Mini Books in a Cardboard Box Library

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.

box library - planning stage

Mini cardboard library

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.

Mini books made form cardboard

Fun with kids - making a mini library

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. 

Mini cardboard books

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.

Mini cardboard books

Mini cardboard books

mini cardboard books

Mini cardboard books

Mini cardboard books

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.

Mini library

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.

Mini Library

cute mini books

Step 5 – Add Extra details

Extra books and display books.

Mini cardboard library


Paddle pop stick people

The kids decorates these with washi tape and pen.

Mini cardboard library

Mini cardboard library

Library Sign

Mini cardboard library

Mini cardboard library

Book Shute/Sorting Station

It works!

Book return Shute


Love how my daughter did the seasons here.

Mini cardboard library

Mini cardboard library


Such a worthwhile project!

Mini cardboard library


Box Castle

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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