How to Create a Beautiful Book Lamp





Introduction: How to Create a Beautiful Book Lamp

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This is a small tutorial on how to create a decorative book lamp!  It makes a great addition to any room, a great gift and can be any style you want, as you are the one creating it.  I made the lamp as an anniversary gift for my wife.  I looked on her pinterest account and saw one for sale for over $150.  I thought it would be A. cheaper for me to make and B. More personal of a gift knowing that I worked hard to create it.

Step 1:

First thing is first.  Go to a local hardware store and purchase a lamp kit.  They generally cost anywhere between 8-15 dollars.  Mine was originally gold, but I spray painted it matte black.  Next, find some books that you don't want to ever read again.  You can either find some in your home or do as I did and go to an old book store with a huge assortment of books.  The book on the top is the most important as it is the cover of the lamp.  So, I spent a little more on the one book than I did the others.  I found "the black beauty" a 1901 copy, at an antique book store.  

Step 2: Screws!

Once you have chosen your books you are now in the screwing stage.  Got a handful of wood screws and screw one book on top of the other in your desired formation.  With my lamp, I wanted my books to be a little off, so I screwed them in that way.  Others may want to screw them perfectly aligned.  The bottom book is going to take a little extra work, so don't screw it onto the others yet.  The bottom book needs to have a hole running through the pages to accommodate the electrical cord.   The way to do this is simple.  Get two c clamps and place them on both sides of the book tightly. pressing the pages together with a lot of force.  Get a drill bit and screw directly into the pages about half way into the book, or wherever you want the lamp to come up from.  Refer to the second photo below for clarification.

Step 3: Drill Bit

After you have screwed all of the books on the other, get a 5/8-3/4 inch drill bit that is LONG.  Now, drill a hole all the way through the stack of books.  Be delicate with the top book as you don't want to mess up the front cover that everyone will see.  Experiment with the books that won't be on top to see how the drilling will affect the cover.  The post from the lamp kit should fit snugly in the book hole as you don't want it to be loose or have the need to anchor it in the books.  Next, put the electrical cord through the bottom book and up through the post and screw the bottom book onto the rest of the pile.  At this point your lamp should look about 50% complete, (refer to the second picture below.)  

Step 4: Lamp Shade & Bulb

Now follow the instruction included with the lamp kit pertaining to the actual wiring.  For my style lamp, I chose more of a cage style lamp shade and an old style filament bulb.  I love this kind of bulb as it really enhances the overall feel of your custom lamp.  They are a little pricey, but worth the price.

Step 5: DONE!

Now that you have completed your lamp, plug it in and just wait for all of the compliments to roll in. You can use it in all of your decorating and most of all impress your wife with the gift you made her!



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    42 Discussions

    Thank you so much! These books could either go in a memorable lamp or stay on a shelf for 10 years, accumulate dust and then be sold at a garage sale for 10 cents! So thanks for the kind comment!

    Very clever, I'd never seen one of these. I'll attempt it as a Christmas gift for my husband's office using old law books (fyi, they're useless mrguy). The filament bulb is the perfect touch. It will definitely be a conversation piece in his otherwise staid environment. Thanks for the idea!

    2 replies

    Yeah, I guess it is just a sign of the times. My grandma refused to ever get rid of any book, every time the her local library would get rid of some, she would take them all, and her house was totally filled with books. She would even try to give them out to kids at Halloween.

    She sounds like such a sweet woman! Funny story about Halloween though. I saw the Lamp that you made for your mother and it was AWESOME. Very creative and reminiscent of the culture.

    Thank you so much! It took a little bit of work, but it is only because I had never done it before! But thanks again for your kind words! I wanted to find a lamp shade that was like the one that my wife liked but they were so difficult to find! So I went to an old antique store and found a "decorative bird cage" and the used some JB Weld and glued it to the top of the lamp equipment. So it took a little ingenuity to make it just the way she wanted it!

    I have a stack of gardening books I'm going to use. I'll put the lamp in the garden shed. Seems fitting.

    My mother is an avid reader of a Mistry and she buy get them at the library for their one cent sale I'm going to use a make up for her thank you so much for the idea

    Sigh...This all seems sad; drilling holes in classics. Did you make sure which edition they were? I hope you drilled a hole in a costy first edition. Just paint wood in the titles you want and make a lamp. Don't render them useless for a decorating whim.

    1 reply

    This isn't sad. I think that it said first edition on the inside of it. Is that good or bad? This wasn't simply decorating whim as you put it, but a well thought out design utilizing a treasure or in this case, several treasures.

    Good idea!! You are more then welcome to share your ideas with us at ! Post a Loop :)

    Thanks for string this idea!!

    What a disgrace! Farenheit 451! I mean seriously, if you want to destroy something choose something which has no value. Every book has value to someone who will read it and cherish it. The idea that you are destroying books, and that it has become popular in various "book art" forms, is akin to destroying culture. Do what you will but don't destroy books.

    2 replies

    it never fails....for every artist, there is a critique....and like most critique's comments, your reply is neither welcome nor accepted.

    for those like yourself who have no appreciation for true art, you need to remain silent until such a time comes, when you learn what art truly is.

    I bid you peace.

    A disgrace? Your comment is a disgrace sir. This is art! Art comes in many forms. Many people do not see the beauty in it or like yourself try to degrade and offend the artist. Not only do I disagree with you, but this website (instructables) and its millions of viewers do also, as this instructable was featured! But, if you have any non-offensive or rude replies, please leave a message in my inbox.

    You know what I like to use old books for? READING.