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There is no better way to guarantee your kids will love something then to just have them design it themselves. This whimsical book case was dreamed up by my 5 year old, and with a little family collaboration it became a reality. It is a sure way to brighten any room, and make reading a HAPPY past time. 


I asked my daughter what I should make for the furniture contest. She responded, "a rainbow," immediately I was reminded of my childhood memory of the television program called "Reading Rainbow", and new that a book shelf would be just the thing! 

 
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Step 1: Materials

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You will need:
Large sheet of 3/4" plywood (8'x 42")
10 dowel rods cut to be (1/2" x 13.5" )
Fabric (any color) 
Wood glue
Wood putty
Sand paper
8 wood screws 2"
Paints
Jigsaw
Optional: Fabric dye if you want to do tie dye.

Step 2: Cutting The Arch

To start you will sketch out your arches onto the sheet of wood.
1.Find the center of your sheet to divide it into halves. Then find the center of each half
2. Then use a protractor to draw a large circle in the center of each half. (The circles will fill the entire half) Then draw a 2nd circle inside each of your first. Making 2 large doughnuts.(The 2nd circle will be about  11" in from the first creating the width of the arch)
3. Then take a straight edge and draw a line from the outside edge of the center circle to the short edge of the sheet. This straight edge creates the inner arch. The outer arch is created by the larger circle and edge of the sheet.

You will now have 2 identical arches sketched onto the sheet. 

Cut out the arches with a jigsaw.

From the scraps measure & cut 2 platforms that are 11"x12" (The dimensions of the shelves)

Step 3: Drill The Holes

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Next you will want to drill the holes for the dowel rods.
1. Mark your arches with a pencil where you would like your rods. (Mine are 15" apart and 1/2 in from the edge.)
2. Drill with a 1/2 inch bit
3. Fill any chips or gaps in with wood filler.
4. Once filler is dried sand your edges smooth all around.

Step 4: Fabric Shelving

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To make the fabric shelves. You will need to have a finished length of fabric that is 170" long & 11" wide in total (I say finished because you will want to allow for hemming when you cut the pieces.) This is what I did for mine:

1. Cut 2 pieces that are 71" long by 12" wide (The extra 1" is for the hemming & seam allowance)
2. Cut 1 piece that is 31" long by 12" wide. 
3. Roll up & tie dye the fabric (if you are using a solid color just skip this)
4. Sew pieces together and hem the edges so that you have a finished size of 170"x11"
5. Sew a series of loops and gaps according to the diagram. 
6. Check your work using one of the arches & the dowel rods.

Step 5: Painting

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Now we can go back to work on the arches and get them painted. At this time we will only paint the inside portion of the rainbow because the rest will be painted after assembly. Painting is one of those things that is completely up to you. I painted the inside of mine white to resemble clouds. I also painted the 2 platforms white. Next I painted the dowel rods a bright yellow. I was thinking they could be our beams of light. Once everything is painted and dried you can begin the assembly.

Step 6: Assembly

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To assemble the shelf: 

1. Screw & glue the platforms on at the base of the rainbow.
2. Add a little wood glue in each of the holes for the dowels
3. Slide the dowels into one hole from the inside of the rainbow, then slip the corresponding fabric loop on & push the rod through the matching hole on the other arch. 
4. Repeat this until all the dowels are in place. 
5. Wipe of any excess glue.
6. Fill in any holes on the front with the wood putty & let it dry.
7. Once the putty is dry sand it smooth.
8. Now you can paint on the rainbow. I followed the good ol' ROYGBIV pattern and did some clouds at the base. Don't forget the edges too! It didn't quite look magical enough so I sprayed on a little glitter.

HOORAY THE BOOK SHELF IS FINISHED!

Step 7: Top it All Off

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My children have just loved it from the very beginning of the project. My 2 year old was constantly asking if it was done yet, and they both attempted to play with it before it was even finished being constructed. There is just something about rainbows, they are just irresistibly playful.I topped my magical rainbow off with a giant cloud pillow, a couple storage bins, and of course lots of books. My kids really enjoy it & I find them reading books more frequently. I think that the shelf pays perfect tribute to the television program & promotes reading as an ENJOYABLE past time!

So cute, you should enter it in the Rainbow Contest! http://www.instructables.com/contest/rainbow2015/

Jetmaster3602 months ago

What's the cloud made from?

mygibzone (author)  Jetmaster3601 month ago

I sewed the cloud out of fleece & then filled it with the styrofoam bean bag pellets.

okay thanks

lrohret2 years ago
WONDERFUL! I adored "Reading Rainbow" so this is definitely a project I'm going to try. Love it!
shazni2 years ago
I hope you don't mind me adding this instructable in one of mine...check it out....if you do mind let me know and i'll remove it immediately. thanks

http://www.instructables.com/id/Mini-Stackable-Toy-Boxes-Rainbow-Themed/
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YAY !!!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!!!
shazni3 years ago
This would be great in my daughters room along with the rainbow clock and bulletin board! :-)
Check out my instructable if your children would love it too :-)
mygibzone (author)  shazni3 years ago
Very cool! It's great how rainbows make everything a little more cheerful!
The Rambler3 years ago
This is super cool. I like the cloth shelves. They're an ingeniously simple idea.
mygibzone (author)  The Rambler3 years ago
I have very little wood working skills, so I had to keep it simply enough that I could do it. :)
I guess that's part of what this site is about right? Sharing different ways of doing things and opening people up to the idea that there may be multiple ways to the get to the same end result. Just because you don't have a lot of woodworking skills doesn't mean you can't make things that are really fun and creative.
mygibzone (author) 3 years ago
Thanks everyone, but I can't take all the credit it really did come from the mind of my 5 year old!
dare2baware3 years ago
My grandaughter would love this. When can you build me one ;-)
mygibzone (author)  dare2baware3 years ago
Follow my instructable I'm sure she would love one from Grandma and it's really pretty easy!
MaryT8M3 years ago
REALLY cute!
I was totally reminded of this;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGuJDfJSUec
Awesome! I would love to read on a cloud! And read from a rainbow :)
This is fan-freaking-tastic! My kids need one of those. It looks so organized and fun. Great job.