Posted by Abby Branham
My 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.
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.
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.
We then worked our way around the sides, and the cushion was complete!
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….
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!