Create a cozy book nook for back to school

By Catherine Arent

A great way to encourage reading is to dedicate an area of your home to reading by creating a book nook. I put together a fun DIY project to create the perfect book nook. This is a simple project so that the kids can help you to create their special area. If you are a seasoned DIY’er please feel free to used more advanced techniques, perhaps chalk paint, stain, stencils, or decoupage. I chose just to use very simple solid colors of paint so that even the newest DIY’er can accept this challenge!

STEP 1- Collect your supplies:

• 4 photo ledge shelves (at Target for $12.99 each and I used a coupon too).

• Wooden letters R-E-A-D (at A.C. Moore for $1.99 each)
• Wooden crate (at A.C. Moore for $14.99)
• 1 can of spray paint (let your kids pick their favorite color)
• 1 bottle of craft paint in a complementing color
• Sponge brushes
• Drop cloth
• Hot glue gun
• Drill and level
• Comfy chair or pillows
• Reading lamp

Lay a drop cloth and spray paint the shelves. Allow to dry to 24 hours. Repeat with a second coat. I prefer to do this step outside for good ventilation.

Use a sponge brush and craft paint to paint the wooden letters and the wooden crate. Allow to dry 24 hours. Repeat with a second coat.

Using a hot glue gun, glue one painted wooden letter to each painted shelf. You can choose any alignment, but I prefer to place them to the left side.

Using your drill and included hardware, hang the shelves on the wall. A second set of hands and eyes is helpful to ensure the shelves are evenly spaced and level.

Add a comfy chair or pillows and a reading lamp. Personalize the space in any other way you see fit. I added a small chalkboard painted in matching colors. I think we will have fun wiping it clean and writing fun new things on it from time to time. You could also get some fun artwork or a monogram... whatever your kids like.

Fill the shelves with books! I tend to put the books that require supervision for reading on the top shelves out of reach of little hands. On the lowest shelves and in the crate, I placed our more resilient board books and others that can withstand the wear and tear of a loving 18 month old!

Relax and escape into a good book!

Summer break is just around the corner and daily reading is so important to maintain the hard work and progress your student has achieved in reading this year. One of the best ways you can encourage reading is to advertise your books. Gutter style bookshelves show off the cover of a book and not just the side of the spine. Therefore, you are drawing attention to the book and little hands won’t be able to resist picking it off the shelf! I hope you accept this challenge to hang some personalized gutter bookshelves in your own home. This will make a phenomenal family summer project and then you can have fun picking out new books to fill the shelves!

If you need any new books to fill your shelves, Catherine, our resident Usborne book lady can help you at