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11 Little Free Libraries Built by Family Handyman Readers

Following up on our first Community Project, 11 readers sent us photos of their Little Free Libraries.

little free library painted bright green and blue with shingles on the roofIMAGINEGOLF/GETTY IMAGES

A few months ago Family Handyman introduced its first Community Project, a Little Free Library. At the end of that piece, we asked those of you who built your own to share your results with us. We loved seeing all of your Little Free Library projects and so we’re showcasing 11 of them below.

a three shelved little free library painted red with a shelf holding chalk on the inside that's labeled with a sign that says "leave your comments on the roof"courtesy Pat H.

Sign-able Roof

Fred and Pat H. included chalk in their Little Free Library as well as a sign asking patrons to sign the roof. We think that it’s a great way to encourage neighborhood involvement and share reading recommendations!

If you want to create a chalkboard roof for your own Little Free Library, or want a chalkboard wall in your home, here are five things to consider.

little free library under a tree with books and gamescourtesy Penny B.

Board Games and Books

Penny B. says this Little Free Library even has board games in it; she added a dedicated rack so the games fit more easily. It sounds like the games have been really popular in the neighborhood.

Books aren’t the only things that can go in these Little Free Libraries, so we’ve gathered several suggestions to get you started.

Little free library with a green roof and white siding in a grassy yard with a tree in the backgroundcourtesy Tom P.

Thrifty Library

Tom P. built this Little Free Library for almost no cost. Most of the materials were already in the garage waiting for the perfect project to come up.

Before you start this project, double-check and see what supplies you might already have on hand! If you need to organize your garage better first, take a look at our garage organization ideas.

little free library painted green with sunflowerscourtesy Patrick F.

Growing Literacy

Patrick F. includes books and seeds in this Little Free Library as part of a Master Gardening Program.

In keeping with the gardening theme, Patrick painted on some lovely yellow sunflowers that stand out against the darker green background. That makes this Little Free Library beautiful as well as practical.

Are you looking to create or expand your garden? We’ve got ten ideas to get you started!

a little free library painted blue with a door knob with school bookscourtesy Robert P.

A Doorknob to Tie it all Together

Robert P. combined several Little Free Library plans to build this one. The doorknob, an Ebay find, really brings the whole design together.

Taking the time to look for clever touches like this can make your library stand out. We’ve got several Little Free Library plans here to get you started. Go forth and be creative!

a little free library intricately decorated with stones, miniature doors and windows to look like a fairy housecourtesy Linda L.

Glowing Fairy House

Linda L. installed lights inside this Little Free Library to make it accessible whenever neighbors needed a book — even at night!

The whimsical design includes a candy dish as well as a chimney, and some fairy-inspired decor on the back. It’s sure to draw the attention of the local children and foster a love of reading throughout this neighborhood.

If you’re considering LED lighting, take a look at our expert’s guide for inspiration and things to consider before buying.

side by side of two different little free libraries painted by students. on the left is a yellow little library with sailboats on the back. On the right is a red little library that resembles a barnCourtesy Rob F.

Built by the Students

Rob H. shared photos of these two Little Free Libraries at his local school. These were a school-wide project, built by high school advanced woodworking students and then painted by art students. They’re sure to be a wonderful resource for the community for many years to come.

a little free library in a grassy field painted silver and in the shape of a camper trailercourtesy Gene B.

Camping Library

Gene B. worked with a local volunteer group to build this Little Free Library. It’s near a campground and the group wanted to incorporate that into the design. Built to look like a camper, it won a blue ribbon in the local county fair craft show! We can’t think of a better addition to this campground.

two views of a little free library that has been decorated to look like a historic buildingcourtesy Brian R.

Local History

Brian R. based the design of this Little Free Library on a local historic building, the first school academy in town. Completed five years ago, Brian says it’s holding up incredibly well. This library really embodies the spirit of the project; Todd Bol based the original Little Free Library design on a one-room schoolhouse.

two views of a little free library with a roof that looks like a bookcourtesy Tom L.

Artistic Roof

Tom L. designed the roof of this Little Free Library to look like an open book, making it a piece of art as well as a fun neighborhood feature. Thanks to the maintenance-free materials Tom used, it stays dry. If you’re looking for a way to waterproof your library, consider epoxy!

a little free library with an "in memory of" plaquecourtesy Jim F.

In Loving Memory

Jim F. built this Little Free Library for a friend, Hallie. Her father, an avid reader and fisherman, passed away recently. To honor him, Jim painted this library tin the same colors as the man’s house and added the fish doorknob. What a touching way to honor such an important person!

Little Free Libraries are a great way to celebrate the life of someone who was important to your local community. Just make sure to check with their loved ones first.

Street library box made from a recycled red newsstand box with sign saying take a book and leave a book with a small bench beside itmokee81/Getty Images

We loved seeing your Little Free Libraries and we hope you’ll continue to share them with us. If you’re interested in this project but don’t want to buy all the materials, consider repurposing unused items.