I Ruined A Bookcase // The Makings of a Reading Nook

Crafts, DIY, Home Decor, Motherhood

Recently, on one of my Michael’s trips I came across the glorious wall of Krylon Colormaster spray paint. It beckoned to me in its glorious rainbow of colors, “Dannnnnnaaaa. Daaaannnnnnnaaa” and I knew then and there that something was going to be spray painted.

It didn’t take long to decide that my son’s old pine bookcase would be the lucky winner. I say it’s pine, but it’s actually Ikea “pine”. So plastic-y cardboard-ish woodstuff that looks like pine. Obviously I wasn’t born yesterday and duuhh, you can’t just spray paint smooth surfaces with no prep. BUT LOOK! The can said “paint and primer” (don’t have to use a primer!) and that it would work on plastic. Plastic! That’s practically what this bookcase is, right? Plastic. Surely if it will stick to plastic then it will work!

I bought a few cans of this really beautiful deep blue color that would tie in perfectly with his bedding (and he wants all blue everything right now). Considering my lengthy experience working with spray paint (read: I painted a picture frame once), I felt quite confident in my skills. I went home, threw a drop cloth over the back patio and got to work. I really didn’t do a half-bad job. There was a little drip down on one of the sides, but overall I was pretty pleased with myself.

In progress

In progress

I paitently waited for it to dry, and then I touched it. Uh-oh. The paint practically rubbed off on my hands like gritty powder. And then I bumped it and a flake came off. And then O drove his toy car across one of the shelves and it left pine-colored tire tracks behind. Excellent.

So now that I’m out three cans of spray paint, a (boring but perfectly good) bookcase and an hour or two of my life, O will have a nice, empty, spacious corner in his room. We just bought him a new bed and dresser set, which hasn’t even arrived yet, so to say I’m really not itching to go buy more furniture would be an understatement 😐

But! new spaces lend themselves to exciting possibilities, and a reading nook is something to daydream on for now.

Here, I compile what I think are essentials for creating a cozy reading corner. Pretty much everything is from The Land of Nod because their stuff is just plum (plumb? Does anyone say this? How do I know this?) amazing. The design is unparalleled and the quality is fantastic. So without further ado:

// The Makings of a Reading Nook //

1. A Good Bookcase // One that your mom didn’t ruin with her good intentions should do the trick.


I love the color progression of the blue shelves on this bookcase. Such a fun accent.


This would be perfect.


1. I love that this looks like a library cart. // 2. The Good Read Caddy in red is so cheery.

2. Good Lighting // Trying to read your space books in bad lighting is no fun.


This clip lamp reminds me of The Jetsons. I miss The Jetsons.


I’ve loved this pendant light for so long.


1. The electron! I would hang this thing over my kitchen island. But for the purposes of this post, it’d be great in a reading corner. // 2. We have this checkmate lamp in our playroom but sometimes I think about stealing it for myself. It’s a nice lamp.

3. Cozy Seating // Required for maximum book enjoyment.


I tried to choose one of these to post but COME ON. So stinking cute. O would probably choose the bear or the lion.


1. We have this pouf in our playroom and the kids love to sit on it, stand on it, roll it around the house, you name it. It also comes with a handy little key to lock the zipper so your “angels” can’t un-stuff it. (Aren’t quotation marks so fun?) // 2. Yes, please.

4. A Cozy Rug // Toes deserve comfort, too.



1. Please, Don’t Feed the Rug // 2. I think this rug is so beautiful. // 3. I want to wiggle my toes in this. // 4. This rug is pure joy- literally sunshine and rainbows.

5. Books // This is obvious.
Here are some of our favorites (click pictures to get to site):


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

From B&N:
Morris Lessmore loved words.
He loved stories.
He loved books.

But every story has its upsets.
Everything in Morris Lessmore’s life, including his own story, is scattered to the winds.
But the power of story will save the day.
Stunningly brought to life by William Joyce, one of the preeminent creators in children’s literature, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a modern masterpiece, showing that in today’s world of traditional books, eBooks, and apps, it’s story that we truly celebrate—and this story, no matter how you tell it, begs to be read again and again.


A Home for Bird

From B&N:
While out foraging for interesting things, Vernon the toad finds a new friend – a small blue bird who is curiously silent. Vernon shows Bird the river and the forest and some of his other favorite things, but Bird says nothing.

 “Bird is shy,” says Vernon, “but also a very good listener.”

 Vernon worries that Bird is silent because he misses his home, so the two set off on a journey to help find a home for Bird.


The Sneetches and Other Stories

O and I have read this over and over. “The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches. And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches”. Solid life lessons in those wacky stories.


City Dog, Country Frog

From B&N:
In spring, when City Dog runs free in the country for the first time, he spots Country Frog sitting on a rock, waiting for a friend. “You’ll do,” Frog says, and together they play Country Frog games. In summer, they meet again and play City Dog games. Through the seasons, whenever City Dog visits the country he runs straight for Country Frog’s rock. In winter, things change for City Dog and Country Frog. Come spring, friendship blooms again, a little different this time.

// Just be prepared for your kid to look at you like you’re a crazy person while you sob uncontrollably.



From B&N:
“Terrific,” says Eugene, after winning an all-expenses-paid vacation in Bermuda. “I’ll probably get a really nasty sunburn.” Unfortunately, Eugene’s luck is a lot worse than that. First, his cruise ship sinks, then he ends up stranded on a tiny island. But Eugene isn’t alone. There’s another castaway, a parrot with a busted wing, who tells him what there is to eat and drink and how to build a sailboat. Cranky Eugene pays attention, and now his luck begins to change.

// I’d love to hear what you would add to the list!

5 thoughts on “I Ruined A Bookcase // The Makings of a Reading Nook

  1. Giant bean bag chair. I pity all the kids who weren’t left with lasting 1970s memories of nesting in a giant bean bag chair. The best ones came with fur covers and we all know what that means: project!

    I hate to say it but depending on how much you paid for the IKEA thing, it might be easier just to pitch it. The amount of work and money necessary to scrape, clean, resand, and repaint is going to have you hating on it for years. Go to a garage/estate sale or thrift store, grab something unique and weird (and easy to sand) and have another go. Or do what I do: walk up to the foreman at construction sites and ask them if you can haul their scrap wood. I’ve never heard No yet; my garage is full.

    Or do this: http://www.boredpanda.com/creative-bookshelves/


      1. One thing you could do, because I hate throwing anything away, is take apart the bookcase and sand it while all the pieces are flat and easy to get at. Then, if the screws, etc. don’t fit snugly anymore, you could cut it down at those edges and make a smaller one or turn it into a box.

        I made a Bear Cube ottoman once by constructing a plywood cube out of scrap and then covering it with long brown faux fur using carpet tacks. That thing was a conversation piece for years.


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