Weekend Project: Little Free Library

After we had lived in our 100-yr old bungalow for about a year, I looked more closely at the kitchen (which had seemed so spacious and charming when we toured with the realtor), and realized that it was cluttered,  the cabinets were dated (clearly installed in the 60s), and the walls had been painted an unattractive muted tone that one helpful friend coined “mushroom basket.” Ick. I subscribed to This Old House magazine and saw an “easy” cabinet redo that involved gluing on a veneer trim to make dated cabinets have a Shaker-style look. Perfect! I showed my husband the magazine photo and argued that this project would take one weekend, two tops.

Although he was right not to believe my time estimate, he agreed that the kitchen looked horrible. So we took off the cabinet doors and got them stacked up in the garage, bought our wood veneer trim, and began to sand the old paint to accept the glue and new paint. That was one weekend. In total, it took about 1.5 months to get the cabinets veneered, painted with a snazzy tobacco-stain glaze, and rehung, and those mushroom basket walls repainted a chipper snap-pea sort of green. The result was totally worth it, but it was not a weekend project.

So when I told Joshua that I wanted to build a Little Free Library and we could totally build it in a weekend out of stuff we had laying around in the garage, he was dubious. Nonetheless, he’s a good sport, so we dove in. We surveyed the garage and saw that we didn’t have any appropriate material for siding, nor appropriate hardware, so we headed to the Re-Store and bought $17 worth of old fir tongue and groove flooring, a solid 4×6 post for mounting, a piece of glass, and some hinges. My goal was to spend $0, but less than $20 isn’t bad.

The library is now up, and it’s so stinkin’ cute. Our neighbors have all had positive things to say about it, but none of them have dropped off books yet…it’s still pretty sparse in there. Hopefully the neighborhood will think of our little free library as a first stop before the used bookstore!

Linked up at: http://salttree.net/ Making Skip To My Lou The Chicken Chick


8 thoughts on “Weekend Project: Little Free Library

    • Thanks! I think they will, it just requires remembering to grab the books you’ve read on the way out the door 🙂 Simple tasks like that have been known to take me months!

  1. Wow, your kitchen looks great! Love the paint, and the cabinet transformation is awesome. Also, that little library is a great idea! People just freely drop off and pick up books? Do they keep them and replace them with old books they don’t want, or bring back the ones they took?

    • Thanks Bethany! I definitely can’t take credit for the idea; I just took a ride on someone else’s great idea 😉 check out http://www.littlefreelibrary.org for more info on the movement. The idea is that people freely drop off books that they’re done reading. It’s like loaning a good book to a friend, except the friend is probably a stranger, and instead of getting that book back, you get a totally different book that you want to read. Some people will probably bring back the original book they borrowed though. It would be fun to have a bookplate stamp to track where they’ve been…

    • Oh but you can! You don’t have to start from scratch or use scraps like we did…take a look at the gallery of libraries on the Little Free Library Map: http://goo.gl/maps/F7hK People have used pre-fab cabinets, small dog houses on a post, even old microwaves! It only needs to be a box with a door.

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