DIY Little Library

I've wanted to build this library ever since we moved into our little craftsman. Ahem, five years ago. Problem was I had never built anything before followed by the bigger problem of having NO IDEA how to build anything. So I didn't, because I was scared and overwhelmed with the lack of knowledge. 

And then I hit my mid thirties and I just decided that if I wanted to be a woodworker (which I always have) I needed to put on my big girl pants and just START. And so I did. And it turns out that woodworking is not nearly as insurmountable as I thought once you get ahold of some simple basics. Knowing how to use a power drill, miter saw and wood glue can take you a loooooong way. Plus, YOUTUBE. Repeat Youtube is your friend. I watched so many tutorials on basic woodworking and it helped a TON. 

So without ado, our community library and a personal Goliath for me that I had to overcome. And now that I have I feel like I can take on anything!



All materials were purchased from our local hardware box store. 1 sheet of 1" plywood was used to build the frame of the library. Leftover 1/4" paneling was cut down to make the "shaker siding" and shingle roof.
Wallpaper: WallsNeedLove
Green Paint: Dunn Edwards "Golf Day"

Measure your cuts. And take your time because you can't undo a bad cut.

Our dimensions were:
Front/Back: 15" x 26" at peak.
Sides: 12 x 21.5"

Measure 2" in from all four sides and cut your door opening. I used a jig for this step. To start your cut you need to drill a pilot hole large enough to get the jig blade through.

Lay it all out and do a rough assemble to double check your cuts before the REAL assemble. I do this several times because I am still learning and want to make sure I don't make a newbie mistake by rushing through.


When you feel confident in your rough assembly it's time for the REAL DEAL!!!!! I assembled ours using wood glue, a brad nailer, wood screws and clamps.

Also, I didn't photograph this part of the process but I did paint the interior sides of the box BEFORE I assembled. Same for the wallpaper back.

Next was installing the "shaker siding" front. I cut down individual little pieces and wood glued them to the top of the front panel. Start at the bottom level and then overlap your levels on the way to the top.

Make sure to paint underneath FIRST. Otherwise you'll have to use a TINY paintbrush to meticulously paint between the cracks and nobodies got time for that nonsense.

Paint the whole thing and then install the roof.

I used clear waterproof silicone LIBERALLY over the roof seam and nail holes as well as a waterproof tape. Probably overkill but I don't want to mess around with water leaking into this thing. Once dry I wood glued the shingles on in the same manner as the "shaker siding".


The door was built using some spare 1x3s and joined together using a bead doweler and wood glue. And lots of clamps!!!


I wanted this to be portable but I also wanted it to be heavy enough to not blow over in any crazy Santa Ana winds. Plus it needs to be PRETTY! Soooo....I rigged together this flower planter base. I took a large galvanized basin and used Quik-crete to solidify an empty paint can in the center. I filled the basin about 2" deep and let it dry overnight. 

Once it had completely dried I leveled the post into the paint can and then used more Quik-crete to set it. After that was all done we moved the planter into it's final curbside home and filled the basin to the top with potting soil and low maintenence perennial plants.

I attached an additional square base to the bottom of the library using wood glue and 1" wood screws.


The quote was cut on black permanent vinyl using the Cricut and then put onto the side of the library using transfer paper. Just make sure to double check your measurements to find the middle and keep your letters straight. TAKE YOUR TIME!!!! Nothing will drive you more nuts than to be stuck with crooked words on the side of your pretty library. Or maybe that's just me!

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