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10 DIY Reading Nook Ideas for Every Pocket

10 DIY Reading Nook Ideas for Every Pocket
Written by Oana Schneider

The latest trend in home decoration is creating reading nooks, which means that a small surface of your home will be destined to books and tranquility. If that is something you are in desperately need for but can’t really pay a contractor to get the job done, here are a few DIY reading nook ideas to help you out.

But before we get to them, let’s talk a little bit about what a reading nook really means and what it should look like:

  • There are two ways of picking the right spot: either go for as much light as you can get-by the window, or for the hideaway where nobody could ever bother you- like a re-purposed pantry, for example.
  • What should my reading nook contain? Well, a comfy reading spot (love seat, sofa, ottoman, couch, swing etc.) and books.
  • Could I build one myself? Of course, just pick a good spot that’s away from the main areas of your house (kitchen, living room) so you can have some peace while reading. Then, it’s up to you to actually build walls that separate you from the rest of the house or just perform a makeover on a corner of the room. We’ll show you 10 types of reading nooks and how to achieve their look, so don’t worry!
  • The problem with DIY reading nooks is that although they might look easy to make, they actually require a bit of work. However, follow our instructions and you’ll be just fine!
  • How much money am I going to invest in these DIY reading nook ideas? Well, if you have books and a love seat, nothing. But if you want something in particular, you’ll have to spend at least $ 100 dollars.

Let’s get started and see what these DIY reading nook ideas look like!

1. Built in library

No need to pay a contractor for this job, as long as you have a few screws around the house and some wooden boards. Nail them to the wall and place all your favorite books on them. It’s as easy as that! The best idea for this kind of reading nook is to convert an old or unutilized pantry intro a mini library.

You will need a comfy seat or sofa right in the middle of your books, some good light (for reading, you don’t want the light to be too powerful or it could affect your vision. Not enough light will also be bad for you). This is how to see if the light is good: take a mirror and if you can clearly see every hair in your eyebrows, you can read. 

10 DIY Reading Nook Ideas for Every Pocket

2. Room with a view

So you are the free spirited kind? OK, then this is probably your favorite reading nook idea! Of course, you’ll have to build everything around a great window: bring a love seat close to the window or create a sitting area right there, add some sponge on top or an old mattress, a few books, a small table (just in case you want to take a cup of coffee or some pen and paper with you).

 Useful tip: Do wash that window once a week and all the other windows, as a matter of fact. Few people take the time to do that and it’s a shame, because natural light is pretty much the best kind of light there is. You can also use this reading nook whenever your best friend comes to visit and you need to gossip.

10 DIY Reading Nook Ideas for Every Pocket

3. Playful

Color is the word we were looking for! Yes, this is your reading nook, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. If you are a fun-loving person, your nook should totally reflect that! And there are so many things to do with colors: for instance, the walls (a quirky wallpaper, a powerful paint color or just your very own artwork- anything goes!). Make sure to add a few solid pieces in one color only (some blue velvet pillows, a yellow seat, a white blanket). Color is fun but you need monochrome pieces to contour everything. Otherwise, your head might seriously start spinning. We have a few very interesting DIY reading ideas for you right here:

10 DIY Reading Nook Ideas for Every Pocket

4. The nest

Want to feel safe and protected in a unique way? Say no more, say no more! If you can’t afford to buy an actual nest for you and your passion, there is something you can do: first of all, how would you feel about re-purposing a barrel? It’s easy: chop it in half and use the half as a support for your nest.

Add fake fur to cover the barrel, a few pillows and you’re good to go! You could turn the other half in a lovely reading table if you want! Another idea would be to look for over-sized baskets online and see if anything matches your search and budget. We found these reading nooks online and fell immediately in love with them! What do you think?

10 DIY Reading Nook Ideas for Every Pocket

5. Victorian touch

This reading nook idea is every girl’s dream, especially if Jane Austen is one of her favorite writers. How to capture the elegance and refinement of that era? Well, you’ll need to look for a great chair/sofa, first. You can find something very similar at Ikea, but if you want the real deal, try going to an estate sale (use to find all the sales in your area!). With a little luck, you will find one for a couple hundred dollars (yes, it pays to be Victorian!). You may also want to look into buying a wallpaper to go with your lovely seat, a table for your afternoon tea and you’re all set to enjoy your reading!

10 DIY Reading Nook Ideas for Every Pocket

6. The swing

Reading while rocking? Well, why not? If you are good with your balance and don’t risk to fall asleep because of the movement, go for it! And no, you don’t need to do this outside. All you need is a legless chair, a long and thick rope, some screws and to know where the ceiling beams are. Attach the rope ends to the ceiling, add the chair, a few pillows and a blanket and that’s it. If your house is old, you may want to go with another reading nook idea, otherwise the ceiling might break and cause huge damage.

10 DIY Reading Nook Ideas for Every Pocket

7. Nature

So it’s true: you can read outside! In fact, “book worms” really enjoy reading in nature rather than being closed inside a dusty library. If you have a nice backyard that doesn’t really do much for your curb appeal, how about you use a corner just for your reading sessions? You will need: a big umbrella in case it starts raining, a nice chair (rocking chair, maybe?), a place to put your books and drinks (a tiny stool would be perfect!) and a few planters, but they are optional.

There is one thing you may want to take into consideration: your proximity to your neighbors. If you don’t want to feel like you’re constantly being watched, hide behind a tree or build your reading nook in a tricky angle. Tricky for them, not you!

10 DIY Reading Nook Ideas for Every Pocket

8. Hideaway

Kids like this reading nook idea in particular, so if you have a toddler at home, listen up! The easiest way to come up with a hideaway for their books (and dare I say toys!) is to build a tee-pee. For this, you will need a big wood circle, about 5 thin wood beams, a few screws (or rope, if that’s your skill) and enough fabric to cover the tee-pee.

Attach every beam to the circle (this is going to be the base of your reading nook) and unite all of them on the other end until you get a cone-looking construction. Cover everything with fabric and you are done! For the door, you could cut an entry and use zipper to close it back together.

10 DIY Reading Nook Ideas for Every Pocket

9. Old tires, anyone?

Old tires are so cool to use for ottomans, coffee tables, stools, planters and so on. If you have some old tires around the house and were thinking about throwing them away, you may want to rethink that! How about you turn them into a nice and cozy reading nook instead? The first idea would be to fill the hole in your tires with a big pillow and paint the exterior of your new reading seat a lovely color. You can also add legs and glass to make a little table. Great reading nook ideas, don’t you think? We’ve added a few pictures to inspire you:

10 DIY Reading Nook Ideas for Every Pocket

10. Whimsical

If you don’t really like to follow rules, are a rebel at heart and creativity is your favorite word, we have a few reading nook ideas for you too! First of all, how would you feel about a Disney theme or a famous painter (Frida Kahlo, for example) to inspire you? The point is: choose something that you find to be interesting and don’t worry about whether these items go together or not.

And here are a few ways to break the rules: instead of a love seat or an armchair, you could just place a mattress on the floor, turn a few old books into a support for your coffee cup, hang some wind chimes above your head and bring in an old record player. As for the walls, draw something, why not? Of, even better, how about gluing a few faux flowers here and there? Think about it!

10 DIY Reading Nook Ideas for Every Pocket

Which one of these reading nook ideas appeals to you the most? Do you have a reading nook now or ever thought of creating one? What other free time activities do you enjoy?

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About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois and was part of our team as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget and has a degree in Communications.


  • I love reading nooks. When I moved in this house, I created a few areas, so there’s always one that works for me. I do enjoy reading outside, but sometimes it’s a bit noisy, so I’ve got one in the hallway, and another in my bedroom. Mine are more on the low end, with benches, and good lighting. I love your room with a view, victorian, and nature ideas, they’re right up my alley. Read on!

  • Oh my gosh these are adorable and so so cute. I love all of them really. It is hard to pick a fav! I love finding these DIY’s so fun looking. I have been wanting a spot for reading for a while now.

  • I really love the idea of a reading nook, but never really knew how to go about creating one of my own. All of these ideas are so charming. Of course my favorite would have to be the built-in library, but the playful ideas look more practical for my current situation and my budget. Either way, I’ve been inspired to find a corner to dedicate solely to reading!

  • These ideas are so pretty! My favorite would be the Whimsical because I’m all about creativity and comfort. What matters to me is if I’m comfortable in this space and if it’s a good reading environment. I’d also like to have a Nest or a Hideaway so maybe I can integrate these three ideas to create a Whimsical fusion of some sorts! I’m totally considering working on my reading nook when I have time. Super adorable!

    • I agree with you; I’d love to personally combine the tire idea with the whimsical. I think a fusion of some of the ideas would lead to a more personal, original reading place for me.

      Personally, as a little kid, I would find spare cardboard boxes and make a little reading house using that, duct tape, and a Sharpie. I think that everyone with children should definitely consider making this a part of their home; not only does it inspire creativity, but it also promotes reading for fun.

  • Normally I\’m not big on home decor stuff – that\’s my wife\’s department 🙂 .. but once I saw this article, I had to show her because these ideas are AWESOME! The pictures really capture the feel as well. There\’s definitely a few notes I had to take from this, thank you so much!

  • I absolutely love all of these ideas, and wish that I could manage to fit every single one of them into my own home! I actually do have a “reading nook” though, and it is on my window sill, with a beautifully fitted cushion for me to sit on whilst I am reading. There is a lovely view so that every time I look up I can see green fields, and there is somewhere for me to balance a drink. There is nothing better at the end of a hard working day than being able to go to the reading nook, forget about everything else that has been going on in my life, and just simply sit there and relax for a while.

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