How to Make a DIY Toy Soldier Bookend From an Old G.I. Joe

Repurposed action figure bookend
Hey, who put that hole there?



Want to get your kids excited about reading? Then make them a DIY Toy Soldier Bookend!

It might re-ignite their interest in their books, who knows… they might even read one!

It’s also a fantastic way to repurpose an old toy action figure, I used a G.I. Joe soldier, but other action figures would also work…

Step by step guide

Learn how to make your own DIY toy soldier bookend… it’s not too tricky! Just follow the instructions below.

Time to start operating

Cut in half... ergh!
How to make an upcycled toy soldier bookend: Step 1

STEP 1: Take your old toy action figure and use a hack saw to remove a 20 mm section from the waist.

Top disc
How to make an upcycled toy soldier bookend: Step 2-6

STEP 2: Cut two wooden discs slightly bigger than the toy’s waist.

STEP 3: Find a bolt (with a nut) long enough to fit through the shelf and both wooden discs, something around 4-5 mm in diameter. Drill a hole in the centre of both discs, large enough to fit the bolt.

STEP 4: Drill another hole halfway through each disc, large enough to fit the bolt head and nut.

STEP 5: Mix epoxy adhesive (such as Araldite) using a matchstick. Apply glue to the inside of the enlarged hole of one disc and then push the nut in.

STEP 6: Use more glue to attach the same wooden disc onto the top half of the soldier.

Bottom disc
How to make an upcycled toy soldier bookend: Step 7-10

STEP 7: Glue the bolt head into the other wooden disc.

STEP 8: Glue the disc onto the legs using more expoxy adhesive.

STEP 9: Drill a hole through the shelf big enough to fit the bolt.

STEP 10: Last step, push the bolt through, and screw on the body.

Final Tweaks

You’re almost done! Adjust the position of the legs and arms, so the books can lean against them… and then add the books!

Now celebrate by buying your kids a new reading book, so they can put it onto their new cool shelf?


  • Large plastic action figure
  • Sandpaper or craft knife
  • Small piece of 10 mm MDF/plywood
  • Nut and bolt 6-8 mm diameter
  • Hacksaw, jigsaw
  • Drill and drillbits
  • Epoxy adhesive

Creative Takeaway

Old toys are brilliant for quirky upcycling projects, before you throw them out, think what you could turn them into.