Make a Custom Book Nook from a Kit: The Ultimate Crafty Hack - Bookshelf Memories

Make a Custom Book Nook from a Kit: The Ultimate Crafty Hack

Interested in making a custom book nook? No doubt, it can make an extremely personal piece of memorabilia, or home décor, and be a real talking point for your video calls when you have an illuminated book nook in your background. However, commissioning something with such fine details will be pricey. The ultimate hack to lessen the cost without sacrificing quality is to start the project with a high-quality DIY book nook kit. Whether it’s for you or as a gift for the bookworms in your life, DIY book nook kits can give you the absolute best quality components to create a masterpiece that will stand the test of time.

The Advantages of Using Book Nook Kits

To build a custom book nook with a personal touch, one might assume that you’d need to build it from scratch. Not true! You can begin with a DIY book nook kit and swap out different aspects of the design. The best advantage of starting with a premium quality kit is the base materials being pre-selected by miniatures experts.

The quality of the kit determines the quality of the book nook and the experience you have putting together what is essentially an intricately designed 3D puzzle. Not all kits are created equally. If this is your first dive into the world of book nooks, check out our ultimate guide to DIY book nook kits to be sure you start with everything you need. Without the kit, you may be tempted to start your project using foam board from any craft store or plywood, neither of which offers terrific quality.

With a premium book nook kit, your project starts with the best base materials, including hardwood framing, fast-drying glue, quality miniatures for furnishing your book nook, printed decals using UV-resistant inks on quality paper, and the tools to assemble the entire kit. Everything is there to unbox, begin building, and finish with an epic book nook ready to take pride of place on your bookshelf.

For the gift-givers among us, you may feel like it’s cheating to start with a kit. It is, after all, someone else’s design. You don’t need to keep it. You can take the base materials only, keep the lights and any other ultra-hard-to-replicate parts of the kit, and customize the final design.

How to Add Custom Elements to Any Book Nook Kit

DIY book nook kits come in different flavors. Some are simple builds with only the frame, printables, and furnishings to add and then glue in place. Others are more complex bringing lighting and strategically positioned mirrors, wall art, and miniature terrains into the scene. The best book nook kits are the ones that give you the harder-to-build aspects of a book nook, such as the LED lighting, and the scenic miniatures that bring a theme to the design, rather than it looking like different parts cobbled together to create something unique.

To give you an example of the possible changes you can make, consider our DIY Tokyo Alley book nook kit. It has a fish market and a ramen bar among other cultural emblems unique to Tokyo. If you were to want something more reminiscent of the Hozenji Yokocho - one of the most picturesque alleys in all of Osaka, Japan - printable dioramas, and miniature décor items can get the job done. You could use a cobblestone flooring diorama printable to transform the paving, add to the authentic scenery with miniature trees, or even succulents, and have Japanese-style billboards along the alleyway.

Where things can take a fascinating turn is introducing unique characteristics to the back of the book nook, where mirrors would be positioned at an angle to make it appear larger. Just as you were peering into the book nook, taking in the sights of a replica scene of an alley in Osaka, the famous Mizukake-Fudo statue representing the Hozenji Temple could be placed at the back as the star of the show. The real secret to swapping out any part of a DIY book nook kit is knowing the scale miniature sizes that can be swapped out to replace any of the parts.

The Sizes of Miniatures that Fit into DIY Book Nook Kits

DIY book nook kits are not designed to a specific scale. However, given that they are made to fit on a bookshelf, the closest scale model size is 1:12 and 1:24. When researching miniatures, some suppliers provide the dimensions; others give you scales as a ratio. Miniature scale sizes are typically 1:12, 1:18, 1:24, 1:35, going up to 1:100.On the tiny scale models, you can find 1:144, and 1:300 miniatures, although these tend to be replica editions of behemoth-sized models often in the militaria range, such as 1:1300 battleships.

The rule to remember is that the higher the second number in the ratio provided, the smaller the item will be. As an example, a 1:87 scale automobile would be approximately two inches, whereas a 1:18 scale model car would be around 10 inches. When adding miniature characters, furnishings, or terrain to book nook kits, try to shop for miniatures with product dimensions listed in millimeters. Scale miniatures can be used, but as they’re built to replicate a fraction of the size of the real-world piece, they can still turn out quite big.

A miniature truck, for example, even at a 1:87 scale, would still take up inches of space. Too big for a book nook. Adding a personal touch to a DIY book nook kit would be better done with 1:100 scale models for any vehicles you want to include, or in the case of alley book nooks, miniature cycles resting against the walls outside of storefronts.

Exploring the Various Types of Miniatures for Book Nooks

If you can imagine it, you can likely find a miniature version for anything you need thanks to 3D print technology. From litter to place around trashcans in alleys, to fire hydrants, water pales, rope ladders, shelves, and miniature books to furnish the shelves. For book nooks that replicate regions, streets can have paving switched out with diorama printables of cobblestones, alleyways can have miniature street signs made with machine-cut hardwood, and for fans of Japanese crafts like Shoda, which is calligraphy in Japanese, signs can be hand drawn in a different language instead of using printed stickers.

Essentially, by starting with a robust book nook kit with premium-grade materials, you can be sure you’re getting everything you need to build a solid book nook, including illustrative instructions that walk you through the build stages step-by-step. Designs aren’t final. Once the build is complete, the finer décor and miniature items within the display can be swapped out to create replicas of different regions, cultures, or themes. Kits don’t restrict your creative freedoms. They just give you a jump start on building something truly creative and extremely memorable that’ll give you pleasurable flashbacks each time you peek inside your book nook on your shelf or your desk!