How to Make Little Libraries




Introduction: How to Make Little Libraries

About: Executive Director at The Foundry in Buffalo, NY.

This is a fun project that you can use mostly scrap materials for! What you'll need:


2x2" pine

Siding (cedar shake, clapboard, etc)


Door latch and hinges

Plexiglass for window/door

Step 1: Screw the Frame Together

We used 1 1/2x1 1/2" pine (cut scrap 2x4s) to make the frame. Measure
the largest books you think will fit in your little library in order to figure out how large you want the library. Cut a plywood base to put the frame on (we did ~14x14?) and then cut the frame members to represent whatever roof you want. We cut one side 1-2" shorter on an ~10 degree angle so that we could make shed roofs. (Shed roofs are easier than gable/roof with a peak) Use screws to screw the frame together.

Step 2: Adding Siding and Roof

The siding gets attached to the framework. Attach with finish nails (clapboard, cedar shake, exterior plywood, etc)

The roof is plywood, attached to the framework with screws. To finish the roof, first put on tar paper and aluminum drip edge. The follow with either metal roof or shingles, attach with nails.

For little libraries with a green roof, you will need to create a frame that is added on top of the roof, but it needs to have some sort of impermeable rubber lining. You can plant sedum on a roof, but make sure the angle of the roof isn't too steep so the dirt doesn't slide off.

Step 3: Build/Install Door

Create a door (you can use kreg pocket screws to create the door), much like you'd create a picture frame. There must be a rabbet (a step-shaped recess cut along the edge or in the face of a piece of wood) in order to fit in a piece of plexiglass. Then install the door into the front of the little library using hinges and a slidelock.

Step 4: Paint/Decorate

Take a look at all the options! You can add a little cupola, you can burn images into the wood, you can paint it with chalkboard paint. Above all, make it unique and make it yours!wood

Step 5: Above All, Build It With Your Community!

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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I love the unique designs of your little libraries Thanks for sharing