Ever since my daughter started riding the bus to kindergarten, my little guy is obsessed with the school bus. He literally shrieks “BUS!! BUS!!” anytime one comes into sight. I think he assumes his big sis must be on any bus he sees. He loves her so much!
So while I was brainstorming ways to bring some order to the little library we have in his room, I thought it would be fun to incorporate the school bus into the design.
I’ll confess that my craftsmanship was not perfect. If you look at it up close, you can see where I slipped up a couple times while cutting out the window. But it’s still super cute and I was pleased with how it turned out.
In terms of tools, I used a jigsaw, miter saw and drill to do this project. You could still do this without the miter saw … the jig saw would work for those cuts as well.
DIY School Bus Bookshelf
1 8 inch wide board (3 feet long)
1 4 inch wide board (1 foot long) OR use scrap wood (for wheels)
1-inch dowel (or some other circular material to serve as bus “lights”…be creative, bottle caps, etc)
Cut your 8 inch board into three pieces. One should be 18 inches, and two should be 9 inches.
Next, round off the corners of the two 9-inch pieces. Find a jar or bowl and trace on corners to create rounded edges.
Then create a template for your window. I folded a small piece of paper and rounded off the edge, opened it back up and traced around the paper so I would know where to cut.
To be able to use the jig saw to cut out the shape, you first need to make space for the blade. I used a 1-inch wide drill bit to make my initial cut.
Once I had an opening, I switched to the jig saw to cut out the rest of the shape. This part definitely takes focus and patience!
Not perfect, but good enough to move on the sanding stage. Using medium grit sand paper, I smoothed out the cut.
Then I moved onto assembly. I absolutely love these corner clamps
, and wish I would have bought them years ago. I use them all the time. Use wood glue to adhere the front and back pieces together.
While the glue set, I made wheels. I drew two 3.5-inch diameter circles with a compass on some scrap wood. Using a jig saw (or scroll saw) cut the circles out. This part takes some patience as well! I then sanded the circles and then cut them in half (I used the miter saw for this), leaving me with four equally sized semi-circles.
After that, I cut four 1/4″ slices off of a 1-inch wood dowel I had leftover from this project
I cut a scrap piece of 2×4 down to 6 inches and then used the miter to angle the top of it. (This part is definitely optional. The bus would look cute without it too … actually, a lot of buses are totally flat on the front anyway!)
I then glued the dowel circles onto the 2×4 pice.
I made a thinner piece for the back, to mimic a back bumper, and added two “lights” to it as well. Then I glued on the front and back pieces and clamped it to let it set.
Then attach your “wheels” with glue and clamps.
Now the fun part – painting! I had a yellow paint on hand, left over from this project
. I painted the whole thing yellow.
For accent, I painted the lights, wheels and frame of the window black.
Finally, I used my Silhouette machine
to make the vinyl
“SCHOOL BUS” letters. If you don’t have a Silhouette or Cricut, you could certainly use a stencil, or just use a sharpie with some careful handwriting!
Fill ‘er up with books!