human behavior

DIY Book Display for Kids

Posted in Crafts by humanb on November 20, 2013

booksPerhaps a newborn doesn’t have much use for children’s books. Still, it’s never too early to start building a child’s library and nurturing the habit and pleasure of reading.

With no available space on any of our bookcases, all children’s books will have to live on our bedroom windowsill for the foreseeable future. That means I’ll have the pleasure of designing a set of bookends, if time permits. 🙂

A look at the two oversized children’s books leaning inelegantly against the smaller ones on my window sill, however, made me reconsider how to display the larger books.

I’m a huge fan of displaying children’s books with their covers face forward, rather than their spines, but it only works with large expanses of wall (or tiny collections).

book_display

A single lectern, on the other hand, allows the display of a few large picture books in a small space.  Settled on making a lectern, I was determined to make use of any scrap wood or MDF that I already owned. For so small a project as this, I refused to spend any money on materials.

I used the largest piece of scrap plywood I had as a back rest, and cut two smaller pieces to act as a base and easel.

lectern_plainlectern_plain_back

I joined the plywood with PVA wood glue and reinforced it with nails. The entire construction took a matter of minutes, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the result.

That left the question of how to decorate the thing.

Paint it? A solid colour? Stripes? Too boring.

Cover it? With a paper collage? I liked that idea. But what kind of paper? Newspaper? We don’t buy print newspapers anymore. Comic book images? Not my Buffy. No siree. Nu uh. (And not age-appropriate anyway.) Dictionary pages? Could have worked, but I didn’t have an appropriate dictionary I was prepared to cut up. Pages from a children’s book?

Eureka.

Last year I made my mother-in-law a book cover collage from the duplicate and battered copies of classics in her extensive library.

collage_hung

I knew I was right to keep the books after I’d used the covers. I was bound to find a use for them at some point, and the yellowed, crumbling pages of an old edition of Alice in Wonderland was just what I needed.

lectern_pages

I’d initially thought to use the full pages with text and illustrations, but abandoned the idea of using text altogether with so many provocative illustrations at my disposal.  For the edges I cut out chapter titles.

lectern_progress

This project was a simple cut and paste job with a layer of Mod Podge brushed over the surface to seal it.

lectern_front

But arranging the images to fit and overlap well was surprisingly time-consuming.

lectern_close

For that reason, I was sorely tempted to just paint the back and the bottom of the lectern… or cover it with felt… or leave it unfinished… or do anything other than cover it with more illustrations.  But I relented and tackled the back and bottom as well.

lectern_profilelectern_profile2

This enables the lectern to be displayed at any angle, after all.

lectern_back

Of course, the point of this lectern is to display books, not stand alone…

lectern_context

So very little of my collage is actually visible.

lectern_context_close

But that’s no reason not to make a lectern to be proud of. 😉

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