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Time4Learning Demos

Library Paddles

Library Book Placeholders

by the Eigen Family

After numerous trips to the library and getting the hairy eyeball from Attilah the Librarian who knew that the girls never put a book exactly where it belongs after showing it to me … or at our library here, filling up the baskets at the end of each aisle with “look, Mom” books … I went to Michael’s (a craft supply store) and came up with this idea …

We made Library Paddles! Now the girls simply insert the paddle next to the book they want, pull out the book, sit down, and look at it or show it to me. When they are done, they simply slide the book back right next to the paddle, and voila (or “viola” as Taylor would say) the book is back EXACTLY where it belongs! So, whether the library is like the one where they assume we have young library science geniuses that divinely know where to return the book, or like the one in our hometown where they have a dump basket at the end of each row, either way you are saving somebody a lot of work and grief as someone will no longer have to search for or replace misplaced books.

I took pictures of the finished products. Here’s what our Library Paddles look like:

  1. At Michael’s I found 3mm birch rectangles (about the size of a do not disturbdoor hanger, without the doorknob hole. Each of the girls picked out their own pack of rub on transfers, and a 3oz squeeze bottle of acrylic paint that matched their transfers.
  2. Before lunch, we painted the birch: front, back, and sides, and allowed it to dry with the bottom on wax paper and leaning against the paint bottle to prevent sticking.
  3. Right after lunch (maybe 15 minutes later) the paint was dry and the girls cut out their transfers, divided them in half (for front and back) and rubbed on the transfers.
  4. While they were in quiet time, I coated each one with two generous coats of Mod-Podge to make them glossy and ensure the transfers wouldn’t rub off.

That’s it! An hour-and-a-half after lunch and our paddles were dry and we are off to the library! Enjoy, I hope it works for you!

Price List / Shopping List
3mm Birch .99 each 1 per child
3oz. Acrylic Paint .79 each On sale this week. You really only need one color.
Rub-on Transfers 3.99 each You could skimp and do one for the family to share.
Mod Podge 1.99 for a small bottle But if you’re like me, it’ll quickly become a craft staple item so splurge on the econo size!

Other Ideas

  • Instead of transfers, you could Mod Podge on die cuts or stickers that you have at home or purchase.
  • Use paint or paint pens to creatively write your child’s name on the paddle.


Jon, Rachel, Jordan, Taylor, and Madison
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers… your love has given me great joy and encouragement… Philemon 4, 7a

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