So a few months ago I got an email asking about a reading chair in the forest school area. I volunteered my services to build it, I thought that'll be fun! Somewhere along the line the new school library became my baby instead!
The village has had it's school in temporary accommodation for the last three years, and although it's been fine it's not the best for the children and tricky for them at times (too hot in summer for one).
So over the last year there has been a new school being built with much excitement from everyone who has children there.
The Head Mistress was keen for the new school to have an amazing library but with usual budget restrictions (tight) that a school normally has. We decided to go with some Ikea shelving (low cost and look nice) and then build a few items to make it truly unique to the school. Some reading pods were decided upon, a corner bench and a feature tree on the back wall with leaves to hold the names of people that have donated toward the school.
I was given a fair bit of creative freedom with how all this was to be made! I'm not doing this for free but at a very reduced rate.
|My eldest helping unload all the wood from the truck.|
|MDF was used, cheap - ish and takes a good finish.|
|Pentagon shape for the reading pod|
|Checking the size was right|
|Working out the depth of the pods - they match the Ikea shelves.|
|Dry fit to check it all fits.|
|Starting drawing the tree. this took me ages to draw! I'm no artist! I used 12mm ply.|
|The bottom of the tree - branches to come from the top.|
|I decided two trees would be better in the corner and fill the room better|
|The top branches of the trees. I ended up cutting these with a jigsaw instead of a router and it took quite a while!|
|First pod assembled and trimmed out ready for painting.|
|Ikea shelves together, testing the pods out for fit!|
|Starting to paint the two pods and the corner bench. Two coats of undercoat and three coats of top coat! Took a fair time to do but got a good finish!|
|Top branches added to the trees.|
|Final coat of paint on the units. The purple colour matches the feature walls in the school.|
|Everything in place - ready for books now!|
|I decide to add in the books as a surprise for the head mistress - makes the library look finished!|
|Leaves added to the trees. I cut 92 from a sheet of 6mm ply!|
|Library all finished - just waiting for children|
|Great space for the kids.|
I'm also pleased that my daughters and son will get to see it everyday when they're at school and know their dad made it. It was lovely yesterday morning when I saw the head mistress and she just said "I know this is unprofessional but..." and then gave me a huge hug! So I guess she was pleased!
It's incredible that our children get to benefit from a new school and I love that I was allowed to be a small part of it, I feel it's such a privilege! I have utter respect for the head Mistress who has poured her heart and soul into making sure this is a success.
My daughter came home from her first day there and was buzzing with excitement, when I asked her how everything was she'd just answer "Amazing" each time!