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How to Make a Little Free Library

How to make a Little Free Library in your neighborhood! If you’ve never heard of these fun boxes where you trade books with one another it is such a fun idea and a great way to meet new people as well as encourage reading too. Here’s what it’s about and how you can make a Little Library yourself.


Have you heard of a Little Free Library??!! I heard about the concept a while back but had never happened upon one until today!! My kids and I were so excited to see one while driving around a friend’s neighborhood and had to stop to check it out. If you have never heard of this it is SUCH a cool idea! Lucky for us we found this one in our city, but you might be surprised to find that there is one in your city too (I will show you how to find one below). (originally published 6/15)

DIY Little Free Library

If you haven’t seen one in your neighborhood yet, make one! You can also search the city in which you live on their site and find Little Free Libraries around you! I will share more of that below. SO how does it work and why would you want to participate in this yourself?

  1. Once you locate one of these boxes you’re in luck! Bring a book you have already read with you next time you visit.
  2. You are free to take a book from the box you have found, but want to swap one in so someone else can take that as “new” to them.
  3. For even more fun you can write your name and the date you finished reading your book inside, then swap it and let the next person know who’s been before them. 😉

Here is how you can get started if you want to create your own Little Free Library.

diy little free library

How you make a Little Free Library

It would be great if we could create Little Free Libraries in neighborhoods everywhere! Let me know if you found one, or started one yourselves like our friends did!

  • They started with using an old window and spare wood laying around….so they started from there
    • If you found a window without the glass (or didn’t want glass in it) you could “close” the front by using this chicken wire instead

Of course using materials you already have is always the best policy!

  • They built the library around the window since that would become the door and would be the toughest part to build (with the glass and all).
  • They have a chicken coop so they had extra roofing, and with a little paint they had themselves a Summer project.
how to build a little free library

Little Free Library Kit

The fun part about this is you can totally use your imagination and there is no right way to make one. It can really be any shape and size you desire. Now you can buy one that doesn’t require digging here.

They live in a rural location and own several animals so they went for a cute cow theme with adhesive liner paper and how adorable did it turn out??!!

Stocked with books that her children has already read (or you can pick up a few new ones if you’re just starting out), and a few nick nacks to make it cute inside her LittleFreeLibrary was complete and put out in front of her house near the street where people could find it, add books they were done with, and pick up a new one to read.


Little Free Library Locations

What can I use for a Little Free Library?

You can use anything that is enclosed but make sure it will weather well. If you live in an area that snows you should coat the outside with outside paint or a waterproof stain so the wood doesn’t disintegrate. The front should open like a door. You could use an old window for that though with hinges on one side.

How do you put together a Little Free Library?

1. Build a box with a door on the front you can see thru
2. Attach your little library on a post
3. Dig a hole into the ground a few feet deep in front of your home
4. Secure the post into the hole so it doesn’t move
5. Fill the box with a few books
6. Clearly mark the outside with a sign stating it is a little free library, can explain rules inside where you can take a book but leave one you have read inside to share
7. Register your box online so others can find it on their website

Once you’re done you just list your location on their website so others can find it and the idea can expand. This is a really fun summer project to do with your kids for sure, if you’re looking for more here are a few others:

  1. Have a book swap party
  2. In the summer you can roller skate for free
  3. Summer reading programs

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Monday 26th of October 2015

Jenn - a traveling Wife

Wednesday 10th of June 2015

I love these free libraries and would totally love to put one in - we don't even have kids. Reading was very important to me growing up and I would love to see all of our neighbors using the library.

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