Christmas in a Book Nook – A Beginner’s Guide
Have you seen all the gorgeous book nooks doing the rounds on the internet? OMW!!! Truth be told, as someone who loves making miniature fairy things, I’m a little besotted. And with the festive season around the corner, I thought I’d try making one for our bookshelf. I’m calling it Christmas in a book nook and I love how it turned out.
I’m a big believer in thinking outside the box. In fact most of the time I prefer upcycling the box but this craft idea forced me to think inside the box. Well more like inside the book, but it’s kinda boxish, so we’ll stick with that 😉
While it might seem like a terribly complicated process to build a book nook it’s quite easy and a whole bunch of fun too.
And best of all, you can wire your book nook up with some fairy lights for a magical glow at night.
Okay, before we get to the beginner’s tutorial that will show you how to make Christmas in a book nook, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you need for the Christmas in a book nook
For the book frame
- Duct tape
- Wood glue
For the inside of the book nook
You can use anything you want to create a small scene inside the book nook. For this Christmas in a book nook I used:
- Polystyrene (Styrofoam)
- White craft foam and moss
- 2 Small wooden beads
- Faux leaves and florist wire
- Craft paint and black pen
- Homemade texture paste
- Instant glue and mod podge
- Sharp craft knife
- A long string of fairy lights
Just a heads up the tutorial is a long one. I wanted to show you how to make as many of the little things you can see in the Christmas in the book nook as possible.
How to make Christmas in a book nook
Making the book nook frame
This is the boring bit but it’s really important and sets the scene for everything else that we’ll be making afterward. So best we get it over and done with 😉 Using a book as a guide, measure and cut two sides, a back, and two tops for the book nook frame from hardboard. I cut the following sizes with my jigsaw:
- 2 x sides 21,5 cm x 15,5 cm (8,5″ x 6″)
- 2 x tops 12 cm x 15,5 cm (4,5″ x 6″)
- 1 back/spine 21,5 cm x 13 cm (8,5″ x 5 1/8″)
If you’ve never used a jigsaw before then this tutorial will help you get started. And if you just don’t feel comfortable using that noisy cutting machine 😉 many craft and hobby shops will cut the hardboard to the right size for you. You can also use strong cardboard to make the book nook frame.
Tape the sides, tops, and spine together with duct tape to form a temporary box shape.
Right, that’s the boring bit done. Time for some fun 😀
Planning the Christmas scene
A book nook has limited space to work with. Most book nooks I’ve seen are alleyways, but I wanted something special to celebrate Christmas. Feel free to experiment. To create depth and interest, I drew a few ideas on paper first before settling on making a small double volume Tuscan-styled home with a Christmas tree in front. You can read more about planning a miniature scene in this tutorial.
Making the insides of the Christmas in a book nook
The scene called for a few key items:
- Little Christmas tree
- The double-story Tuscan home with
- a door
- Fairy vines and miniature topiaries
- Cobblestone courtyard
- Terracotta awning over the door
- Lots of fairy lights 😉
Making a little Christmas tree with lights
I considered using this miniature tutorial to make the little Christmas tree but decided that since the book nook was going to be a permanent fixture on our bookcase, I would need something that would last for a long time. Lucky for me I had one of those polystyrene cones leftover from making our angels, so I just used that. It was a bit too big for the book nook, but a sharp knife quickly fixed that 😉
The polystyrene cone tip got a quick coat of green craft paint and then the whole thing was covered in glue and moss.
Wrap some of the fairy lights around the tree before gluing on a second layer of moss to hide the wire.
Check if the tree fits and give you an idea of how big the Tuscan house should be.
Making a miniature Tuscan home front
To make the little Tuscan home, I used polystyrene for the wall and stairs. Polystyrene is really easy to cut if you have a sharp craft knife. Use the book nook frame as a guide to figure out where everything should go.
Cover the stairs and the walls of the little Tuscan house in some texture paste to disguise the polystyrene.
When I made this batch of texture paste I used fine beach sand and the color looked really yucky so the walls and stairs got a few coats of white craft paint.
To make the window frames I simply cut small rectangles from craft foam.
The little door is made with thin ice cream sticks. I love using stirrers and ice cream sticks to make miniature things. They’re easy to cut and most craft stores will sell them in bulk.
The door in this book nook was made using the tutorial for our miniature barn doors, which you can find here.
Making the ivy fairy vines and topiaries
We love our plants so it only seemed right to add lots of greenery to the book nook. To make the fairy vines you’ll need some green fabric or fake leaves and thin florist wire. Cut the fabric into small leaf-ish shapes.
Dip the florist wire in mod podge and
run pull it through the small leaves.
You want the little leaves to randomly get stuck to the mod podge to create a natural look. Leave to dry. So easy right?
Make a whole bunch in varying lengths. For the little topiaries, simply glue moss onto small beads, and pop them on top of terracotta planters made from air-dry clay.
Making the cobblestone courtyard
There are so many different ways to make cobblestones, but by far the easiest and quickest way is to use craft foam and a toothpick. Craft foam has this wonderful ability to maintain/absorb patterns and shapes if you press hard enough. Paint the craft foam with brown craft paint. While it’s still a little wet use a toothpick to draw round shapes in different sizes on the foam.
Press down firmly so the toothpick leaves an indent in the foam. To finish off use a black pen to draw the grout in between the cobblestones.
Making the terracotta tile awning
Those little terracotta tiles that make up the awning on top of the door are also made from craft foam. Cut a long strip of craft foam and use tacky glue to glue it around a skewer as shown below.
Put your hairdryer on high and heat the foam. It’s just like blow-drying your hair 😉 Heat the foam for about 5 minutes or so and then remove the curled craft foam from the skewer.
Cut the curled craft foam into 2 cm pieces (1″) to make terracotta tiles. Glue the tiles down on a small cut ice cream stick and paint in a terracotta color.
Cut a toothpick in half and glue the cut ends inside the terracotta tiles. Right, that’s all the inside bits done 😀
Putting the Christmas in a book nook together
Once you have all the bits that go inside the book nook, it’s time to put everything together. Remove the duct tape from the top, bottom, and spine of the book nook frame. It just makes it easier to put everything together. Glue the sides of the book nook frame to the little Tuscan home. Add texture paste to the inside sides of the book nook and paint white to match.
Glue on the door, windows, vines, and any other bits and pieces to complete the scene. Hide and obvious gaps with the fairy vines and moss.
Glue the cobblestones to the bottom of the book nook and then glue the Christmas tree on the cobblestones. Run the fairy light wire over the cobblestones at the back of the tree and under the Tuscan home front.
Tape the lights down at the back of the home front.
Glue the back/spine of the book nook to the sides to hide all the wiring 😉 Once you’re happy with the Christmas scene inside the book nook glue the top and bottom on.
At this point, the book nook is basically finished. If you want to take it to the next level, you can make some fake pages on the top by applying texture paste (no sand added) and dragging a hard bristle brush through the paste.
Finish off by covering the book nook with some pretty paper to mimic a book cover.
That way you can turn it around and no one will ever know what’s hiding inside 😀
If you like the idea of making Christmas in a book nook, don’t forget to pin it for later.
Sharing is caring.
And if you’re looking for a few more miniature tutorials, you’ll find a whole bunch on our blog, including:
- Sands of Time hourglass;
- Tiny beach scene in a wine glass cloche;
- A whole kokedama village;
- Real miniature toilet rolls;
- Victorian long drop toilet;
- Working grandfather clock;
- A stool sample and reading glasses;
- Tiny sock gnomes;
- Pixie den in a lantern,
- and a porch swing in an old clock.
BTW, we’ve included some affiliate links below, so you don’t have to worry about finding some of the stuff we used to make miniatures. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.
30 thoughts on “Christmas in a Book Nook – A Beginner’s Guide”
Hey, that looks really cute and well put together! Thanks for the tutorial 🙂 Practical question, where do you leave the fairy light switch? They’re on batteries I think, right?
Hey Meike, yes the fairy lights are battery operated and the small battery box is tucked away behind the book nook. You can also turn the battery pack into a faux miniature planter as we did in this stained glass fairy door – https://acraftymix.com/blog/stained-glass-fairy-door/
This was a great tutorial, very easy to follow. I’ve saved this and looking forward to making my first Booknook for my library here???
So happy to hear that, Dianne. Hope you have loads of fun making your book nook.
This project is truly speaking my love language! I never thought to include little scenes within my book selves but have a great need now!
So happy to hear that. The little book nooks are such interesting conversation starters.
Your little book nook is soooo cute Michelle! All that detail work, it looks so real. Love the cobblestones, and awning! Smart idea making the back look like a book so it will always be there. Just turn it around. ?
I must admit I really enjoyed putting this little one together, and craft foam comes in so handy for so many different things too.
Super cute and creative. Love the festive lights on the little tree and the tile roof!
THe little terracotta tiled roof is my favorite too, and it’s so easy to make
Too stinking’ cute, Michelle! As a writer, I am beyond envious of your ability to make a book nook and may twist Hub’s arm to help me craft one. TYSM for your tuts and pix that show how!
You are sooooo welcome. I think I need to make a little Sam to sit by the front door in honor of your new book ❤
This is darling, Michelle! Love it.
Thank you, Libbie ❤
You always amaze me how you up the game with each project. Your attention to the small details is outstanding. I love everything about this book nook.
Awwwwww Anita, thank you so much. It always gets my brain working when I need to figure out how to miniaturize something
Utterly amazing Michelle. This is so pretty. It is a perfect gift for anyone living in a small space, or working in a cubicle. I have not seen a book nook before, now I will go look them up. Pinned.
Oh you’re going to love all the beautiful ones out there Leanna, and there are so many ways to create that little world inside. I’ve already cut more book frames so I can play around with some other ideas
Michelle, I absolutely love this. It is the most unique mini craft I’ve seen.
Thanks so much, Deana
You have completely outdone yourself, Michelle. Your Book Nook is just as lovely as can be. From the tile roof to the stairs and the cobblestone floor, this is just adorable and so unique.
I should make one for my grandkids to see when they come for visits.
Kids are fascinated by the book nook. I think it conjures up images of all these little people living in the bookshelf, which is so cool
I thought this was a real until I read it. amazing you are really good with miniatures.
Thanks so much, Maria, I love making miniatures.
Oh my gosh – so much creativity in such a cute and tiny space. Thanks for introducing us to nooks!
You’re welcome 😉
I have not heard of a book nook before, but find this fascinating and so well done!
Thank you Janet. I had fun putting this one together
This is so awesome; I can’t pick a favourite mini, but this is right up there! I’ve never seen a book nook before (how did I miss this on Pinterest); now I’m besotted too! Those terra cotta shingles are genius.
Aren’t they just sooooooooo cool. There are so many ideas floating around in my head to make a few more.