring or something fun out of it.

  20. Panda says:

    katie said it best!

  21. This. Is. Awesome. I’m doing it!

  22. hrhkat says:

    I could gold leaf/paint my entire house…we need an entire section on this blog about cool things to gold/silver/copper leaf/paint….

  23. It is a great DIY project. It looks fantastic!

  24. Awesome. Now I know what to do with my heart shaped rock collection. Thanks so much!

  25. Claire says:

    This is super!
    its going to be my weekend project.

  26. ariadne says:

    lovely idea!

  27. That’s such an amazing DIY projects!!!

  28. Quatre says:

    Really nice.. the first shot is striking.

    I’ll be doing this for my niece when some free time rolls around.

  29. Lauren says:

    So love this! It would be great to also keep a door propped open!

  30. This is soooo amazing. We have an extra long weekend starting now – I will have this as my DIY project with my boys! They are going to love it…we can paint the rocks in a colour of their choice.

  31. albeit... says:

    Woo love it! Wonder if i can make a bigger version of this as a doorstop?!

  32. paige says:

    love this project! thanks for sharing!

    i was just thinking that a blog post with DIY projects specifically for holiday gifts would be great too!

  33. Wow what an awesome idea… I love this! Simple, amazing, and CHEAP!

  34. I love this! I want to make one asap!
    thank you for posting this

  35. Parsley says:

    I love this

  36. I have a small collection of rocks with fossils in them….might try to use them for this project.

  37. Jen Smith says:

    what a fantastic idea!!!


  38. Dianna says:

    Little tweak, I covered the bottom of my rocks in felt and added amethyst pieces in. Thank you for the tutorial!

  39. rebecca says:

    This was like an amazing idea to me…Its so simple and I was totally in awe and in love when I saw these…I will definitely be making a pair for myself! These are fabulous….Awesome.

  40. Trina says:

    I love this. It’s the perfect mix of glamour-meets-rustic, and an easy way for those with little to no artistic training to feel like a sculptor. I would put felt on the bottom, too, and I love Dianna’s idea of adding additional color and sparkle with amethyst.


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