Hi all! It’s April back here again from UncookieCutter. I’m excited to be back with you guys this month sharing my kiddos Dr. Suess themed book nook!
We moved into our older fixer upper about a year ago and we had this closet that we never used. Our house is sort of divided into two sections. The best we can figure is that the back part was built as a mother in law suite. We have the kids bedrooms back there and there is a living space between, with a second front door. Beside this door was a coat closet. Since we never use this door, we also never used the coat closet. That living space has become a kid area – the toy closet is here, as well as a space for them to watch movies, play Legos and just hang out. The closet was an eye sore and I wanted to turn it into a space the kids could use.
A little more about me is my daughter is living with autism. She is amazing, but reading comes hard for her. We don’t have that lucky “my girl loves books” thing going on over here. She loves bright, crazy colors and inclosed spaces. And by far, some of the only books she actually enjoys are Dr. Suess books. So, the idea for this book nook came to me after I saw this inspired space by Jennifer over at Fresh Crush.
I started by ripping out the high selves. I wanted to build floating shelves on the side so the kids could get to their books easier. I also had the idea to create a larger space under the bench for larger books. I wanted to make the shelves the right size for books, since when it’s not the right size, it ends up looking like this.
All the time.
So, I started by building the bench. We were leaving for Disney when I started, so we were cash poor at the time. I randomly had a bunch of 2x4s leftover from a project and so I decided it would be cool to use them to create a bench with a ship-lap feel. I built the top first, to fit in the closet. I used wood glue and pocket hole screws to construct a top.
I basically did the same thing with the sides and bottom. I used one of our largest books for reference and built around that. I created the bottom nook to have plenty of space for large books, but didn’t want the books to fall in the nooks and crannies, so I build a simple, book-sized space.
Like I said, I did it all with leftover 2x4s. I thought that plywood would be better, but I really like the way it turned out. Plus, it is crazy strong! I did connect the sides to the wall, but didn’t have to connect anything to the floor or brick. Drywall is easier to fix if it ever needs to come out :).
I built the sides and bottom like the top – with pocket holes and glue. Then I added the back piece by piece and connected it with pocket holes from the back, making sure each one was level. I had to build it into the closet, because I wouldn’t be able to get it into the space had I built it outside and tried to bring it in.
Then I brought the top and added it on. This was the point of the project where I got sawdust all in the house and then the vacuum broke, haha.
Next, I added some floating shelves on the side. I wanted this book nook to be filled with books. I followed this tutorial, but had to modify a bit to fit into the space. I started by attaching a 2×4 to the wall. There was only a stud all the way over by the brick, so I used some heavy duty drywall anchors to make sure it was super strong and would be able to hold books.
Next, I finished the supports. It was hard to get the drill into the tight area, so I brought the side in a little bit on the sides.
I cut some boards to fit on the top and sides.
And then a piece on the front.
Next, I painted and added some trim. Once again, using leftovers, I had a bunch of this trim and used it to cover all the holes and gaps. I also re-used the trim I ripped out of the closet.
This is great stuff to fill in any remaining gaps and holes. It’s sandable and paintable, and works great.
Once I had everything filled, sanded and painted, it was time to add all the fun stuff. Head over to UncookieCutter for details on all the DIY book nook accessories – including the handmade sign, the shoe on the wall details, where I found the cushion and pillows and the rag rug.
Speaking of a shoe on the wall, this is the kids favorite part of the book nook. A little excerpt from Wacky Wednesday, which is their absolute favorite Dr. Suess book.
The kids love it! They’ve been in there non stop. It’s so much brighter and airier now, and fits much better in the kids space. It holds a ton of books as well!
Thanks so much to Corey for letting me stop by again. Head over to UncookieCutter for all the details on this book nook and more fun projects!
April – Uncookie Cutter