Our solution? We made handy DIY decorative book baskets to help kids easily sort and store books and keep them within easy reach. What’s more, you can place the filled baskets in a shelf unit, set a few on a dresser, or even stow several under the bed, they’re easy for kids to take out, carry around, and yes — even put away! No more messy book stacks sliding around on shelves, dressers or tabletops!
To make our book baskets, we used simple shaker-style rectangular baskets with built-in handles (from IKEA). With a coat of whitewash and a few garden stencils, they add a decorative touch and make daily room clean-up easy for the kids – one less thing for Mom to do!
Baskets – square or rectangle shapes work best. Make sure they are big enough to accommodate your child’s larger books. If you plan to place them on existing shelves, make sure they will fit with at least 3/4 of the baskets sitting on the shelf to prevent spills!
Paint – to suit your desired finish. We used thinned white acrylic craft paint for the whitewash and regular-strength acrylic paint for the stencils. Spray paint is a good choice for full coverage on baskets (don’t spray inside the house or around the kids!)
Paint brushes, rags or sponges – baskets are perfect for “imperfect” finishes, so sponges and rags work well, and they let the kids get involved in the project!
Paper or styrofoam plates – for pouring out paints.
Stencils or stamps – depending on your basket finish, you can stencil a design on the rim or side. Ours are relatively flat-surfaced, so with a little work, we were able to stencil our garden designs across the sides.
Clear satin topcoat – this adds a sheer finish and protects the paint. We prefer the spray.
Let dry completely
We carefully stenciled our flower and butterfly motif on the baskets. A sponge “spouncing” stencil brush is good for stenciling uneven surfaces.
Fill with books by sorting them small to large and place the baskets in a spot easily accessible to your kids. Enjoy!