One of my favorite projects we’ve done since living in this house (1.5 years) is the book slings we put in my son’s room. I followed this awesome tutorial at Penny Carnival. I really recommend checking it out. Her instructions are really great, and she has tons of pictures of different book slings people have made, personalized in a variety of ways. Cute ones with little monograms, fun fabrics, etc. It’s worth looking at, even if you’re not considering making any book slings yourself.
And just to give you an idea of why we decide to do this, here’s a before shot:
Books everywhere! I was debating doing rain gutter shelves or book ledges, but in the end I thought this one would be easier for us. And let’s be honest, I also considered which option my son would be least likely to try climbing on! I wanted something that would be easier than a traditional bookshelf for a toddler to keep neat, and put books away on his own.
If you can sew a (semi) straight line and screw curtain hardware into the wall, you can handle this project. Below are a couple of close ups, that show you what they slings are made of. The tutorial calls for these double curtain rod brackets. I want to say I looked at Home Depot, and couldn’t find them, but they were available at Lowe’s.
I can’t remember exactly how much they cost. I think around $5 each. I know that doesn’t sound bad to a normal person, but considering I was kind of expecting this project to cost hardly anything, the price added up quickly when you multiply $5 times 4, and then add in the cost of everything else.
We used dowels that were the length we wanted–5 feet to span under the window in his bedroom. One kind of tricky part was that one of the bracket’s holes is smaller than the other, so my husband had to sand down the ends of one of the rods for each sling so that it would fit into the smaller hole. There may be an easier way to deal with this problem, but that is what we did.
I found those little rubber stopper things above (not sure what they’re really for, but they were located in a row near the small stuff like knobs and house numbers) when I was buying the supplies, and thought they would make good end caps, so that I didn’t have to worry about the rod sliding through the hole if my boy was rough on them. It would be cuter, I’m sure, if you bought some cute knobs to screw into the ends of the dowels.
You can see that the slings hold a pretty good amount of books. Not a million (I just had to go through them and clean a few out to rotate back in later) but they are pretty sturdy.
For each sling I used the bottom of one twin flat sheet (cut to the correct size) and used the rest of that sheet to create one curtain panel. I saved the top part of the sheet to use for the curtain. This way I could use the top seam of the sheet for the bottom of the curtain, saving me some sewing!
Here’s the before and after picture of the space where the slings go.
I would totally recommend this project if you are looking for some creative book storage! We’ve had these up for about a year, and they have been fantastic!