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Make a “Play Library”

by Kristen

Here is my latest installment in a long line of ” Homemade Children’s gifts”.  I had been thinking about how I was going to make one of these for a while now.  I like to make gifts for kids that help initiate pretend, and learning. I love making gifts for all the children in my life!

I wanted to make a special gift for my cousin’s daughter Madison.  Madison is about 10 months older than my son, and Madison has donated MANY of her unused diapers to my son.  That has saved us quite a bit of money. I wanted to show Madison and her parents how much we appreciate them.

Here is a gift that will help Madison turn her book collection into a ” at home” library.

How to make a ” Play Library”

1) Make Library check out card envelopes I made these check out card holders by taking one out of a local library book, tracing it onto card stock,  and then taping it back in the book.  You don’t have to do this, it turns out that you can find free templates online for these envelopes as well.

2) Make ” Check out cards” I am not sure if libraries even use these anymore.  For several years now, I have received a  receipt when I check out library books.  This is a cute way to show your kids how the check out system was like in the ” olden days”.  I found many free printables by googling ” Free library card printable”.  There are several options to choose from when you do this.

3) Make Labels for your books.  Most libraries have their logo on each book that belongs to them.  I made Madison some labels for her to place on the books that belong to her library.

* If you have more than one child you might want to make your labels with your last name. Like . ” This book belongs to the Smith Library”

4) No library is complete without library cards!  How else will you be able to check out books??  I looked at an image of a library card online and just made my own on card stock.

5) Date stamp an ink Every librarian needs a date stamp.  I purchased one on Amazon.com.  A date stamp just makes being a librarian fun!

6) Put all the library items into a box.  I chose a box that looks like a book.  

I am really happy this turned out well.  I am thinking that I might make something similar on a larger scale for all my nieces and nephews for Christmas.  They have almost 6 kids in their family.  I bet they have a few hundred books.

I can’t wait to send this to Madison.  I bet Madison and her parents will have a great time putting this together.



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Stephie Silva-King August 31, 2013 - 3:07 am

Awesome idea! My daughter is having a Nancy Drew party and one of the spots in our house to investigate will be a “LIBRARY”, so this helps. Thanks so much! BTW, love the detective kit. I made briefcases out of cardstock for our ND/Detective party coming up. It is so hard to find anything like what us mom’s do for our little ones out there. These things they will remember and know they were made out of love! 😉

Beth @ Whole New Leaf February 24, 2013 - 7:50 am

This is so great! I can’t wait for my son to be ready for this kind of thing. I would have totally done something like this when I was little (I actually had a whole teacher set up with homework and gradebook for my dolls). So much fun!

Sarah @ An Inviting Home February 23, 2013 - 11:02 pm

This is such a CUTE idea!


Stacie October 14, 2012 - 1:09 pm

Great idea! I was just curious if you attach somehow the library envelopes to the books?

city September 15, 2012 - 12:41 pm

thanks for sharing.

Tamika Rybinski September 7, 2012 - 8:10 pm

What a great idea, thanks for sharing such a fun idea. I am pinning this for my kids!

Tamika @ http://www.notimefortea.com

Tamika Rybinski September 7, 2012 - 8:09 pm

What an awesome idea! I am pinning this! Thanks for sharing such a fun idea!

Tamika @ http://www.notimefortea.com

Rachel September 7, 2012 - 3:19 am

I actually received a personal library kit from my favorite stationary website as a gift. It's pretty much one of my favorite things, aside from the fact that I have over 300 books, so my home library seems like they will never get finished with all the checkout cards and date stamps. But it sure does make my books look nice! 🙂

creativejewishmom.com August 9, 2012 - 6:03 pm

Adorable and such a great idea! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

Tami August 9, 2012 - 8:45 am

So cute!

I’d love it if you shared this with the Fun Family Crafts audience.
FFC is similar to Craftgawker but it only features kid friendly tutorials.

Looking forward to seeing what fun crafts you submit!

Amy August 8, 2012 - 11:22 pm

This is adorable!! My son would LOVE something like this; he's addicted to the library. I may have to do something similar for him…featuring this at One Artsy Mama tomorrow!

PitterAndGlink August 6, 2012 - 2:16 am

This is such a fun idea!

QueenMomJen August 4, 2012 - 2:25 am

This is the cutest thing! I would love to have you guest post this over at my blog. I am going to make these for my children.

Sue@creativetryals.blogspot.com August 4, 2012 - 12:24 am

This is adorable! I would have loved this when I was a kid – I drew in a lot of my books a library books a check out form. This is so much better. Pinning to do later!!

Lauras Crafty Life August 3, 2012 - 3:35 am

This is so fun and such a great idea. I used to love playing library when I was little. I would have loved to have a kit like this. I am sure my kids would love it now as well! 🙂

Tulip TrueAim August 3, 2012 - 3:11 am

I absolutely love this idea! I used to play like this when I was a little girl. I made my own “bar codes” for the books and a play blow dryer was my “scanner”. Lol. Stopping by from the link up. Hope to see you at True Aim!

Gail Purath August 2, 2012 - 2:36 am

Thanks for the info on making the cards and pockets. I'm having a writers party and I want to use library cards like this for name tags/decor. And I wasn't sure how to do it. Thanks for these instructions. And it's a very sweet thing to prepare for your daughter. Bless you, Gail (BibleLoveNotes.com)

Deborah Jennings July 31, 2012 - 2:43 pm

Kristen, I love this! I think this would be a great idea for anyone that loans their books out to others. I may just have to do this for our “Library”. I have loaned many books out and never gotten them back. I love books, and try and give books to our 15 grandchildren for birthdays. Sometimes for Christmas.

LessonPlans-CraftGossip July 31, 2012 - 1:03 am

This is one of my favorites from you!!! Thanks so much for sending to me:) Just posted on Craft Gossip!!


Shooting Stars Mag July 30, 2012 - 6:08 pm

I love this idea. Going to the library was always fun (still is) but especially when I was in grade school when we had those library cards that are stuck in the books and whatnot. Nowadays I get a reciept too!

-all grown up parties


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