Thursday Doors: My Little Free Library

I have wanted a Little Free Library at my house for about as long as I have known there were Little Free Libraries. I may have been first introduced to them via geocaching. Or at church. I have blogged about Little Free Libraries for Thursday Doors before, just not my own.

Last December, for my birthday and Christmas, I asked for a Little Free Library. My husband obliged, but that was only the first step. The unpainted, unfinished library (and its post) sat in the entryway to our house for months and were threatening to become a permanent fixture.

I bought some paint that was meant for outdoor deck furniture, in colors that looked like they went together, and in the store near the paint there were some stencils. At the time, the stencils seemed like a good idea, so I bought them, hoping to make the library look cute.

I took off the sign, and the door handles, and eventually the hinges, while I was painting. My 15-yo son painted the post, as we took over the garage for a weekend.

I enjoyed using the stencils to paint designs on the library itself. I liked the idea of painting a wise owl and a fantasy dragon on the library. Books have introduced me to both wisdom and fantasy.

But ugh, I guess I didn’t get the memo about how to use the brush, because the end result of the stencil painting wasn’t very good. Some paint oozed underneath the stencil and blended together in a mess. (I didn’t document this in pictures.) I had to fix the pictures freehand. This was a little daunting at first, but I warmed to the task and decided that it looked okay, even charming.

Close-up of the back panel of the LFL, after I fixed the mess I made with the stencils
Close-up of the back panel of the LFL, after I fixed the mess I made with the stencils

Even more daunting than the painting, to me, was digging the hole for the post. If I’m being honest, I think that was my main reason for putting off the installation this long. I wasn’t even sure if I could dig a deep enough hole. Fortunately I had help. I borrowed our neighbor’s post-hole digging tool, my husband and son both pitched in along with me, and we had the necessary 2-ft hole in about half an hour.

Then there was attaching the library itself:

All of this was a long process that happened over several hours. While I was out there, I met two sets of neighbors who were interested in the same thing. One said he had his own library still sitting in his garage. The other offered some books.

Most of these books are mine. I got some free with the library, and I have a stash that I brought along from MA of old books that I and my kids will probably not read again. There’s something I like more about putting them in the LFL rather than selling them or even donating them.

I was a little concerned about book theft, since I have a friend with an LFL in a busy area of Philadelphia, and she has had her LFL cleaned out more than once. I stamped the books so that they will be less attractive to used bookstores. You may also note the presence of one of my books, Geocaching GPS!

LFLStamp
The stamp: Always a gift, never for sale

I even put a geocache in there: LFL 69535, named after its charter number. Since we bought the library from the official organization, it came equipped with a charter number, which means you can find it by searching on this map. The First-to-Find (FTF) was none other than our neighbor Rich, owner of the post-hole digger!

If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by and say hello! If you’re not, check the map for an LFL near you.

My library's charter sign
My library’s charter sign

 

For Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors. Since this is supposed to be about doors, I’ll highlight some of the doors’ features. They are held closed by a magnet. I painted the handles to be like flowers. And I put a couple of pockets on the windows to put in bookmarks and orchestra cards. There are flowers on the outer edges and a “lawn” across the bottom.

LFLOrchCards

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments at Norm’s blog

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14 thoughts on “Thursday Doors: My Little Free Library”

  1. I am
    Inspired to get one going near us- pondering
    In the meantime – I like the stamp you added – yes! Sadly folks will want to clean out and sell
    So that stamp could discourage that
    And enjoyed hearing about the stenciling experience – the end result was charming and inviting

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m happy with how it came out although it’s not quite what I expected. I have had a slow trickle of visitors both to the library and the cache. The more mainstream books have been snapped up, the unique ones not so much 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed reading about how this project all came together–with a little help from friends, family and neighbors. It reminded me of another friend’s project involving a special home for her Monarch Butterfly breeding project. Her kids surprised her with this as a Xmas gift, and it is also awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is almost too perfect for words! Your LFL is adorable and your decision to add the stamp to the books is prudent. Of all the things that I’ve seen evolve over the years the concept of little free libraries, scattered hither and yon, is one of the best ideas ever. Good for you on getting involved– and making someone else’s life better because of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have a friend who has an LFL in a busy area of Philadelphia and she posted on Facebook several times that people just stopped by and cleaned all the books out when she wasn’t looking. She can’t police it all the time. The LFL organization sells stamps for this purpose, but I just ordered that one from a cheap custom place for about 1/3 the price.

      Liked by 1 person

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