We opened our library in the Spring of 2020… things were shutting down here in Washington because of COVID… libraries were closed, and people were looking for books and puzzles and things to do! Our homestead is located along a well traveled, main road – not too busy, though. Our farm stand has been a great little stop with a safe pull out and it is the perfect spot for a library!!
It was a little ramshackle at first. I was trying to find something that would be weather (rain and wind, especially, but also sun) proof. I found a used metal closet on Offer Up and I thought we could seal up any potential leak spots with caulk and paint it red – my favorite color, but also very visible from the road.
It wasn’t ideal… my husband may have made fun of me when he went to pick it up… he may have told me that it wouldn’t work… he may have lovingly discouraged my ingenuity. He may have given me tips for spray painting that I may or may not have followed. Nonetheless… the Little Free Farm Stand Library was born!
The “bookshelf” inside was something that Carson built for me for the Farm Stand – I was (and still am) hoping to use it for breads and produce, but I wasn’t ready for that yet, but I did need a book shelf, so… TA DA!
We started with books that we had cleared off of our shelves, and quickly people added to the collection – puzzles, games, books. It was growing every day.
I soon realized we’d need a “real bookshelf” to store all of the books. Carson helped me build and paint a bookshelf. I’ve always loved the combo of turquoise and red together… reminds me of a happy cartoon, I think!
And then I decided that we needed a sign! I didn’t think it was clear enough from the road that it was actually a little free library!
My friend Chelsea from Peck Projects Design Co. came to the rescue! She made a super cool weatherproof vinyl decal that could attach to the side of the metal closet.
I love it so much! And it definitely adds visibility for both the library and the farm stand! Win win!!!
There was a problem, though. It wasn’t at all weatherproof… every time it sprinkled outside, I rushed out to put a shower curtain over the books…
Granted, it was a cute and perfectly themed shower curtain, but not 100% effective unless it was on just right but the wind moved it sometimes and when people came through for books it didn’t always get velcroed the right way, and I had to keep running out to check.
Even in good weather, some of the books were also getting faded by the sun. We also couldn’t use the bottom shelf because it was getting wet from early morning dew. Sighhhh…
Carson to the rescue!!!!
For our 10 year wedding anniversary, he started to work on building a library for me!
It wasn’t a surprise… I knew he was doing it… he said it would take about three days to get it all built, stained, and installed. I think in the end it was about two weeks… partly because life kept happening and he didn’t get to work on it for three days in a row, but also because he made it way, way, way better than we were originally thinking. It is a beautiful work of art, and it is perfect for the farm stand.
Amazing, right?! 🙂
And boy is it heavy! The move from the woodshop to the farm stand was quite a feat! We had to tip it over so that the tractor could pick it up. It is so top heavy that Carson and I had a hard time doing it just the two of us… we had several ideas and failures before we got to this very precarious position.
Notice that the tractor is actually holding the top part up… we then had to get it moved all the way to the ground (and get the tractor moved around) so that we could transport… I’ll save you from those dramatic moves…
TADA!!! We did it!
Here we go on the sloooooooow crawl up to the farm stand!
I think it took several hours for adrenaline levels in my body to level out! Worth it, though!
Carson even saved my sign!! He ended up cutting off the side of the metal closet and attaching it to the library. And it’s perfect! I kept my red, and my perfect sign! Originally we had the bookshelf I helped build inside the library.
But we decided that there was a lot of wasted space that way and he made built in bookshelves which allowed for a lot more books and puzzles and games! Here is the final (for now!) product!
We even have a place for magazines!
I am so happy and grateful, and proud of my amazing husband! I hope you love it as much as we do!