Your Ultimate Guide to DIY Book Nook Kits - Bookshelf Memories

Your Ultimate Guide to DIY Book Nook Kits

When it comes to book nooks, the effort that goes into their creation is unimaginable; capturing the magical mystique of your wildest dreams and bring it to life in miniature-scale form.

However, not all book nooks are created equal. From the wood that goes into it to the manual that comes with it, DIY book nook kits can come in different sizes, formats, and styles - leaving massive room for creativity! 

From Conceptualization to Completion

Behind every high-quality bookshelf insert kit is a ton of talented creatives and innovators working together to create a beautiful work of art. During the design phase, artists and illustrators sketch out the design of the book nook and calculate the miniature scales, ensuring the final piece is representative of real life. There’s no rule for what scale is used, but generally, for all miniature hobby crafts, scales are typically 1:12 or smaller. A ratio of  1:12 means that for every 1 inch in miniature scale, it represents 12 inches in real life. A 3ft dragon gets shrunk to 3”.

Miniature Scaling for 3D Props in DIY Book Nook Kits

Once the designs are sketched, the next step is to render it in CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) software to transform these 2D sketches into a 3D rendering. CAD is used to create tool paths for cutting machines using Computer Numerical Control (CNC). CNC routers and cutters are incredibly precise, cutting down to 1000th of an inch.

Various book nook design files are available online. The type you need depends on the cutting method you'll use. Printing a PDF design file is fine for manual cutting. SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) can be used for laser cutting. For 3D printing, you'll need the STL (stereolithography) design files.

Equipped with a professionally manufactured DIY book nook kit, you can skip the mundane, technical steps and jump right into building your very own 3D puzzle.

The Materials Needed to Make Assembling a Book Nook Kit a Breeze

Not all kits are equal. Within the DIY book nook kits sold at Bookshelf Memories, all the materials needed are included in each kit – including the auxiliary tools for handling small objects, premium glues, LED lights - and the power source - premium crafters glue, laser cut popout accessories with high-res graphics, and 3D props crafted with premium grade wood, plastics, and resin. Not to tout our own horn too much, but when we say these make terrific gifts, that’s why! Our DIY book nook kits are premium and ready to get started building right out of the box. Kits purchased elsewhere may require additional accessories before assembly can begin.

Take note of the following if you’re planning to buy a book nook kit from elsewhere, or intend on gifting a book nook to someone you know would love these…

  • A high-quality kit that has been designed in your country because some parts like glues, batteries, and paints are combustible, forbidding them from being shipped internationally. Check that you have all the pieces required. You may need to buy batteries for lights.
  • A craft knife is handy for detaching the small pieces from the boards. You can use your fingers, but to be certain the wood doesn’t splinter, a craft knife can be used to prise the pieces apart.
  • An organizer is optional. Use these to store the different parts of the book nook, such as lights, doors, signs, plants, and furnishing.
  • Tweezers help manouver the miniatures inside the book nook and hold them in place whille the glue sets.

The Benefits of a Premium Quality Book Nook Kit Can’t Be Understated!

Book Nook kits are widely available in every country. The quality of the materials used is tantamount to the experience. Start with a sub-par kit, you’ll have a frustrating experience. You could be popping puzzle pieces to find the graphics tear, or the wood splinters at the edges making it nigh-impossible to fit together without glue. Speaking of glue, it should be superior for fast drying. You don’t want adhesives that need you holding tiny pieces in place with tweezers for 30 minutes before you can move onto the next part. Begin with a premium quality kit and you’ll have a far more pleasurable experience. Look for the types of inks used. UV-resistant inks mean that you can sit your book nook on a shelf and the ink pigments won’t fade. It’ll look pristine decades after being built.

Before buying, check for images of the book nook manual. Not all have multilingual instructions, and if you’re buying from overseas, it’s understandably not always going to include English instructions or be translated well. Diagrams are helpful and considering the instructions will be used each time you build another piece of the puzzle, a professionally illustrated guidebook that walks you through the build process step-by-step is certainly helpful. Easy on the eyes, and simple to understand, you get your kit built faster, without any glitches along the way.

Assembling DIY Book Nook Kits

With your materials gathered, all you need now is space. Unbox your kit and lay all the pieces in front of you. Read the instructions in the kit and check that all the pieces that should be included are. Mistakes happen, and you don’t want to find out mid-build that you’re missing crucial components.

To begin bringing your book nook to life, the journey starts with the instructions. We favor full color with pictures. Not shapes with letters that leave you pulling your hair in frustration about what parts go where. The first part is the miniatures. Not the side panels. By assembling the 3D props and graphic elements that will eventually be placed on the interior walls, you can instantly start to visualize the concept.

Assemble the finer items first, then move on to affixing those to their final place on the walls. It’s easier to move items when the book nook is open. If you plan to add custom decals or other miniatures, hold off on gluing the side panels in place. That way, you can open it up when you have any add-ons, or custom miniatures to add to your book nook. Once it’s sealed, the only time you should need to handle it is to change the battery for lights, which is (or should be) conveniently located to the back of the book nook.   

Display Ideas for an Awesome Book Nook Display 

With your finalized book nook assembled, it’s ready to put it to use in its final resting place. The term ‘bookshelf insert’ doesn’t really do this justice. They’re beautiful aesthetics to any shelf, regardless if they’re surrounded by books or other decorative ornamentals. Take, for example, the Tokyo Alley Book Nook Kit. Unless you have book titles in Kanji, hiragana, and katakana (Japanese writing), the authenticity will be lost when surrounded by English literature.

To capture as much of the culture that’s encapsulated within the book nook kit, surround it with similar items with authentic charm that compliments the look, and feel of the piece. For Japanese style DIY book nook kits, there are numerous Japanese Crafts for adults, and decorative touches you can add ranging from Kokeshi dolls, terami balls, and/or maneki-neko (the lucky cat ornament). The more cultural fitting the surrounding décor items are, the stronger the visual illusion that's created will be.


Where to buy book nook kits?

DIY book nook kits are best purchased from craft stores and specialist retailers with first-hand knowledge on how to build book nooks from scratch, using professional design processes and precision cutting tools. Care is taken in designing the pieces and crafting together assembly instructions that you can follow along with to enjoy the craft, and experience the therapeutic aspect of 3D creative puzzles, rather than struggling to visualize the concept of the final design.

Are book nooks the same as dioramas?

A diorama is a three-dimensional rendering of a scene. A book nook uses the same idea as a diorama but is intended to be used as a display piece on a bookshelf. The intent of a book nook is to create a showpiece that acts as a window into another world. A glimpse into a different culture, an imaginary world brought to life in miniature form, illuminated with tiny LED lights, with picturesque details meticulously laid out within the display.