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Anselm’s Reading Nook

Just don’t even try to out-nerd my childhood, guys. I’ll win the nerdiest-childhood-competition every time. I’m sorry, it’s just not even a fair fight.

I wore headgear to school. That junk builds character, y’all.

I read Reader’s Digest in elementary school, and I wore mismatched socks on purpose. (It’s a little fuzzy to me whether the mismatched socks was “a thing” at that time, or just me being super weird.) I wore berets — you know, the french painter hats? — on a regular basis. That was definitely NOT a thing that anyone else did.

And I wore headgear to school.

That probably explains a lot, if you’ve been reading here a while.

Anyway, since I was the teacher’s-pet-nerd-type who devoured large condensed books from my bedroom while the other kids learned how to not be afraid to play kickball, I love projects that encourage kids to read…

which brings me to Anselm’s reading nook. Look how cute it turned out!
So cute! Make your own little reading nook for your kids!

Love this little DIY kids reading corner!
You might remember from this post that my friend Erin is doing a nursery for her new baby boy Anselm. She created this little reading nook for her two older boys to chillax with a good read while mom nurses the baby.

Just sayin: if I’d had a little spot like that to curl up and read as a kid, I would never have left, except to eat, or try to start a Babysitters Club or something.

Here’s a rough idea of how to make your own.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Two Ikea Vivan panels (or white fabric)
  • Six yards of patterned fabric for inside the nook. This is the gray ikat fabric Erin used. *Affiliate link
  • Stitch witchery (or a sewing machine, if you’re trying to be an overachiever about this)
  • Two large hooks (from the hardware store)
  • Step 1: Prep the fabrics

    Lay your two curtain panels on top of each other, right sides together, and use stitch witchery to hem one of the long sides. (This will be the back of the nook.) Cut two pieces of your patterned fabric to the same length as the curtains, lay them on the floor with the right sides together, and use stitch witchery to hem one of the long sides. Then fit the patterned fabric inside the curtain panels so the two fused hems are side by side. (Sorry no pics of this step! Hope this makes sense!)

    Step 2: Hang the hooks on the wall

    The nook is connected to the wall and the ceiling via hooks:
    How to hang a reading nook for kids
    The hooks are just screwed in wherever they could find a stud – which is important because you don’t want the kiddos to be able to pull this out from the wall or ceiling. You can kinda just eyeball about how far out onto the ceiling one of the hooks should go, and how far down the wall the other one should go. Erin’s is about 21 inches down from the ceiling on the wall, and about 40 inches out from the corner on the ceiling.

    Step 3: Cut your fabric pieces

    Erin used safety pins to temporarily hang the curtains on the hooks so she could see what angle to cut the top of the panels so the fabric would hang evenly to the floor. She marked it with pins and cut the top at that angle:
    DIY kids reading nook
    Then she roughly hemmed that top seam with stitch witchery.

    At this point you basically have a giant pillowcase that’s only sewn shut on two of the sides. On the long side that’s not sewn shut, wrap the patterned fabric around the front of the curtain fabric and use the stitch witchery to create a little double hem. It’s just prettier this way.
    how to make your own kids canopy  reading nook

    Step 4: Add finishing touches

    Use a little extra fabric to hand-sew tiny loops on the back of the curtains which will hang on the hooks.
    Fabric hanging from hooks
    Now if you hang it up on those hooks, it’ll look something like this:
    How to hang kids canopy reading nook
    Now you just hook the sides onto the wall. Erin hand-sewed hooks which she hooked onto finishing nails on the wall, but you could use thumbtacks or whatever.

    Then Erin hemmed the bottom so it was all even and a few inches off the floor (to prevent the kiddos from stepping or sitting on excess fabric and yanking the whole thing down).
    Kids reading nook
    She used an old rug and comforter to make a cushy little floor for the big brothers to hang out on. So far I think they’re diggin’ it.
    Reading nook
    Lots of good readin’ happening in that little corner. Which is good for their character, yet so much less painful than the headgear situation.

    So cute! Make your own little reading nook for your kids!

    Raise your hand if you were a nerd as a kid. Or if you still are. But it’s not a competition about who was nerdiest, guys. I already won that.

Let's connect


  1. can you come make one for my room? i need to hide away and read! adorable!!!!

  2. ps- i never had to wear headgear but i was a teacher’s pet nerd type as well…. explains a lot! 🙂

  3. Gosh this is adorable- I totally want to make one for my son now!

    Also- I read Readers Digest when I was a kid. AND I’m pretty sure the mismatched socks were a thing. Along with stretchy pants and a giant t-shirt that you tied in a knot or wore one of those plastic thingys on the side. AND…I wore braces. IN HIGH SCHOOL. Ugh. Being a kid was rough.

  4. Oh heck yes, I was (am) a nerd. Reader’s Digest was awesome! Every once and a while, I get the urge to grab one when I’m checking out at the grocery store. And I can explain your mismatched socks and berets: you were embracing your inner Claudia. I bet you rocked them with a side ponytail, too.

  5. If I had been allowed to stay inside, I would have loved this little nook! So cozy and comfortable for curling up with a favorite book.

    This may not out-nerd headgear, but my Mom made me play outside, so I spent my childhood in climbing to the top of a tree in the backyard, reading Golden Books in my own special branch “seat”. Until I graduated to climbing up and reading the 1942 version of The Book of Knowledge encyclopedias (which predicted television! Not exactly the most up to date, even at the time). Those are still the best books written EVER—full of things to make and do, and poetry, and facts, and stories, and not in alphabetical order, so if you lost the index book you were totally messed up. I love those books, I still read them and I’m 62 now! Aahh, nostalgia!

  6. That is so cute!

  7. Adorable! And I’m dying over the headgear!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. this is sooo cute and simple- I love it! I, too, was in the nerd club– I even won an award for most books read in the school year at some point in grammar school 😉

  9. Gorgeous!! I just converted my little girl’s closet into the sweetest little reading nook – it’s such a great idea!

  10. That’s sooo adorable! I would have totally loved that as a kid!
    And I was a nerd-kid too… graduated valedictorian of my high school and now an accountant so nerds unite!!

  11. Oh my gosh, I totally tried to start a babysitter’s club! I was probably around 8 or 9 and I LOVED the books, but I was obviously too young to be entrusted with people’s children, so it was a big old flop. Good times…

  12. What a great idea! I went through a hat phase too, it was not good…

  13. So cute! I hope my boys love reading as much as I did when I was growing up 😀

  14. Having my daughter (finishing kindergarten in a few weeks) read to her 3yr & 1yr old brothers DAILY this summer is high on my “Surviving Summer Break as a stay-at-home-mom with 3 kids” activity list. I think a reading nook like this might actually get them to cooperate. I’m gonna try to make this! Thanks for the awesome idea!!!

  15. You are hilarious. Head gear. Wow. It’s like they wanted to make you a nerd [although, I’m glad you ended up that way lol]. And can we just agree that every sport is freakin scary?! Although I totalllly rocked dodgeball. Wait? You want me to run away from the ball? I already do that! And it’s soft and yellow and doesnt hurt even with the muscley kid throws it? I’m down.

    Volleyball still haunts me. >shiver<

  16. … and I meant to say that your little nook is adorable. I got distracted very easily. I wish every parent encouraged more reading and such these days.

  17. This is all sorts of adorable. I was all sorts of nerdy too. No headgear but double mouth metal – retainer and this oddball thing called a “lip bumper” that fastened around my bottom back molars and had a pink plastic bar thing that stretched across my bottom teeth/gums. So that was obviously super pretty. And my dad helped me pick out my first pair of glasses, which looked exactly like his, in the early 90’s. I distinctly remember wearing knee-length corduroy shorts…with a tucked in button down and nude hose. I read anything I could get my hands on and loved Readers Digest…still kind of do. So either I have said too much and you are appalled or we are soul mates.

  18. The reading nook is adorable. Love the patterned fabric on the inside and I love, love, love that picture of the little one trying it out. Such beautiful light.

  19. Wore braces. Twice. Including to, yes, the prom. Character! That’s all I can say. As for reading nook, already figuring out how I can make one for my daughter 🙂
    And yes. She will need braces too. Character! Building self-esteem one bracket at a time.

  20. I love this. Reading=how I spent every waking minute as a kid. No headgear, though. Or berets. However, I did dress up to match my American Girl dolls and wrote original AG plays for my classmates to perform…

  21. ADORABLE! I love how it’s tucked in between the furniture. so cozy!

  22. Mismatched socks on purpose: Totally a ‘Punky Brewster’ inspired fashion. Those were the days.

  23. What a smart idea. And I love how cozy it looks. I love the rug she used. That makes it so inviting.

  24. Love this! Sharing the idea with a friend immediately…

  25. Alicia W. says:

    Lol!! We would have been great friends as kids. Headgear, readers digest, just plain reading… I just wore my dad’s old moccasin boots, not berets. And with a space like that to read, I may never have come out! Except for club meetings. But wait… We could have those in the nook too! Lol. Have a great day!

  26. Oh Kelly! I am so glad to hear I was not the only super-nerd who loved reading. I was actually known to copy the dictionary if I didn’t get “enough” homework in elementary school. Yep. Sad, but true. I did not, however, have to wear a headgear to school so I think you are right that I cannot out-nerd you 🙂 Love how this nook turned out and how happy does Anselm look hanging out in it?!

  27. Every kid needs one of these! So fun. We love books at our house and anything that nurtures a love of reading is awesome in my mind. Sorry to hear about the head gear – looks like it all paid off though 🙂

  28. Awww. Bless your heart. This is not intended to compete, merely… commiserate: I did not know my hair was curly until 11th grade. So I brushed it out. A lot. Very fluffy.

  29. How adorable! I would have died of excitement to have my own little reading nook tent as a little kid!

  30. This is so cool! I love it!

  31. There is a corner space in my son’s room that is awkwardly filled with a chair that we read in. I hate it. This would be so perfect.

  32. I’m surprised at how easy that was to make! At first, I was like “oh dang, this looks complicated.” I’m quite tempted to start one for little E. Also… that headgear? Pics or it didn’t happen 😉

  33. I think you are totally rad. Not a nerd at all. Or maybe, a rad nerd. (Spoken from another nerd. High praise.)

    Love this little reading nook. I think I would fight to play in it. Kids shmids.

  34. Headgear? Check. Mismatched socks? Check (hello, it was the 80’s). Beret? No but I did wear mismatched earrings too so I think that equals out. AND i would have loved this reading nook. Heck, I would love it NOW!

  35. Yes! I love the babysitter’s club reference 🙂 Sigh…those were the good old days 🙂

  36. My hand is raised. In Kindergarten, I got to read from the 1st grade section. In 1st, from the 2nd. Unfortunately, this meant I had little to choose from ok the 2nd grade. This is when I discovered the public library. In 4th, there was a school-wide (3rd-5th) AR contest (remember when AR was a fun, optional thing where you won prizes and not an obligatory grade thing? They have ruined it!) of boys vs. girls. The boys own but I had more AR points than any of the boys so I got to eat pizza on the stage, too.


  1. […] If I can find a suitable corner in my house, I’m hoping to try this DIY kids’ reading nook. […]

  2. […] shades. It’s a nice little contrast with the wood wall. Opposite the chair is the little reading nook where the two older brothers read and play while mom’s taking care of the squishy babe. […]

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