Book Shop Book Nook

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By General Craft Contributor Michelle

Book nooks are a whimsical addition to your book shelf, but can be pricey to purchase.  Follow this tutorial to create your own basic miniature book shop book nook, and then use your imagination to customize and make it your very own!

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

  • A Tall, Skinny Cardboard Box (My box was 4-inches wide, 10-inches tall, and 10-inches deep)


Pieces of Cardboard (to piece together your own custom-sized box)

  • Pieces of Cardboard (both thick, and thin (like a cereal box))
  • Aleene’s Always Ready Clear Gel Tacky Glue 4 oz.
  • Battery Fairy Lights (Mine were 3 feet long)
  • Morex Ribbon Wire Burlap 1.5 in. x 3 yd Natural
  • Craft Medley Craft Sticks Jumbo 6 in. 50 pc
  • Acrylic Craft Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Avery Glue Stick 1.27 oz. Permanent
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Pro Art Stainless Steel Ruler 12 in.
  • Scotch Utility Knife Titanium Snap-Off Large
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
  • Tape
  • Pencil
  • Miniature Books (See Tutorial)
  • Miniature Braided Rug (See Tutorial)
  • Minature Houseplant (See Tutorial)

The creation of this book nook depends on beginning with a good box.  A large, cereal box shaped box, tall and skinny, is the kind of box you’ll want to use.  A cereal box, however, is not the best choice, as the cardboard is too flimsy.  The box that I used was actually an electronics box that opened like a clamshell, and I glued the lid closed, and cut out one skinny side to create the open front of my book nook.  I suggest using a box that is no skinnier than 4-inches wide, or your little book shop will be kind of cramped.  If you are unable to find a suitable box, you can use sheets of cardboard to build your own box to a custom size–just glue it together with hot glue.

To begin, use your acrylic paint to paint the inside walls of your bookshop, or cover them with a decorative scrapbook paper to “wallpaper” them.

To create a shop counter at the far end of the book nook, cut a rectangle of cardboard that is approximately 2.5-inches tall, and as wide as the inside of your box.  Use your ruler to measure 1-inch up from one of the long edges, and use your pencil to draw a line–you will have 1-inch on one side of your line, and 1.5-inches on the other.  Lightly score the pencil line with your utility knife, and fold the cardboard rectangle along that line to create a little L-shaped counter.  Paint the counter, if desired.  The 1-inch part will be the top of the counter, and the 1.5-inch part is the front.  Run a bead of tacky glue along the sides, and bottom edge, and install the counter about an inch away from the back of your box–the open side of the “L” goes towards the back.

To create shelves, cut 1-inch wide strips from a thicker piece of cardboard.  Cut them to the length you desire, this will all depend on now deep your box is, and how much of the wall you want your shelves to cover.  I started my first shelf level with my back counter.  Next cut some narrow strips of a thin cardboard (like a cereal box) to glue along the cut, corrugated  front edge of your shelves.  Run a bead of tacky glue along the corrugated edge, and then gently press the strip onto the edge to cover.  There’s no need to cut the strip before you go around the corner of the shelf, simply glue it clear to the end, crease the strip, and turn the corner.  Cut off the excess where it will meet the wall, as there’s no need to cover the edge that will be glued to the wall.  Use hot glue to attach your shelves to the wall.

Cut some small pieces of cardboard to glue vertically between your shelves to act as structural support.

To make a light fixture, coil your wire lights up into a small bundle.  Wrap some of the wire around itself at the top, so your bundle looks kind of like a little tassel.  Mine was about an 1.5-inches long.  Leave a couple of inches of wire free from your last light, to where the cord starts.

Poke a hole in the top of your box where you want your light fixture to be.  Push your bundle of lights down through the hole so the wrapped part of the bundle is securely up in the hole, and the lights are dangling down.

Run the cord over the top, and the battery pack to the back.  Use tape to hold both in place.

To create the lampshade for your light, cut about a 4-inch long piece of burlap ribbon.

Fold the ribbon in half along the long edge, and form into a circle.  I wrapped mine around a paint bottle.  Glue the ends together.

Cut a circle of cardboard the same size as the inside measurement of your burlap circle.  Poke a hole into the center, and then cut a slit up to the hole.

Widen the hole, as necessary, so it fits tightly around the top of your bundle of lights.

Use hot glue to attach the burlap lampshade to the cardboard circle, so the nice folded edge is facing down.

Adjust your wires as needed, so your light fixture hangs down from the ceiling a bit, and the lights are all tucked up inside the shade.

To create a wood floor, use your utility knife to cut the rounded ends off of popsicle sticks, and then begin gluing them down using tacky glue, to cover your floor.   You can cut the ends of the sticks off with sharp scissors as well, but the sticks have a tendency to split.

Create other small wall displays using cereal box cardboard, and tacky glue.

Miniature postcards, and wall posters can be found as free printables online.  There are tons of free dollhouse miniature printables, like clocks, and calendars, that can be found online as well.

Make a ton of miniature books (see my tutorial to make Miniature Books).  Attach the books to the shelves using hot glue.

Add other miniature accessories to your shop (such as a Miniature Braided Rug, and a Miniature Houseplant) to make it your own!

If desired, use cardboard to create a pitched roof for your shop, and create a sign to hang out front.

Slip your book nook between the books on your shelf, switch on the lights, and enjoy the magic you created!

Happy Crafting!

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