Closet Turned Reading Nook Tutorial

I’m excited to share a guest post with you today that gives the details on a darling project that would be fun for any family’s home:  a closet turned into a reading nook.

Reading Nook 9

There’s something that is really appealing about having a special place to curl up with a good book.  How many times since your childhood have you dreamed about having a special place to hideaway with a good book?   Creating a special place just for reading in your home is a fantastic and tangible way to show your children how important books and reading are, and how much you value spending time with good books.  If you love the idea of turning a closet into a reading nook, here are more DIY versions:

Reading Nook Pretty Handy Girl

Pretty Handy Girl featured at Remodelaholic

Reading Nook 36th Avenue

The 36th Avenue featured at Remodelaholic

Reading Nook Less than Perfect Life of Bliss

 Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss

Reading Nook Thrifty Decor Chick

  Thrifty Decor Chick

Reading Nook Fancy Frugal Life

 Fancy Frugal Life

Don’t those nooks make you want to cozy up with your favorite book?  Let’s turn the time over to BJ, now, to find out all about the reading nook that she recently built.


Submitted by: Joy2Journey

Hi, I am Bj from Joy2Journey.

First, let me say thank you to Justin and Cassity for choosing my Murphy bed for one their “2012 Year in Review” favorite guest posts. Very sweet of them and an honor for me!

My passion and my blog is about creating spaces that are fun yet tasteful. There is nothing more fun for me than using a hammer, skill saw, and other electrical tools that most women shy away from. I love taking my vision and seeing it completed … by me! For those DIYer’s out there, you know what I mean! I mostly am focusing on bigger projects, as we moved into our home just 3 years ago and I have lots of ideas–but I do feature crafts from time to time like my tip jar, Christmas Wreath, and bulletin board just to name a few. Drop by when you have a chance and take a look around my blog. I would love to hear from you if you want to leave a comment and of course, if you want to follow me!

Now I’m going to show you how to turn a closet into a reading nook, from beginning to end:

First step … Pick your closet 🙂

I chose my closet location based upon 1. use, 2. location, and 3. size.

Let me explain … The closet was not used much, as I have other closet space close by. The closet is on the main level, and since I have her playhouse downstairs, I wanted something different on another floor. Here is my closet in all it’s loveliness 🙂

Reading Nook 1

Empty, take out shelving, and wash down the walls, and vacuum the floor. I filled the holes as well.

Reading Nook 2

The fun starts! I made a base and then constructed the bench seat and used lag bolts to secure to the studs. This baby is not going anywhere!!!

I used #Purebond plywood with no formaldehyde.

Yes, this was a gift for my Miss Precious and needed to be done by Christmas! 🙂

Reading Nook 3

I wanted my Reading Nook to have texture so I chose to place wood 3/4 of the way up the wall. I attached with “Power Grab” and finishing nails. I used 1X4 Pine and built in 2 book shelves along the right side of the closet.

Reading Nook collage 4

I chose the color based on the color of “Olivia” … the theme that I was going with. You may get some funny looks as you walk to the paint department with Olivia in your hands 🙂

Reading Nook 5

I stained the wood with Minwax’s “Jacobean” and painted the seat, shelves, and boarders white. I also decorated the letters {“R E A D”} and bought the “Olivia” books at #Costco.

Reading Nook collage 6

And, I had to make a cushion, as this space was too large to buy one without breaking my bank! I found everything on sale … yay me! and used upholstery fabric  for the “wear” factor. Making the pattern was easy, but sewing it was another thing. I did buy an upholstery needle and thread. (I bought thread during my learning curve!)

Reading Nook 7

I added special touches that I knew she would enjoy … like a flashlight (in red to match), keys (she loves keys and reading is the key to learning! *grin), and a warm throw to snuggled under while reading. I also named the baskets Book 1 and Book 2 (remember Thing 1 and Thing 2 in the Cat in the Hat series?) Yup, I was keeping my ideas in the Reading theme 🙂

Reading Nook 8

I finished the project by trimming the bench and support, and painting it. I added a hook to hang the throw when not in use on the left side.

Here is how the closet reading nook looks today!

Reading Nook 9

There is nothing like a “Before and After” picture is there?!

Reading Nook 10 before after

And, it was a BIG hit with Miss Precious and her mom. I found them reading with the flashlight with the door closed.

Reading Nook collage 11

I LOVE that it is being used! 🙂

You can find more in depth individual posts if you click on these links:

 Reading Nook Before and After

 Reading Nook Staining and Painting 

Reading Nook Wood Finish 

 Reading Nook Construction Begins

  If you have any followup questions that have not been addressed please feel free to contact me at

Hugs and make it a great year!!!


What a fun transformation, BJ!  Now I want a closet reading nook!  Thanks for sharing all the details with us.  I love that BJ took a look at the space she had and figured out how to make it really work for her family.  Reading nooks aren’t the only thing closets can become, though.  Take a look at a few other closet makeovers we’ve seen here at Remodelaholic:

Remodelaholic Closet Collage

Closet to Office Nook | Master Closet Transformation | Under the Stairs Playhouse

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  1. So fun!! This would have been a great idea for when my girls were younger. They love to read and would have loved a reading closet. Great job!!

  2. What a wonderful transformation. I want one! As a child, I loved nooks and hidden spaces — the Secret Garden, the land of Narnia found in the back of an old armoire. If I’d had a space like this, I don’t know that I’d ever have come out!

    1. It would definitely foster reading! I remember making little nooks in the groves of bushes by my house to read Little house on the prairie (I shudder now to think how many spiders were in there with me!)