Thursday, December 21, 2017

Our Little Free Library, in the News

The story of the Little Free Library that my husband and I built is featured today in an article in the Potomac Local.

To read the article:  click HERE.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Little Free Library

Our neighbors, Jim and Beverly, next door at Hartwood Winery are very special to us.  I often say that they are family we were privileged to choose for ourselves.  Jim is a retired school librarian ... and I knew exactly what I could do for him as a big Christmas surprise.  A librarian needs to have a library, so we built him a Little Free Library of his very own!

The design of our little library is influenced by our red barn, which is clearly visible from almost everywhere on the winery property.  The actual plan is based on a Little Free Library at the police station in Fredericksburg.

I first found out about the Little Free Library program in this blog post by Karen at This Old House 2.  I instantly loved the idea ... to exchange books, take a book/return a book, as the sign says.

It took us about a week to build the library, and it cost very little because most of the materials we used were leftovers that we squirreled away after finishing other projects.  The body of the library is 3/4" plywood.

It's painted with the remnants of a can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  (Primer Red, of course.)

The library needed doors and windows, to truly reflect the design of our barn.  It didn't take long to measure, tape, and paint them with acrylic paint.

The trim boards are cut out of scraps of 1x2 poplar from our front porch column project.  The little 'roof' over the door opening is a scrap of brick molding that we had lying around.

Couldn't resist adding this photo of our grandson, learning to use a brad nailer to attach the trim around the roof.

Roof shingles were leftover from one of our outbuildings.  We bought the white aluminum drip-edge.  (The biggest challenge in this project was to do everything possible to make sure that the inside of the library stayed dry.)

The door is made from 1x2 poplar, rabbeted to hold a piece of plexiglass (which is secured with glazing points and sealed with silicone).  We installed a piece of adhesive gasket inside the door opening, for further protection against the weather, and the door is held closed with a barrel bolt.

The library base is made from a scrap 2x4 and four shelf brackets, and it sits on a 4x4 post set in concrete.  Our neighbors were out of town last week, so we could work on this part of the project on their property without worrying about spoiling the surprise.

I see that I forgot to paint the bottom of the trim.  I'll fix that when the weather is favorable.

To make the library look extra festive, since it's Christmastime, I made this ornament for the door.  A $3 glitter deer head from Target, hot-glued to a $2 bell wreath from Michael's.  

To complete the set-up, I added a few books and a Christmas card.

All of our effort and sneakiness paid off, when Jim and Beverly came home the other day and saw their surprise!  Jim said that he is going to have a lot of fun with this ... and that was the whole reason behind doing this for him.  Those who have seen it have promised to support it by donating books and telling their friends.

Do you have a Little Free Library nearby?  You can check by searching the world map on their web site.  (BTW, this is the only one in zip code 22406.)   

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