Garden Library DIY

Garden library DIY project

This crafty do-it-yourself project has been months in the making. I’d been aching to improve the dreadful view outside my home office window for a couple years. Inspiration for a garden library DIY project finally struck early in 2020.  

I began stopping my car and hopping out to rescue stray bricks and busted pavers from curbs, gutters, sidewalks and embankments. These orphans would become my garden books. A busted, stained shipping-pallet and a weather-worn lattice would be reincarnated as trellis bookshelves. Splashes of old paint would be mixed from buckets left in the garage by the previous homeowner. A little money was invested in a fresh box of wood screws, a few drought-resistant plants and vines, and a couple other decorative touches.

I just had to wait out the summer heat to begin assembling the pieces. So, I waited. And I waited.

The mercury in Phoenix exceeded 100 degrees for nearly five months in 2020. Fifty-three of those days, the temperate was more than 110 (pulverizing the 33-day record set in 2011). This was just one more aberration among the many that made 2020 a painfully-weird year.

At the end of October, I stopped waiting for the crispness of fall weather. The mid-90s would have to be cool enough. I needed to get outside – hammering, sanding, drilling, painting, planting and sweating my COVID-lockdown, presidential-election stress away. It was just what I needed.

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Cicero #brickbooks #DIY #booknerd #writingcommunity

I hope you enjoy the before, during and after photos. This remains a work in progress, though I already love my new view! My husband is happy I had fun with the project. My son thinks I’m weird. What do you think?

Book Reincarnation

Cropped book wallWhat do you do with an old book that has special meaning to you but otherwise has no real purpose or value? Its paperback binding is shot. Its yellowed pages are falling out. Toss it in the recycle bin? Never. Keep it on your bookshelf gathering dust forever, knowing you’ll never read it again? Perhaps. Reincarnate the book to give it a new purpose and a new life? Yes, this.

These photos are of my latest DIY project, using two old books that hold a special place in my heart: my high school humanities text book (one of the few classes I actually loved) and The House at Pooh Corner book from my childhood that I read and read, again and again.

IMG_6264My bedroom was in desperate need of fresh paint and a new look. So I chose a bookish theme and wall papered part of one wall with book pages. So. Much. Fun. I also found a cute book box at Hobby Lobby and decoupaged a book cover to it. Even when I move some day, The House at Pooh Corner can still come with me.

Another perk to the new book-themed décor is that my husband and I now have the perfect place to display books that had belonged to his mom when she was a little girl. We found them on the floor in the back of her closet when helping his dad my pack up her clothes after she passed away. These books were published nearly a century ago and include dated, personal inscriptions. Special treasures, indeed.