Do y’all remember the list I posted about all the things I wanted to finish in the nursery before the baby comes? Well, I’ve completed my first task…book slings! I first came across the idea on Pinterest and then found a tutorial here. It’s a really simple project…if you just make one. I of course had to jazz it up a bit and make three. Still a simple project, just a little more time consuming. Here is a picture of the finished product, just in case you have no idea what the heck a book sling is.
Before the book slings the wall looked like this…. cinder block shelves, a radio that is too far from a plug to work, and a random star (which I have plans for!)
The colors in the nursery are tan, aqua, and green. I never planned on those being the colors, it just sort of slowly happened. I like it though…it works because the gender of our babies is always a surprise, so everything has to be gender neutral. Plus I’m plan on stuffing both rugrats into this room…even if they turn out to be different genders. Should be interesting. If any of you moms out in blogland have advice on having two under two share a room, please, do share!
I’m getting off subject – back to the book slings. I wanted to make three of them (we have a lot of books) and I wanted them to all be different sizes. Books come in all different sizes, why shouldn’t book slings? I didn’t want the giant books always looking like they are going to fall out, or the tiny ones to get buried.
After crunching some numbers (and measuring a lot of books) I came up with my three sizes. (All are 39″ wide.)
Large: 42″, which would make for a 8.5″ deep final product
Medium: 36″, 7″ deep final
Small: 30″, 5.5″ deep final (re-did this one to 33″ inches later)
Here they are all cut out. (Sorry the pics are dark and horrible, I did this at night while watching Band Of Brothers.)
Next, I folded them in half (pattern sides together) and sewed along one short side, the long side, and 3/4 of the other short side. The opening is left because the next step is turning then inside out (right side out?).
Once you have them pattern side out and looking pretty, stitch closed the opening. Next I laid out my sling and dowel to make the rod pocket. I gave mine a little more room then I thought I needed and made them 2 inches. Good thing too, because I later returned these dowels and got thicker ones.
To hang the books slings you will need a set of double curtain brackets, I bought mine from Amazon (you can buy them here).
They’re beautiful and super sturdy, but when I opened the box I instantly thought “crap, I have to return them!” Why? They’re HUGE. Like way bigger than I thought they would be. They stick off the wall at least six inches. When I got back on Amazon to try and find something that would hug the wall a little more, I found that they are all that huge. Who knew? I was actually kinda relieved, I wanted this project to be done, and not be waiting on snail mail returns. I’ve got a deadline to meet!
Also, I made sure the the brackets were hung on studs. I’m sure that they would stay up fine if you used drywall anchors, but my kids (soon to be kids, eek!) are guaranteed to climb on them, so studs it is.
Once they were all hung up, I noticed a few things that were funky about it.
The top one was way too shallow (and crooked) and the dowels were already starting to bow….
I had a little leftover fabric, so I made a new top book sling, 33 inches wide instead of 30. It’s not much of a change, but just enough to make it work…and not be crooked. As for the dowels, I hadn’t cut them yet, so I decided to return them and get something thicker. I’m not sure what size they were but I can tell you that they had yellow ends. I moved up to the purple ended ones, I think they are just a little less than an inch thick.
Good thing not many men read my blog, they would be rolling their eyes at my dowel description. It’s like when men give directions, they say “take so-and-so street west, then turn south onto whatever….”. Women say, “take so-and so street till you get to the bridge, then turn right at the house with the ugly yellow trim….”
Anyway, here is the final product! I really like how it turned out, it’s very sturdy and can hold a lot of books.
Elijah (clothes-less, as usual) approves as well!
I think the best thing about these is that the books are forward facing, so Elijah can see the covers and doesn’t feel the need to pull every single book off the shelf in order to choose one for bed. Also, you could use these for so much more than books…I can see them holding magazines, files, sewing patterns, or a variety of other things.