Creative way to keep track of library books

Summertime is when our family reconnects with our local library. Oh how I wish we were faithful about visiting this magical place all year round! But at least during the summer we are regulars.

This year, I wanted to get smarter about keeping track of all our library books to avoid the dreaded 20-minute hunt for that one missing book that needed returned, like, three days ago.

So I put together this super easy library book holder to corral everything. It probably took me two hours of total work time to complete this project.


Materials needed:

  • Unfinished crate (The one I used is from Crates and Pallet and is available at Home Depot.)
  • Wood stain and finish
  • Thin sheet metal
  • Piece of plexiglass (for the bottom of the crate)
  • Four small screws
  • Letter punch set*

Step 1: Apply a coat of Varathane® stain in Traditional Cherry to the unfinished crate.


Step 2: Cut out a rectangular piece from the sheet metal using tin snips. (I picked up my pair at Home Depot.) This will serve as your “Library” label.


Step 3: Take a hammer and punch the word “Library” into the sheet metal label using the letter punch set.


Step 4: Attach the label to the center of the crate with four small screws. I recommend pre-drilling the holes first to keep the wood from splitting.


Step 5: Apply a coat of Rust-Oleum® Satin Clear Enamel to seal the piece.

Satin-Rust-oleum-enamelStep 6: Add a piece of plexiglass to the bottom of the crate, to keep books from falling through the crack in the bottom. (I stole a piece from an old picture frame in our basement and cut it to fit.)


Step 7: Hang up the holder and enjoy your new, highly organized library book storage system. 🙂

Library book holder


Do you have any tips for how to keep track of library books?

Special thanks to Rust-Oleum for providing some of the supplies needed to complete this project. 

*Affliate link


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8 Responses

  1. Bridgett Junkin says:

    Clever idea. How did you hang it?

    • Susan says:

      My crate already had the spots in the back for screws to slip in. We also made sure to use anchors with our screws, considering the weight of the books.

  2. teresa says:

    Very cute idea, but what were the summertime fabric pics?

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