How to Make Book Slings

 If this sounds oddly familiar to you, it’s because I’ve already done (and blogged about) this project. I made my first set of book slings a few years ago while pregnant with boy #2, but I’m going to throw it out there again since 98% of my current readers probably haven’t seen that post. Plus these slings have been really great… I mean, we’re renovating the room and these are the only things that are staying. So here is the new set….

How to make book slings

and here is the old one.

fabric book slings

I made this new set all the same size rather than three different sizes, I liked the variation but honestly no one ever put the books back in the appropriately sized book sling (myself included).

So here is how you make these bad boys –

First, buy your fabric….you will need about 1 1/3 yard per book sling. I choose this bandana fabric from for my boys slowly progressing cowboy room.

bandana fabric

Before you start making book slings you will need to wash and dry your fabric. I know, I hate this step too…but do it anyway. Anyone remember when I didn’t prewash my dining room curtains and they shrank A FOOT? Not fun… wash your fabric.

Next cut them into a 42 x 40 inch rectangle. You can actually make them 42 inches x whatever,  40 inches is just what happened to fit between the two doors in my boy’s room.

cutting fabric for book slings

Next fold your fabric in half, patterned sides together (so mine was 21 X 40 inches) and sew everything together except half of a short side.

how to sew a book sling

Then pull it inside out…

inside out

and fold the raw edges in and sew it closed.

sew it closed

The last sewing step is to make a pocket for the dowels. Fold over each long edge by two inches and sew.

sewing a book sling

To hang the slings you will need to buy one set of double curtain hooks (I bought these) and two dowels per book sling. The dowels I have are 3/4 inch and we had to trim them a little so they didn’t have too much overhang. Make sure you are screwing the curtain hooks into studs, they will be holding a lot of weight. Also, some overly energetic and highly rambunctious children may use the slings as a ladder to try and reach the light switch. Not that I know any children like that…

double curtain bracket for book slings

And that’s it! Such a simple, practical DIY that also happens to be really, really, really, ridiculously good looking (name that movie!)

book slings in a cowboy room

childrens book storage

fabric book storage

vertical book storage

These slings hold a ton of books and are surprisingly sturdy, we’ve had them for about 2.5 years and they haven’t sagged at all. Plus I love that the covers face forward, instead if being squished against each other and out of sight. It makes it really easy for my kids to pick a book at night and keeps them from pulling every book off the shelf to find the one they want. Not that my boys would ever dare be so messy, obviously. They also never rip pages out of books or beat the stink out of each other. And every night they thank me for cooking a healthy dinner before quietly putting themselves to bed.


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  1. Hi Ashley,

    Thank you for sharing this. I will try it for my kids playroom and my office to hold my deco magazines,


  2. Great way to use vertical space to organize! {stopping by from Creative Stumbles!}
    Cristin @ Eve of Reduction recently posted..13 Eco Activities for KidsMy Profile

  3. This is an interesting idea! How do they compare to normal bookcases? Have you had any problems with paperback books getting squished/folded/bent by heavier books?
    (Also LOL! Zoolander quote!)

  4. WOW! I am really impressed! I can think of 10,000 (well, maybe not 10,000 but a lot!) of ways to use this. Thanks so much for a really great idea.

  5. Long time lurker, first comment! I randomly found the old version of this post last week and am now planning to make a few book slings for my baby’s room. It’s great to hear your update about the various sizes, not worth the effort to make different sizes if they aren’t used. The thing I like best about this project is that even if he somehow pulls the sling down it won’t be a huge book shelf that falls, just a few books and some fabric. Thanks for the tutorial(s)!

  6. Ashley, your role model children are an inspiration to us all. Thanks for always keepin’ it real!
    Sarah recently posted..Fun on Utah LakeMy Profile

  7. Love this! Can’t wait to make one!

  8. Marina Garcia says:

    #1: Show off! (that’s about that perfectly clean and organized kids’ closet that’s peaking in the picture)
    #2: I loved-loved-loved your idea from the original post long time ago and copied it. A couple of months ago I decided to re-do it with… clear plastic sheets and special double stick tape from a craft store. It was more $$ but now I can see the books through the plastic sheeting + it is totally wipeable from fingerprints.
    Thank you, as usual, for creative and workable ideas. Love your blog!!

    • Clear plastic slings is a great idea, and bonus points for being wipeable!

      Also, about the closet…there is about 8 inches of space to the left that hides behind the wall that the slings are on. There is a literal MOUNTAIN of random stuff piled up back there, just out of sight. Sometimes I leave my messes because I want people to know that life is messy and that’s okay, and sometimes they are so huge and distracting that I have to hide them.

  9. Great redo on an already cute idea, love the bandana material, looking forward to seeing the rest of the room! And boys will be boys, we know they are perfect little messes! Pinned it!
    Cindy from GlassSlipperRestorations recently posted..First Fall Garden ResultsMy Profile

  10. So cute and simple, Ashley! Love it…pinnng! XO

  11. Nice touch using bandana fabric – it looks great! I can just imagine them climbing up the book slings… o_O
    Jan Elizabeth recently posted..A bowling ball with a history, and big plansMy Profile

  12. Hi! Can you please tell me where you got those drawers inside the closet pictured to the right of your awesome book slings?

  13. Its a great idea.
    Greetings from Germany
    Uwe recently posted..HauswirtschaftsraumMy Profile

  14. Ashley this is simply a fabulous idea, I shared it on our Reading Pinterest board this week and clearly others feel the same way too with hundreds of repins. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing, can’t wait to make my own for the kids.
    Kim Vij @ The Educators’ Spin On It recently posted..Bunny Book Club Snack Idea: Marcus Pfister Virtual Book ClubMy Profile

  15. “really really ridiculously good looking”


    Disappointed it hadn’t been pointed out already haha. Also, that’s such a great idea for a way to store books!
    Katie recently posted..Creating A Social Media Plan For Your BlogMy Profile

  16. I love love love these and want to make a set for my little guy’s nursery, but shew, the rod holders are kind of pricey if you want multiple slings! Do you have any budget friendly ideas?
    Runt recently posted..In Lieu of Week’s End 04182014My Profile

  17. So incredibily clever! I love them!

  18. CabotMama says:

    Wonderful directions!! I am a novice user of the sewing machine. Just learned how to plug in the machine & thread the needle less than a month ago. I have made three pillows – and then tackled book slings with your post as my guide and inspiration. Thank you!
    I also used your post on making your own curtain rods. We’ve created a reading nook out of a dormer window area in our girls’ room. I sewed curtains (my fourth sewing project ever!) and then we hung them across the opening. Your ideas didn’t fit our situation, but they gave us the courage to think outside the box. Thank you again! I would love to share pics with you if I knew how to send/attach them! :)

  19. I love this! But what I must really know is where is your rug from? Please tell me it’s diy ad you have a post about it!

  20. SO FLIPPING adorable!!! The bandana fabric, with the cowhide? LOVE it! What a GREAT project. Totally going to dream up someplace I can use this idea!!!
    heather recently posted..The Twilight HomeMy Profile

  21. I’m really enjoying your blog. I noticed in your book collection, the one at the top that says “Fables.” We have the same book and for the life of me, I have no idea where it came from, how we got it, etc, but it is the weirdest little fables book. Some of them we get, and others we find ourselves scratching our heads about. Love the book slings!

  22. Danielle says:

    Hi there! I love this idea. I am having a hard time finding the double brackets. Where did you get them? Thanks!

  23. Belinda says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I have been looking for a way to store my kids books. This will be perfect!

  24. I love this! But what I must really know is where is your rug from? Please tell me it’s diy ad you have a post about it!

  25. That is a fantastic idea…… The movie is Zoolander… I think lol

  26. Where did you get the 3/4 4ft. dowels?
    I’ve looked at Hobby Lobby & Home Depot with no luck; they only have 3ft dowels.

    • I bought mine at Home Depot, but that was about six years ago. Actually…I seem to remember buying one really long one and cutting it down myself.


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