Sunday, February 12, 2017

Little Free Library

On a trip to Lexington a year or so ago, we saw a Little Free Library while we were walking. Not long after, another in Asheville and then another here in town. The idea is that people can take books they want and leave others they have already read. We were intrigued and decided our neighborhood needed one. So in the fall, we started researching ideas and got to work.
My husband drew up the plans and did the carpentry. We decided to make ours look like a cottage.
Once the boards were cut and sanded, I started priming and then painting.
The walls I painted the same sunny yellow of our interior garage door and I stained the horizontal surfaces to look like hardwood floors.
I picked out a light gray in an exterior paint and then cut strips of balsa wood and glued them on to make window frames.
After a failed experiment with foam sheet tiles, I punted that idea and mixed white, gray and black paint to make a roof color that would be variegated like shingles.
We may have gone overboard on the details, but in for a penny, in for a pound. Which is why I painted in window panes and even put windows in the back. My husband made sure to make the thing as weatherproof as possible, caulking all the seams, making the roof have an overhang, and adding a ridge cover.
The door is a work of art - plexiglass set into wood, with a sealant and a latch above the door knob. I painted it the same red as our own front door and made a little sign for it.
My husband added on the fencing and columns and steps I'd painted. We stocked it with books we found in the free book bin and with others of our own we'd already read.
The most fun for me was going to a crafts store for the plants and animals. I bought a couple of bunches of fake greenery and flowers and cut them up to make potted plants (set into slices of cork from wine bottles), and put in artificial grass. I found a little ginger cat that I painted black with a white spot on her neck to match our cat Hodr. I added a bird house by the front door and glued on a little squirrel on the roof in honor of the squirrels that are always galloping across ours.
Our next door neighbor helped my husband install it this weekend into a triangle of public land that another neighbor maintains. The neighbor who helped with the installation is working on the children's version, which will go in next to it on a shorter post. We've already heard from several neighbors who are very pleased and already books have been exchanged. As for us, we keep finding reasons to walk or drive by it.

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