A neat little side table made from upcycled hardbacks!
* You could call this a "book lover's table" but because we, quite frankly, abuse real books, by drilling, glueing, and painting them, "book hater's table" is equally valid!
Step 1: Materials & Tools
1) A pile of unwanted hardback books; I sourced mine from a Charity Shop ("Goodwill" Store for those across the pond), cost 1.00 GBP for 3 books. The condition of any dust jackets is immaterial, we remove and don't use these in this project.
2) A length of dowelling to give the piece some lateral strength. Cost around the 10.00 GBP /2m length in UK DIY stores, so I bought a broom handle from my local corner hardware store instead: cost 1.39 GBP.
3) Hole drill bit to match diameter of your dowelling, plus access to a drill: I made use of the pillar drill at my local Hackspace.
4) Clamps, useful when drilling and glueing this piece.
5) Straight edge/rule & pencil, to mark the centre of the book for drilling.
6) Acrylic paints in your choice of colour way, PVA glue, (Yacht*) varnish & brushes.
* If you use a special varnish you will additionally require some brush cleaning spirits. The PVA glue and acrylic paints used are water-soluble, so brush clean-up only requires water.
Step 2: Boring Books!
Decide on the ordering of the stack before drilling, we don't want to drill through the BOTTOM cover of the bottom book, or the TOP cover of the top book in our stack.
I found it useful to write "TOP" and "BOTTOM" inside the sentinel books to preserve these particular covers, ultimately the books will be glued shut and any scribbles won't be seen in the finished piece.
Using a pencil and straight edge determine the centre of the book cover by marking 2 diagonals, drill at the intersection of these lines.
If you find the book won't sit quite flat after drilling, you could remove excess bulk using a craft knife.
Step 3: Core Strength
Stack the books onto the dowelling and mark a cutoff line.
Remove dowelling from stack and cut to required length.
We want our dowelling completely encased in our finished piece, this is why we don't drill through the top cover of the top book nor bottom cover of bottom book!
Step 4: Paint It Black!
Using acrylic paints, paint the covers and leave to dry; Don't forget the inside lip!
I used black but this could work in a rainbow of colours, 1-2 books of each colour in a stack, perhaps for a child's bedroom.
When covers are dry, turn them over and paint undersides.
When the covers have been painted and left to dry, paint the page edges, I used a gold colour paint for this.
When the books are completely dry, brush over the page edges with some PVA glue, this will soak into the paper a little way and help keep the pages closed. This will go on a little milky but will dry clear.
Finally, using PVA glue, permanently close the book covers down onto the pages.
Step 5: Glueing & Finishing
With the dowelling encased in our stack of books, use PVA glue to stick the books together, clamp these to get a good bond and leave to dry.
Optional, but gives a better finish, varnish the piece as a whole before deployment.