IF YOU love books and building things, we have a perfect summer project for you. Make your own Little Free Library – with a twist.
This easy project is designed to hold your summer reading, including KidsPost Summer Book Club selections. Build it, fill it with our recommended reads and share with friends. One tip: As this library is made from cardboard, best to keep it indoors.
Adult’s help: Some
Hands-on time: 1 1/2 hours
Total time:2 1/2 days
– Corrugated cardboard box at least 20 inches high, nine inches wide and eight inches long
– Masking tape
– Two newspaper sheets
– Eight ounces turquoise acrylic paint
– Two paper plates
– Two kitchen sponges
– Clear washable glue
– Eight ounces chalkboard paint
– Two ounces red acrylic paint
– Two ounces yellow acrylic paint
– Medium paintbrush
– Pipe cleaner
1. Remove stickers and tape from box. Cut off the two smaller flaps from both vertical box openings with scissors, save all four for later.
2. Re-close one vertical opening with masking tape. (This will be the back of your library.)
3. Set box upright on newspaper sheet with the long cardboard flaps standing vertically. (These will be your library doors.) Squirt turquoise paint onto a paper plate, then dip a sponge in it. Wipe paint over the top and back of the box, both sides of the doors and the inside bottom. Let dry 10 minutes, then repeat with another layer of paint.
4. Glue four cardboard pieces together and let set for 10 minutes. (This will be your bookshelf.) Cover both short and one long side of shelf with glue. Press the long shelf side (with glue on it) inside the box and against the back, positioning in the middle. Secure the shelf’s short sides between the box walls. Set box on its back. Reinforce the shelf with more glue. Remove extra glue with a damp cloth. Dry overnight.
5. If needed, ask an adult to open chalkboard paint. Mix according to instructions. Dip second sponge in paint and cover the remaining box sides, wiping in one direction. Let dry 24 hours.
6. Once dry, squirt a quarter-size amount of red and yellow paint on a paper plate. Paint the words “Reading List” on one chalkboard with the paint brush. Repeat on the other side with the word “Reviews.” Dry 10 minutes.
7. Halfway down the doors, poke a hole with the scissors on each – directly across from the other and an inch inside the flap’s outer edge.
8. Pull pipe cleaner through holes and tie ends together with two loose knots to close the doors. Don’t pull the knots too tight, or you might not be able to open the doors later.
9. Use chalk to write the book club list on the “Reading List” board. Once you’ve read a book, write a review on the “Review” board. Wipe board with a damp cloth to write as often as you like.
10. Fill your KidsPost Summer Book Club library with books. Of course, the decorating doesn’t need to end. Add your own creative pizazz. (We went with a KidsPost theme.) – Text & Photos by The Washington Post