First of all, do you have ENTIRELY too many books? Does your heart go pitter-pat when you see a kid totally absorbed in a great book? Do you want a great way to meet your neighbors? Do you want an excuse to buy more books? Me, too! If you said Yes to most of these questions, you’ve got to build a Little Free Library!
What is Little Free Library? It is a movement of people trying to encourage literacy and community. Two things that can always be improved, in my opinion! Who has too many friends or can read too well? 🙂
INSTRUCTIONS & MEASUREMENTS:
(please excuse the horrible quality of the following pictures…my hubs took them with his very OLD camera-phone. But, they get the job done. 🙂
- Begin with a 4×8 1/2″ sheet of treated plywood.
2. Get out that circular saw and make the following cuts: (label as you go!)
- Floor – 19″x15″
- Right wall – 16″x15″
- Left wall – 16″x15″
- Roof Left – 21″x15 1/4″
- Roof Right – 21″x15 3/4″ (nope, not a typo – make one side longer to cover the top edge.)
- Front & Back – at first, cut them both the same. You will do a few extra cuts to the front. This one is a little tricky to cut. The base is 20″ wide. The sides are 16″ tall. The middle height is 24″.
After you cut the front and back panels. Go back to the front panel. Cut the top triangle off. (Don’t cut the front rectangle in half until you make the windows, it’s easier that way!)
3. Make the windows. Measure & level like a boss! It is very important for the books to be very visual. At this point you could make one large square. We thought the four squares were much more charming, though a little more labor intensive.
The windows are 3 1/2″ wide x 4 1/2″ tall.
4. Paint all the pieces (don’t forget which piece is which!) with outdoor paint. 2nd coat, add the color!
5. Put it all together with wood screws. As an added reinforcement for your walls, attach 1×1 steel L brackets in the corners. Attach the doors with hinges.
6. Finish it out: Add little wooden blocks for the “window boxes” under the side windows. Use 1/4″ round on the side bottom edge to finish the look. Use cedar trim to finish the bottom of the doors, the edge above the doors, the front and back of the roof.
7. Get Roofing! Slather the top with wood glue. Use cedar shims to elevate the look to another level! The cedar slats were cut between 6 1/2″ inches to 7 1/2″ in varying lengths to make it look more authentic. We used three rows of the cedar “shingles”. The cedar roof provides another layer of protection from the weather. (on our to-do list – seal the cedar roof with a clear sealer)
8. Install the Windows: Score the plexiglass with a utility knife and a metal straight edge. Then break it along the score. Drill holes into the plexiglass. Insert plexiglass inside the library and screw to the walls with wood screws.
9. Install front latch. Why do we have two? Because the cute one doesn’t really work, but the ugly one does. Go figure!
10. Install the post – Dig a hole 1/2 way to China. We happened to have this huge post sitting in our garage. Again, go figure! If you don’t have a monster post, use a few 4×4’s and it will be just as solid. Hubs installed it with a concrete base. Washers, screws and L brackets attach the library to the post.
10. Make a charming sign so that people understand they are welcome to the books. We didn’t want to write take a book, leave a book because even if someone doesn’t have a book to drop off, I still want them to use it.
11. Fill with a wide variety of reading materials.
12. Add comfy seating, if you would like to. (Totally not necessary, but sure makes it look inviting!)
You can read more about the Little Free Library organization here. We decided not to register our library because we didn’t want our address on their website. But, it is an option on the website.
My husband’s grandma used to tell him, “If they don’t find you handsome, let them find you handy.” I think I lucked out because he is definitely both. 🙂
Did you like this post? Would you like more DIY building projects? Give me a shout out and I will get hubs busy! 😉 Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly email list, where we send out a recap of the weeks posts, as well as other freebies just for subscribers!
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