Introduction: DIY Stacked Book Lamp

About: I like to make stuff and hope to inspire others to make stuff too.

Because these lamps car vary wildly in design and materials I am going to be very general in my descriptions. There will be no exact measurements or specific materials lists. use this article as inspiration and for instruction on technique then go forth and create your own.

Step 1: Assemble Materials

You will need

  • Books: These are are from a set of young adult encyclopedias. I had six books total so I made two 3 book tall lamps for my bedside tables.
  • Lamp hardware: This is from a different lamp I already had but didn't like. So I smashed it and kept the hardware. You can usually by these as kits at your local hardware or big box store.
  • Threaded rod: I bought this at the hardware store. You will need this to attach the light socket to and run your cord through.

Step 2: Drill Baby Drill

Arrange your books in a manner that is pleasing to you then start drilling. The bit you use should be a little smaller than the threaded rod you have so the rod has a tight fit.

Drill through a book into the cover of the book below to mark the path, then remove the book you just drilled and drill the next one. Rinse repeat until you have drilled through all the books in your stack.

The threaded rod is secured at the top and bottom by a small brass nut. To add surface area for the bottom nut I added a large washer.

In order to accommodate the bottom washer drill a hole in the bottom with a spade bit or a forstner bit to get a large flattish bottom hole.

Pro Tip: When you drill it will cause the pages to buckle around the hole and make that portion of the book very thick. You can simply hammer this down with a mallet or other blunt instrument.

Step 3: Then Some Cutting.

Using the cutting tool of your choice cut a channel from the hole to the back of the lamp to allow the cord to pass through.

Step 4: Measure and Cut

Do a dry fit of all your lamp pieces in the order you would like them arranged and measure the total height of your lamp. This plus about an inch to an inch and half is how long you will want to cut your threaded rod.

Step 5: Glue Up

Add some glue to the covers of all the books except the top one. This is just wood glue, but epoxy would work as well.

Run/Twist/Hammer the threaded rod through and add the washer and nut on the bottom.

Pull the rod back through so the washer and nut sit bellow the bottom of the lamp and will not scratch your surfaces.


Stack your lamp pieces however you like and add the top nut. The glue between the books will keep them together. The pressure you apply between the top and bottom nuts will keep the pages down and the lamp steady.

Step 7: Power

Run your cord through the rod and screw on your light socket. Be sure to connect the cord to the light socket following the manufacturers recommendations.

Note: Here is where you can trim a little off the top of the rod if it is too tall for your tastes.

Following the directions (if any) for the plug connect it to the other end of the lamp cord.

I hot glued the cord into the channel we cut earlier, but this is optional.

Step 8: Finished Product

Here you can see the lamp from the tutorial and a different one I finished for my living room. You can see that size and shape are entirely up to you. Go nuts.

Step 9: Video

Here is the process set to music. Enjoy.

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Reclaimed Contest 2017