Book Bin

Since one of my good friends (who was our wedding photographer) is having a baby girl in May (!), I really wanted to make her and her husband something both adorable and practical. A while back I saw this super cute book bin over on This Little Street. In the post, the blogger mentioned that kids like to see the front cover of every book before they choose which one to read, which meant that books were spread out throughout the whole room after each one was taken off the bookshelf to look at. With this book bin, all of the books are already facing forward and easy to grab. As a bonus, I’m hoping they are also easy to put away. Once my friend had thought about how they want the room to look and feel, I made sure they actually wanted something like this. Nothing worse than getting something bulky and then thinking, “Um, what am I going to do with this…”

Once I had drawn out what I was thinking (on engineering paper because, you know, I’m so official), I got to work! I looked up the dimensions of a Dr. Seuss book on Amazon to get a general idea of the size for each compartment. I also figured I wanted the full height of the book bin to be about 24 inches by looking up the height for play kitchens and workshops for toddlers. I thought about adding a shelf under the bookcase area just for extra storage. You can never have too much, right? I also knew I wanted some pretty table legs, since they are having a girl and it would be an easy way to add some softness. I figured when I went to Home Depot I would need to find table legs that could be cut to about 19 inches, and that also had at least one flat edge to screw the lower shelf to.

I got home and cut out all of my pieces, except the lower shelf portion. I figured I would save that for last. The trickiest piece to cut was the flat shelf bottom, but even that was a piece of cake. I cut the legs to 18.5 inches, which worked out perfectly. And now I have 5.5-inch legs that I can use on another project!

Once all of the pieces were cut out, I started assembling. I attached the legs onto the flat base first, and then used my Kreg-jig for the sides, making sure everything was as sturdy as possible. Super simple! And it’s crazy what a difference using the pretty legs makes. They really give it a professional look. So far so good!

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Next up was the lower shelf. I decided to cut the base supports first to make sure I got the perfect measurements for the slats that would make up the shelf. I was originally going to use my Kreg-Jig to attach all of the slats, but they were so thin that they started to split. So instead, I used a nail gun. This ended up being way easier and quicker than screws, so now I know for the future!

Once everything was assembled, I used my new Dremmel (!) to make sure that there were no screws or nails sticking through anywhere. Worked like a charm! I then sanded everything down and rounded all of the edges and corners. My last setup before painting was filling in all of the holes where the screws went. I used wood putty to fill everything in, and then sanded it down. I wasn’t too worried about not being able to stain the wood putty since I was planning on painting the bookcase white. Eventually I will test the putty with stain.

Then came the painting! I spray painted the entire bookcase white, and then added some soft pink diagonal stripes along the main compartment area. Super simple (and easy to do while binge-watching Friends) and super cute!

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