Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How my bookshelves drove me CRAZY! & how Mod Podge fixed it all.

Hi!  So I'm going to tell you a little story about me and 2 bookshelves.  It all started nearly ten years ago...  I was a bright eyed and bushy tailed graduate headed out into the world of teaching.  I'd landed my first job as a kindergarten teacher.  There was one thing I felt I REALLY needed to be successful.  A pair of front facing bookshelves for a reading nook in the corner of the room, of course!  The trouble was my new school didn't have any and we didn't have the few hundred bucks it would cost to buy some.  My newlywed husband (Trapper) was happy to help solve the dilemma- he offered to build them for me!  We took measurements, made up a design (pretty much winged it) and created a pair of matching shelves.  I was OVERJOYED!  I really really really loved them... except for one thing.  They had a slight design flaw... and since I'm not currently teaching and the shelves now reside in my house I can demonstrate

Example #1, Shelf in boys bedroom, filled with books!  Looks great right???

Example #2, Bibs walks into the room grabs a book from the top and... 

Example # 3, Hallway shelf beautifully filled with wonderful books, LOVE IT! 

Example #4, Miss Kitten walks past with extra GUSTO and... 

... as you can see, it's been a major problem, for nearly a decade.  It was actually pretty ridiculous when I was teaching.  The books were ALWAYS falling down.  Luckily we had a job chart and one of the daily jobs was to keep those books up on the shelves (and a full time job it was).  This post is NOT meant to make Trapper feel bad.  He's joked over the years about just getting rid of the shelves all together- but there was NO WAY I was going to do that.  I really do love them!  So I've been trying to figure out a way to solve the problem.  Finally about six months ago I got an idea.

I saw these wooden shapes in Michaels and I thought maybe... just maybe if I screwed them into the shelves, leaving a large part ABOVE the existing ledge then they might prevent all of the book tumbling trouble.

But then I had a new dilemma, how could I make them look good?  I didn't want to leave them plain and tole painting???  I don't think so.  Once again my project was at a standstill.  That is until my little sis brought over this gigantic stack of random crafting paper.  A light appeared above my head and the project was ON!

Tearing paper and Mod Podging to the shapes.  We had so much fun decorating these.  Everyone got in on the action (but truth be told, even though the kids had fun with it, I think I had the most fun).  I really really really love the way they turned out.  In fact I think each one is it's own wonderful piece of art.  I could see these framed.

That's not all of them, but you get the idea.  Each one was done with a different technique.  Some paper was torn in tiny pieces- others bigger, we applied Mod Podge with sponge brushes.  It was easy for everyone to do, and I think they look great!  Really, each of my kids (regardless of age) was able to participate in the creative process. 

Now for the BIG QUESTION.  Did the addition of these cute creations solve my shelf trouble?  Let me show you!

Example #1, Books placed nicely on the shelf...

Example #2, I've tipped the books (which used to lead to ALL books on the ground) SUCCESS!!!

Example #3, Hallway shelf looking lovely...

Example #4, Books are tipped but NONE are on the floor.  HOORAY!!!

There you have it.  We are in a better place here.  Though this project didn't help solve the problem of children's books taking over my house.  I do have some ideas that will actually increase places to keep books around here for future March blog posts.  (One idea that Trapper thinks I'm really crazy for even trying... but I'm going for it!  Will it be a DIY disaster?  We shall see.)  If you've got a great book storage idea we'd love to hear about it!  In fact we're going to compile a post of great ideas from blog friends and blog readers- if you'd like to be featured let us know!
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