I have a great little reading nook in my classroom and decided that I needed to get serious this summer about organizing books for my students. I needed bookends to hold up the stacks, but also needed a place where I could write the different categories in each stack. This is what I decided to do.
I started with plain concrete pavers.
I painted them, using several coats, with masonry sealant paint. You could probably use just about any paint to do this, but I went went with the stuff that's meant for concrete. It was essential to fill in as much of the porous roughness as possible.
Next I painted the pavers with black chalkboard paint. Again, I used several coats to try and achieve as smooth a surface as possible.
I decided that felt pads should be added to the bottom of each bookend, to protect the shelf underneath.
Finally, I decorated the bookends using colorful chalkboard pens, which can be wiped clean and redone whenever I need to change the information on the shelf.
It's a fun, colorful and very affordable way to kill two birds with one stone. What do you think?