Plans and Tips For Library Builders
Learn from Our Library Building Mistakes
After building thousands of Libraries, we’ve learned what makes a long-lasting, weather-resistant Library. Sign up below to get our checklist of 10 common building mistakes (and how to avoid them)!
How to Build a Little Free Library (Plans and Blueprints)
If you’d like to build your own book-sharing box, go for it! We’d love to have you join the Little Free Library Sharing Network. Try these tips and tricks and blueprints and measurements for builders that we created for Library builders.
Below you’ll find an assortment of blueprints and instructions created by individuals who built their own Little Free Libraries. Feel free to download and use any of the designs below.
- Little Free Library instructions so simple even I could follow them – courtesy of James Zimmerman
- A modified Little Library design with a materials list – courtesy of Hannah Lane-Davies of Kalamazoo Little Free Libraries
- A video guide to building a door counter and Library – courtesy of Ben Heck and Newark/Element 14
- Creative, easy ways to build a Library on a tight budget – Little Free Library blog
- A YouTube tutorial to build a full-size Tardis – courtesy of Steve Ramsey
- Plans and instructions to build an Amish Shed Library – Little Free Library
- Red Schoolhouse Library – video by The Neighborhood Carpenter
- Vermont Covered Bridge Library – Alan Baker via Instructables
- Step-by-step instructions to build a unique Little Free Library designed by Dale Melenberg of Calgary
- Blueprints to build a modified Amish Shed Library – Adam Plavinskis
- Blueprints to build 10 unique Library designs – Architectural League of New York
- How to build a Library with a living roof – DIY Network
- Roof Overhang Little Free Library – Boys’ Life
- The Lazy Little Library – Build Something
- 3-D Print the Tiniest Little Free Library Ever – free files on Thingverse by Colleen Jordan
How to Assemble a One Story Amish Shed Kit
How to Pick a Good Spot and Install a Little Free Library
Where can you put a Little Free Library? How do you install it? The 5-minute video above answers how to pick a good spot, who to ask for permission, and how to install your Library. (Skip to minute 3:45 if you want to get straight to the installation part.)
Are There Rules about My Library’s Design?
If you build one or more book-sharing boxes, please register by purchasing a charter sign for each one. That way, we can welcome you to the Little Free Library Sharing Network, and you can legally use the name Little Free Library. There is a one-time cost of about $40 to purchase a charter sign. Click here to register by purchasing a charter sign. You are welcome to list the name of any builders, sponsors or related organizations on your Library.
We have no rules about what your Library may or may not look like. However, your city government or Home Owner’s Association may have rules. Be sure you have permission before installing your Library (more on this topic here).
To protect the Little Free Library name and quality of the Libraries themselves, the name Little Free Library and its common variations are trademarked. If you want to use the name Little Free Library, you must have an official charter sign and charter number on your Library.
Only Libraries with official charter signs and numbers can be photographed and displayed as part of the Little Free Library network. This is the only way we can track, monitor, support, fund and celebrate your efforts!
Additional Tips for Builders
Our first Little Libraries were roughly 20” wide by 15” deep by 18” high and on a sturdy post or secure foundation. You most certainly can vary the dimensions as you see appropriate.
- Use recycled and found materials if you can.
- Demonstrate green building techniques and materials whenever possible.
- Build and finish the Library to last. Use screws rather than nails, and several coats of stain, paint or sealer.
- If you have built your Library and are experiencing common problems like condensation forming inside the Library, leaks or paint fading, check out our FAQs for tips.
Do not be limited to building the same thing everyone else does. Look over our Pinterest and Flickr pages for inspiration. See what others have built and know that no matter how skilled or amateur you think you are, there’s someone out there just like you.
Use your imagination! Finally, once your Library has been built, save the plans and document how you built it. Then Contact Us so that we can share your learning experience with the rest of the Little Free Library community.