• Heather Jamison

The Perfect Gift For a Librarian


With fall and the holidays just around the corner, it's not too early to start planning out gift ideas. Got any librarian friends? Any home school friends? I have the perfect gift to help keep their books organized and in order: Looking sticks.

My friend is a librarian and when she called me to help out with a craft project I jumped at the chance. These looking sticks are not only cute, they are super easy to make. So, what is a looking stick? A Looking stick is used as a marker to hold the place on the shelf where boys and girls removed a book to look at it. That way they can put it back in the correct spot when they're done looking. Precious library time is no longer lost reviewing alphabetical order every time the students take a book off the shelf. Genius. I remember using paint sticks at my elementary school back in the day, but they weren't painted like these are. The painted ones are much more fun and they're super easy to make.

These would make a useful and cheerful gift for any friend that is a librarian or a homeschool parent with lots of books they like to keep organized. Maybe even your church library or preschool could benefit. All you need to get started are:

1. paint stir sticks from a paint store

2. acrylic paint in various colors

3. spray paint (any color, I used antique gold)

4. small paint brush

5. paper plate

6. ruler

7. pencil

Step 1:

To begin, I laid all the paint sticks on a drying rack. I like to use a closet storage shelf as my drying rack for all my spray painting projects. Then I spray painted each side, allowing the first side to dry before turning them over to paint the second side.

Step 2:

Once the sticks are dry, using a ruler, measure 2-inches on one end of the stick (I used the straight side) and draw a line at the 2-inch mark all the way around. This 2-inch space is the area you will paint.

Step 3:

Get your acrylic paint ready by squirting a small amount of each color on a paper plate. Begin painting each stick in whatever color you choose. I painted 3 coats of paint on each stick because I didn't want the gold to show through. You might need more or less coats of paint depending on your colors.

Here is one coat of paint:

Here is 2 coats of paint:

And here is my son staying busy by doing his own painting project. I knew he would want to do what I was doing, so I set him up with some free coloring pages I printed online and some watercolors.

Step 4:

Once I painted each stick I need a place to dry it. This dirt-filled flowerpot was right in front of me and was the PERFECT drying mechanism. A bowl full of rice or sugar might work if you're doing this project inside.

Once the sticks are dry, which doesn't take long, you can tie them with a pretty bow or string, or put them in a pretty jar and they're ready for your friend or for yourself to enjoy. Happy crafting!

#gift #librarian #craft #diy

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