I recently featured a gorgeous mini cardboard library by a mother and teacher from Spain. When I put the article together, I realised I had a box we could use to do the same thing from inside the printer we purchased when we moved at the start of the year. It’s a great little project!
Hot glue gun
Cardboard inner box packaging
Sections of cardboard from a box
Paint / Washi tape / Drawing pens (depending what look you’re going for)
Paddle pop sticks (for the people)
Step 1 – Prepare
Take a look at the box and plan out the library. We cut a section for the doorway into the library, added a Library and Return Shute sign (my 11 year old’s idea) and a ladder on one side.
Step 2 – Make Mini Books
Making mini books is fun, and my daughter and I enjoyed it. To fill a library, you need to make a lot of mini books; we made about 80. Cut thick cardboard (we used cardboard from the side of a box) into small sections and fold in half. We didn’t measure anything; it looks good if the book are different sizes.
Books can be decorated in detail, or simply coloured. We used three different methods to make the books: paint; pen and washi tape. They all work well and look great. Washi tape is relatively mess free; pen is quick and easy; paint can be a bit messy but I like the look of it the best.
We added extra details to only a handful of books. Details like spine binding, cover picture or inside writing. The rest of the books are just for outer decoration. Making mini cardboard books could be an activity in itself for Barbie or other small doll imaginative play.
Step 3 – Put shelves in
I did this part of the project: I cut cardboard shelves to size and glued them in different nooks using hot glue. I also added a ladder and stairs. Hot glue gun is perfect for this type of project because of how quick it dries.
Step 4 – Stock the books
Stock the books on the shelves. They look so cute!! Because the cardboard is thick, they will open unless the shelves are a tight fit (which some of them are). For open shelves, be creative in how to display books. Use rubber bands for groups of books or clear loom bands on individual books to keep them closed. The kids made signs and ‘paintings’ for the library shelves too, and a display book.
Step 5 – Add Extra details
Extra books and display books.
Paddle pop stick people
The kids decorates these with washi tape and pen.
Book Shute/Sorting Station
Love how my daughter did the seasons here.
Such a worthwhile project!
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