Making A Frugal and Fun Book Nook and Sensory Area

Do you have a small space in your house that you aren't sure what to do with it? A book nook is a good idea to make, because you don't need a large space for it and it can turn into a great and comfortable resource. My friend Cheryl made one, and she was excited to share with you how she made it.

We had a space in between the steps and the wall for luggage in our apartment. It was a place that was messy and an eyesore because we don’t have a storage room. My husband decided that we should do something cute with the space and make it into a reading clubhouse.

Once he gave me the idea, I ran with it. We are kinda book people and a bit creative so this was right up our alley. I first started by doing a purge of all the things we didn’t need to keep so that I have more space to work with. I then went on Amazon and ordered a beautiful wall decal of a sprawling family tree which had space for pictures for $18.95. I went through my photo album and picked seven pictures that would be good for a communal family space, I used contact paper to cover them so that they would stay as well as blue tack to not ruin the paint.
I then decided we needed something to make the space a bit cozier so I went online to a few of our local rehoming groups and put out the word that we were looking for sofa pillows. I had amassed about 15 pillows pretty quickly! It was amazing how the pillows actually pretty much matched each other. I then got our box for the books in the book nook which was also five dollars. Next, we got a curtain secondhand that was in the design of a bookcase for the opening to this area for the kids, kind of having a moving bookcase that led to a secret room as well as being a little less of an eyesore if we wanted it to close up. There are also slots in the side so I don’t have to be nervous about what the kids are up to.

This actually led me to a really fun side project for the book nook which was sensory, manipulative, and imagination-inclined toys that the kids could play with when they needed space and time away from each other or when they were acting up/hyper. I went on Amazon and had a really great time finding these types of toys. The toys that made the cut were: a wand with sand and stars inside that you could turn upside down and watch it fall, a slow sand timer, a spiral oil dropper, hand held magnetic gyro wheel, a magnetic ball board, a ninja Rubicks cube, infinity cube, magnetic Wooly Willy, a snow globe, maze cube, two animal linked manipulative toys, koosh ball, and lastly Jacob's ladder. I went overboard but the sensory box is a lot of fun.

I also collected a few second hand specialty books. The classic Where is Waldo and a really fun new type which are You Choose and Just Imagine, it’s great for spending quality time with your kids as well as independent quiet time. These two books have so much potential to open up their imagination and are such fun creative play.

This space has been a godsend! I love spending quality time with the kids in the book nook and I always offer the children when they’re upset, hyper, or frustrated that they can go into the book nook and relax, read a book, play with the toy, or go to their rooms… and nine out of ten times they pick the book nook.

Do you have a book nook or something similar in your house? What did you stock it with? How often is it used?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. This is wonderful! I really enjoyed seeing this great idea.

  2. Our daughters are adults but they would have loved this when they were young. So cute!

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