It’s Angie here, and I’m excited to be back to share another tutorial with you this month! I love being able to keep old, unwanted books out of the landfill, so books are some of my favorite things to recreate with. I’m going to show you how to make your own repurposed books lamp! The fun thing about this project is no two turn out the same. You can use 1 large single book, or several smaller ones. You can select books that have complimentary colors, or all one color, or books with titles you like.
Consider what room you plan to use the lamp in, to help you choose the colors, or the personality of the person who will be using it, to help you select the titles for the lamp.
I often buy whole boxes full of old books at auctions, or load up when our local library has a book sale to get rid of books, so I usually have quite a few to choose from.
The 2 books I selected for this lamp both have green in them, and have gold embossing on them.
discarded hardcover books
lamp rewire kit – I get mine from Vintage Wire and Supply Co.
screws ( just a bit shorter than the thickness of your books)
clamps (I prefer Quick-Grips)
drill and bit
porcelain ceiling utility light
This repurposed books project takes less than an hour to complete, so let’s get started!
clamp your book(s) tightly together.
Partially screw in 4 screws, on the bottom side of your stack of repurposed books.
Make sure a clamp is positioned right next to the screw before you finish screwing each one all the way in.
TIP – If the clamp isn’t right next to the screw, this is what happens – the book gets pushed apart.
Add a few more screws on the top side of the stack of repurposed books.
Make sure to position the screws where they will be hidden underneath the ceiling utility light when it’s added, so the screws won’t be visible.
Place the utility light on the top of your stack
So you can get an idea of where the cord will go through the books, place the light on the stack of repurposed books. Now select a drill bit that is just a little wider than your lamp cord, and drill a hole into the side of one of the books. Position your camps closely together before drilling, so the book pages will be “solid” to drill through. Make another hole through the top of the stack of repurposed books. You want to make sure the hole on top matches up with the hole on the side, creating a tunnel for the lamp cord.
Feed the cord through the hole on the side and up through the top of the book stack.
Cut a circle from a plastic lid that is slightly smaller than the utility light base.
This will act as a spacer between the utility light and the books.
Insert the spacer over the cord
Then attach two ends of the lamp cord to the light bulb socket. You’ll need to strip just a bit off the ends of the cord, to expose the wire inside, then wrap each side of the wire around the screw and tighten it (the utility light should come with instructions for this step as well). Wrap some electrical tape around the two sides of the cord to keep them together.
Add the utility light housing
Screw it in place on the top book. Where the cord “exits” the repurposed books, you’ll add a strain relief.
Attach the plug
The final step is to attach the plug at the end of the cord, and you’re done!
An old-fashioned Edison style bulb looks great with this type of repurposed books lamp, but any bulb that is rated for the utility light will work fine.
This style of lamp is perfect in the living room on a side table, or in the bedroom on a nightstand. Wouldn’t one of these be cute for a child’s room, using vintage children’s books?!
Here are a few other repurposed books/book page projects I’ve made in the past.
Thanks for joining me for this month’s tutorial! I’ll see you again in July!
Follow along with me!