Introduction: How I Made an Illuminated Booknook

One of the trends around at moment are Booknooks, not the corner of a library, but a small scene that is hidden within the space of a book. These can then be placed into your bookshelf to bring a little art and fun into life. Originally championed by {insert Japanese guy} there are now lots of people building little fantasy worlds and alleyways into book sized spaces.

I started with a freely available 3D model and decided to make it easier to print and also to contain the necessary LED's and electronics to spice it up a little.

Step 1: 3D Printing

To make this I used an existing 3D file that was found on thingiverse and made by FiveNights -

The only issue it was all in one piece and seemed a bit problematic to print, so I split it into two pieces and sculpted out spaces for lights, electronics and battery

Eventually by laying each side flat I got it to print satisfactorily.

Step 2: Test Fit and Battery Compartment

With it being lit, I wanted to use just a single AA battery and used a belkin battery holder, these are neat as they are fairly small and give a professional look to the finished article and removes the reliance on using USB power.

The battery holder is a Bulgin AA Holder

Step 3: Primer to Block Light

As there were going to be lights inside i used red primer as a base to help remove the glow from inside the model. I also had a load of this left over from a previous project :)

Step 4: Basic Colour Washes

With the painting, i used some acrylic black ink wash and followed this up with some grey wash as well. This would give a good base to the stonework and pooled nicely in all the cracks and crevices.

Step 5: Colour Detailing

Once dry I then brushed on some raw and burnt umber to give some more solid feel to the ground. I painted the minarets and roofs in a combination of tamiya acrylic blues, reds and greens.

The archway was painted using a gold leaf tamiya colour and some details like the stairs picked out in black.

Step 6: Plywood Frame

To give some weight and robustness to the finished booknook i added some 3mm ply to the back and bottom. This was just glued on.

Step 7: Adding Scenic Materials

With the paint now dry I added some scenic modelling materials. Green grass flock covered most of it and some forest shrubbery appllied as well for some bushes.

Step 8: Electronics

Here is a guide on how to wire up the electronics and run it off just a single 1.5v AA battery.

I used a single 1.5v to 5V booster and a AA battery holder with a sub-min switch. The LED's were 3mm coloured red, orange and yellow and of the flickering variety . I also bought them pre-wired with resistors to make things easier. .

Battery booster is a HW-626 : 0.9V-5V to 5V DC-DC Step-Up Power Module Voltage Boost Converter Board

Step 9: Book Covers

To cover the sides of the book I used some sticky back vinyl and used 2mm chipboard as the base of the covers.

Step 10: Final Fitting

With everything ready I glued the two pieces of the nook together and then after sticking some black paper on the covers then glued these into place.

Step 11: The Book Nook

The Booknook came out better than i was hoping and now resides on the bookshelf as a nice surprise for anyone looking.