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.)   



20 comments:

  1. Wow what a great gift. You are so creative and understand what Christmas is truly about. You gift is one that I'll be far reaching. Lovely .

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  2. Sorry for the typos - your gift will be far reaching- is what I meant to say.

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  3. What a GREAT GREAT GREAT idea. We have several of these little book exchanges around town and I love the idea. I bet your neighbor LOVES it!!!! Have a wonderful weekend. xo Diana

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    1. He was SO surprised! I joked that he will probably sort the books using Dewey Decimal system. He laughed, but didn't rule it out.

      Merry Christmas, Diana!

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  4. That is such a special gift. You all did a wonderful job on it.

    Love the photo of you ~ FlowerLady

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  5. Such a fabulous gift! His new little free library is absolutely wonderful! Y'all did a really beautiful job. Such a thoughtful gift. I have several friends (all over the country) who have their own little free libraries. I so wish I could have one but we live in a subdivision that does not allow them. Thanks for sharing, Connie. Merry Christmas!

    Shirley

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    1. I wonder if your HOA would allow a library on one of the common spaces? There's usually a way around the rules, for projects that are intended for the good of the neighborhood. (I was a HOA president years ago, and I understand their workings and responsibilities. I also made quite a bit of noise when the association would try to overstep their boundaries.)

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  6. That is truly one of the most unique and thoughtful gifts ever! What fun so many will have from this. Great Job!!! Merry Christmas!

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    1. Jim was really surprised and happy.

      Merry Christmas to you, too, Linda!

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  7. Hi Connie,
    this is a lovely gift! Well done! Here in Vienna we also have little free libraries in the city. This trend started about six years ago and now they can be found at several places in Vienna.
    Happy holidays!
    Best wishes,
    Lisa

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    1. I love the idea of books taking over the world!

      Happy holidays to you, to!

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  8. This is the best surprise ever for your neighbour I think, love the design. You are such a good carpenter and painter, I really envy you. Free libraries appear everywhere, even in our small village I've seen three of them.

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    1. Thank you! You are very kind.

      Three libraries in your little village? That's wonderful!

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  9. i have seen these all over NC, and have used them...i love this idea!!!

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    1. I have often used the one in Falmouth at Belmont. I mostly put books in. Finish a book, take it to the LFL when I'm on my way to town. It's an easy habit. Now I can run some of my books next door ... but I will still check in on the other library from time to time.

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  10. How beautiful. What a thoughtful gesture!

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  11. Young Angels Book Publishing House is Organises Book fairs in Schools and Book clubs in PTM.Young Angels publisher is also equipped with Kids' Educational Monthly Magazine and have been delivering Kids' Literacy Resources in India Since 2005

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