DIY Reading Nook Bench

DIY Reading Nook Bench


Posted by Abby Branham

ReadingNookMy twin daughters love to read, which is great, but it also means that we have a LOT of books and that they are everywhere! I’ve been dreaming about creating a cozy reading nook for them for a while. I kept saying we’d do it when we move to a new house with more space, but, you know what, there’s no time like the present! The girls’ 2nd birthday was this month, so Drew and I decided this was our opportunity to streamline our living space and, more importantly, corral their growing collection of books.

This is a quick, beginner level DIY project.  Our costs for the bench were around $150.00.

Step 1: Assemble the bookcase

For the base of the bench we bought an inexpensive bookshelf from IKEA that we could turn on its side.  We decided on the Besta. It is a TV unit with a walnuty light gray finish, which is right up my color palate alley!



Step 2: Make the cushion seat for the bench.

I found a simple, quick, beginner level tutorial on Pinterest for a DIY reading bench cushion. A sincere thanks to Confessions of a Homeschooler for posting it!

Here is what Drew and I used to create the bench cushion:

  • 3” foam from JoAnn Fabric
  • Fabric to wrap the cushion, also from JoAnn Fabric because they run a ton of sales.
  • An inexpensive piece of plywood, cut to bench size, from Lowes
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Fabric Fusion on Amazon
  • Dremel saw and a hand saw

As I already mentioned, this was a quick, beginner level DIY project. Having said that, the most labor intensive part was to cut the foam to width. JoAnn Fabric would cut it to length only. Drew and I started cutting the foam to length with a Dremel saw we had borrowed from a friend. We quickly realized that would take forever and that the straight line we were trying to cut could get pretty messy. The Dremel saw gave us a good start and then Drew had the brilliant idea to use the hand saw. It worked like a charm!

With foam cut, we laid the fabric out, put the foam on top, and then sandwiched it in with the plywood.

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Much like wrapping an awkward, yet precious, Christmas present, we began at the ends of the cushion, carefully folding, gluing, and then stapling the fabric.

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We then worked our way around the sides, and the cushion was complete!

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The bench seat is fairly substantial so we decided to simply lay it on top of the bookshelf without adhering it.  It doesn’t slip.  We have a large window in our sun room that we placed the reading bench under, making it a fantastic window seat as well. I found these adorable pillows that say “I love you to the moon” on Amazon and we decorated further with some of the girls stuffed toys.  We also purchased a bird feeder and placed it in the window behind the reading nook making this space even even more magical. I always loved watching birds as a little girl, and it is my hope my girls will too.   And now for the much anticipated 2nd Birthday Reading Nook Reveal….

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They loved it!  This is now their favorite hangout spot.  It clearly gets a lot of use, but it is easy to pick up every evening now that all the books have a home.  We hope you will give it a try!

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This post was submitted to the link parties at Skip to My Lou and Tatertots and Jello.

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6 thoughts on “DIY Reading Nook Bench

  1. Ankita Singh says:

    It’s a brilliant idea! I grew up with a similar one, and it has been my dream to recreate it someday when I have a house large enough or a window sunny enough.
    Your girls are gorgeous, and this bench is so hands-on and perfect 🙂

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