How Book Nook Kits Complete the Fantasy Décor Vibe - Bookshelf Memories

How Book Nook Kits Complete the Fantasy Décor Vibe

On the surface, book nook kits seem to be a new trend. On the contrary, the concept has been around for centuries. It’s probable that you just didn’t know it. Ask yourself this… do you remember making shoebox dioramas in school? How about cardboard cutouts in the shape of an Easter egg with a window cut out to reveal an Easter theme inside? On the topic of eggs, one of the most expensive artworks in the world is Fabergé eggs. One in particular that was made in 1901 is a fantastic piece of memorabilia - The Gatchina Palace Fabergé egg. It’s now on display at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.  To read a description of it wouldn’t do it justice. You have to see it to appreciate its beauty. That’s what miniature-scale replica models do.

 Photo of the Gatchina Palace Fabergé egg

Inside the egg was a real surprise - a golden replica of Gatchina Palace that illustrates the landscape around the palace grounds, the raised flag, cannons, and a statue of Paul I. And, it can be removed! How cool is that? The Gatchina Palace Fabergé egg is an example of using dioramas to make memorabilia. It was given as a gift by Nicholas II to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. It’s one of those things that’s hard to imagine until it’s put into a diorama. Then, anyone can truly appreciate the beauty up close without having to travel to see it. And if you did travel to see it, you’d likely want a memento to remember it. Dioramas, which book nooks essentially are, give you fantastic bookshelf décor that acts as a window to a different world.

Why Sci-Fi Lends Itself Well to Book Nook Creations

The purpose of a book nook is to create a gateway into an imaginable world. One that’s created in miniature form with a little bit of scale modeling involved. It’s not required, however, making the objects to scale does help when you’re creating 3D models as it adds to the realism aspect. Of all the genres there are, fantasy fiction lends itself well to book nooks, in part, because some of the best sci-fi writers, Victorian fiction authors, and even steampunk (a wordplay on cyberpunk) books are written with such vivid descriptions that you can’t help but form a mental image in your mind’s eye. When you have that scene in your mind, book nooks are the perfect setting to release your inner creativity.

Exercising Your Creativity

sci-fi scene of a red dragon and an adventurer in a cave

The goal of sci-fi book nooks is to create a fictional world within a confined space that conveys realism. It’s taking a mental image and creating a believable scene. When you peer into the book nook, it’s a world unto itself. Yet, the scene will be entirely fictional. It could be a dragon in a cave and an action figure with a sword drawn as if ready to do battle. It’s a scene that’s never going to be real, but to see it, it looks believable. The creative exercise is making scenes come to life that evoke feelings of mystique, adventure, and magic.   It’s depictions of imaginary scenes that look like they could be real in some far-off land that you’ve yet to travel to.

How to Get Started Building a Fantasy Décor Book Nook

The simplest method to start building a book nook is to assemble the frame. The boards are all that’s required to create the shell. MDF is the favored material for book nook casings. You only need two sides and a back panel. From there, the interior walls can be decorated with paper crafts like papier-mâché, or miniature terrain made of resin, furniture can be crafted with popsicle sticks, and even artwork the size of a postal stamp can be glued to the inner walls.

For special effects that ramp up the illusive scenery, that’s where things take on a different level of creativity. LEDs are the simplest and longest-lasting way to light up a book nook. You can get the bulbs in different colors, and they can be constant or flickering. Solid cool white hues are ideal for illuminating the entire inside of a book nook, whereas softer amber hues, (especially flickering amber LEDs) can be put to more creative uses to resemble flames in either a fireplace or for street alley book nooks, miniature drums with a flickering amber LED can give the illusion of a fire.

Book Nook Kits Give You The Ultimate Shortcut

Constructing a book nook from scratch is likely to rack up the hours. Book nook kits can give you complete scenes with instructions on how to piece everything together in a fraction of the time. Some models such as our Tokyo Alley Book Nook Kit can be fully assembled (including the battery-operated lights) within a day. You can veer off and tweak the designs to suit your vision.

As an example of customizing a book nook kit, the ramen bar in our Tokyo Alley kit could be replaced by a miniature yatia (Japanese food cart) to create a more authentic piece of memorabilia depicting a visit to the city during a festival (which is about the only time you’ll see food carts on the streets of Tokyo). The custom photo of Tokyo that’s included in our kit can be replaced by a scaled-down photo of any scene from your trip to the city to completely personalize your book nook.

Photo of a pop up food stall in Japan called a Yatai

Toomore Chiang (flickr) | CC by 2.0

Essentially, book nook kits can be standalone artworks, and you can change the scenery any time you like. While it may feel like assembling a book nook kit is a one-and-done project, it’s not. You can customize book nook kits anytime you like – add to it, take things out, replace parts, change lighting, and perhaps add in mini fog machines to add another level of immersion. Book nook kits give an easy introduction to the creation and assembly of professional book nooks that are designed for bookshelf décor. Personalization is completely optional, however, beginning with a kit makes it far easier to create a custom sci-fi scene when you have the core materials to start with.

Disclaimer: Some images are generated using A.I. and are entirely fictional.