Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One of my Happy Places- A Library Book Box

We love the library.
We do not love library fines.

We often incur library fines because we can't find our library books.
Or Mama forgets what day they're due.

Books are checked out for 2 weeks.
DVDS are checked out for one week.
We had to find a way to keep track of it all.

And then I saw this on Pinterest:

And I knew I just had to have one of my very own.
So "ugly magazine rack- cheap" went on my thrift store wish list.
And I hunted and hunted.
It took awhile.... really.
Until earlier this past summer when I stopped at a GW I never ever stop at because I never ever find anything worthwhile there.

And there it was in all it's ugly glory:

With a $2.99 price tag and me armed with a 20% off coupon.
Come on home to Mama.

I let it sit a few weeks before painting it because I'm lazy like that I wanted to use it for awhile to see if it would really work for us. We check out a lot of books from the library. Lots of lots.

Good news- it worked.

First I peeled the numerous price stickers off of it and gave it a good wash down.
Next- I primed it with a thin coat of grey spray paint-

Which I then followed up with 3 thin coats of beautiful yellow spray paint (inside and out).
Here's the 1st coat:

This part of the process took the longest because I had to carefully spray upside down and sideways to get into all that wicker.....
So- While I was waiting for those coats of paint to dry I worked on a plaque for the due date.
I liked the idea I'd pinned on Pinterest of painting a chalkboard right on it but since mine isn't built the same I had to improvise. I wanted a mini chalkboard but wasn't going to drive 45 minutes to my nearest HobLob for it (because you know I'll spend more than I should).... so my impatience led me to my nearest crafty place: Wal-mart. No cutesy chalkboards there but they do have plain, unfinished wooden plaques of various sizes.
I don't remember how much I paid for the plaque but I know was under $1. 

The gi-normous sticker they adhered to the thing did not want to come away nicely. So I took a razor blade to it and followed that up with some sand paper. I didn't mind that I gouged it a few times- I figured I could go with the "aged" look or that part could be the back. [I believe I made it the back.]
Because I'm all about speeding the process up as fast as possible because I'm uber impatient efficiency- I spray painted the plaque. My favorite spray paint color: Rustoleum's Lagoon.
2 coats, both sides.

And this is where I apparently got tired of taking pictures of each step of the process.... because  I don't have any pictures of painting the chalkboard paint on the plaque. My bad.
I used a foam brush and 2 coats of chalkboard paint.
When that was all dry, I went back with the sand paper and sanded the edges of the plaque.
After wiping it down with a tack cloth, I seasoned the chalkboard by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk all over it and wiping it away.

The final step was to adhere the plaque to the basket/box. Since I'm obviously a subscriber to The Nester's It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful school of thought- I put a ton of hot glue on the back, eyeballed where I wanted it and held it on 'til it stuck.


As soon as we get home from the library- we dump the books in the library box and I scrawl the new due date on the side, nice and big. So I can see it and be reminded- often.

Cost wise- I'm estimating it hovered right around $5 (for the basket, plaque and paint)
And the whole thing just makes me happy! Happy that I was able to create something so stinkin' cute and useful, happy that it was a super frugal project, happy that all the books are corralled in one place and happy that I've kept the library fines way down.

linking to Works for Me Wednesdays over at We Are That Family


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