Book Fetish

DIY Book Nook Shelf Inserts to Liven Up Your Bookcases

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Tika Viteri

Staff Writer

Tika writes from her home office in Pittsburgh, PA, accompanied by 3 grey cats and many, many plants. When not plonking away on a keyboard, she can be found painting, knitting, gardening, and casting the occasional spell or two -- all usually accompanied by a glass of wine.

It’s been almost 15 months of various home improvement while we are all stuck more or less inside. You’ve designed the perfect reading nook. You’ve filled it with cozy reading nook items. If you’re anything like me, you’ve done more stress shopping online than perhaps is strictly within budget, but hey, ramen is cheap (and if you mix your own broth, healthy too!).

But your bookshelves, well. The combination of books, photos, and the occasional plant is classic but could also use some livening up. It’s spring and we’re all looking for something new and interesting to do. Books contain beloved worlds within their pages; what if the magic could live outside those pages as well?

My friends, I present unto you: the world of the DIY book nook shelf inserts.

Book nooks are (thick) book-sized inserts for your bookshelf. They’re mini-dioramas that give you a 3-dimensional view into a scene. They’re essentially a dollhouse but for a book, and they are gosh-dang charming. These are some of my favorite kits to make your own DIY book nook shelf inserts!

Get into the spirit of Mer-May with this adorable underwater scene.

If you’ve ever enjoyed a classic British novel about certain Victorian-era orphans, Houses that may lean exceedingly Bleak, or enjoy a bit of steampunk, this twisty London alley nook might be for you.

Take yourself on a quick trip to Italy every time you scan your shelves with this adorable scene from Venice.

Fans of the late, great Terry Pratchett will enjoy the reference to the mysterious(ish) Unseen University.

I find this Narnia book nook to be adorably meta, considering that both wardrobes and books show us worlds we may never otherwise discover.

Tolkien fans may want to perk up for the next few nooks, starting with this iconic scene with a quote from the White Wizard himself.

Gollum looks for his preciousss in front of the Doors of Durin in this iconic scene from The Fellowship of the Ring.

If a book nook doesn’t quite suit, this set of lovely bookends with a scene from The Hobbit might be your new preciousss (I’m not sorry).

For anyone who has ever been transported out of this world by a book, I have your book nook right here!

Looking for a magical book nook that doesn’t reference a specific fandom? This charming scene may bewitch you.

If you ever dreamed of riding off into the sunset on your own Black Beauty or Black Stallion, this stable scene may be the book nook for you. And as a bonus, these plywood horses don’t require care or feeding!

Fans of musicals may find themselves breaking into song every time they walk by this inspiring Les Miserables-themed book nook. I know I would!

If your shelves lean more artsy than bookish, this gorgeous mashup of Van Gogh’s paintings would be the perfect addition.

For the astrologically-oriented, pick your sign and let the stars light your way to your next read.

And lastly, for those who haven’t found exactly what they’re looking for in this list, there are blank book nooks. Check out this tutorial and let your shelves — or your imagination — inspire you.