Introduction: Book-Cover Bud Vase

About: Chicago based maker and artist. I'm all about reducing waste through repurposing, refashioning, thrifting, salvaging and upcycling. Sometimes I hug trees.

This weekend I made myself tackle dull things like hemming curtains and vacuuming. My reward? Making this ... thing.

I'm not quite sure what to call it. A book vase? (I already made something I called that) Organic art? Maybe a book bud vase? I'm really not sure, so I'm calling it a mixed-media upcycle. And, whatever the name, I love, love, love how it turned out! And it was easy to make so read on for instructions!

FYI: I'm a writer and ex reading teacher with a PhD. Here's my argument as to why it's ok to craft with books:

Step 1:

What you need:

1. A beautiful hardback book. I've had this 1941 biology book for years. I always knew I wanted to turn it into something that would show off its beautiful cover.

2. The piece of wood is from an old dresser mirror I acquired recently - it's not necessary.

3. A small bottle of some sort. The perfume bottle I used is also something I've been hanging on to. Long ago, I saw a version of this that used a vintage test tube, so that's an option.

4. I bought the copper pipe clamp for $1.35 from a hardware store and also ended up using copper wire. Neither the wood nor the wire are essential.

5. Sturdy cardboard (not pictured) to brace the whole thing.

Step 2: Remove the Book Pages

Carefully remove the book from the spine with an exacto knife.

Step 3: Prep the Back

Glue a piece of cardboard to the back of the book cover to stabilize and strengthen the whole piece. Later I came back and added the copper wire to create a hanger. Ultimately, hanging this didn't work. I'll explain why later.

Step 4: Prep the Clamp

Shape the clamp to the bottle. At this stage I added wire but you could also attach the bottle directly to the book cover at this point. Small copper nails (or screws) would work great!

Step 5: Make Holes in the Book

Depending on how you approach attaching the bottle, you may need to make holes through the book cover. Gently tap a nail through then work it until the hole is big enough for, in my case, the wire.

Step 6: Put It Together

Position the pieces and pull the wire through.

Step 7:

The wire needs to be pulled tight and twisted. If the bottle is sliding in the clamp, you may need a different size clamp. You could also try painting the inside of the clamp with clear nail varnish or a few dabs or glue to give it some tackiness.

At this point I made the hanger with the little loop of copper, not thinking about how off balance the piece would be with a heavy bottle on one side. I'll update this instructable when/if I ever solve the problem. For now, I'm ok just standing the piece rather than hanging it.

Step 8: The Masterpiece

Have I mentioned how much I love how this?! And while I said the wood isn't necessary, I think it adds an extra natural element that's kinda wonderful.

Update: As you can see, I found a way to use the copper-wire loop once I moved it to its permanent home. The shelf takes care of keeping the piece level. The little copper nail through the loop prevents it from falling forward once there's water in the bottle.