I recently had the opportunity to work with my boss to make book lamps from discarded law books to donate to a student auction. This was so much fun, and I love how they turned out!
We used this HGTV tutorial (don’t you love the lamp shade they used?) as our guide and got started by making a trip to Home Depot to buy this Make-A-Lamp kit and these lamp pipes. One of our facilities staff members was kind enough to drill the holes in the books for us. The base books were drilled only halfway through so we could hand cut the space for the cord.
The picture above is all the potential tools you will need for this project. You might decide to glue pages or books together. We tried to glue the top two books together to add stability but weren’t successful. The stack of books is quite heavy and we decided it was stable enough already.
We did end up using Demco’s Un-Du Adhesive Remover to get the sticky barcodes off the top book only, rather than remove the barcode or labels from every book.
Next, you need to use scissors or box cutters to cut pages from the bottom book for the power cord to nestle into. You might also need to use box cutters to carve the circle deeper so the bottom of the lamp pipe rests firmly and straight in the hole.
I am not a perfectionist when it comes to craft projects. If I was, it would really bother me that I didn’t precisely cut the pages for the cord to sit into so it looks perfect. You could go fix it. I didn’t.
Add the other books to your stack. This is the easy part! Then, follow the directions really closely about which wire needs to connect to which screw. We were very proud of ourselves that we correctly attached the wires and no one was unduly sparked in the creation process!
And voila, find some cheap lampshades at IKEA, scrounge around for some light bulbs, and your project is done. I left the library sticker on the second book from the bottom for authenticity. I really like how it looks.
Here’s a picture of the other two lamps we are donating to the auction.
Note that because we did not glue the books together or screw them together internally, you can choose how they should be displayed. You could fan them out, line them up perfectly, or even swivel them so that every other book’s spine is facing a different direction.