Make Your Own Vintage Book Lamp

Back in August, I took part in an amazing event called Round Our Gaff, with three incredibly talented DIY/Interior/Colour fanatics - Joanne Condon @joannecondon, Joanne Mooney @aproudhome and Katrina Carroll @vintageirishkat. The day was filled with inspiration, colour and laughter. 120 guests attended, making it such a memorable experience. It is not often you get that many like minded, creative minds in the one room!
Image by Carol Dunne Photography
On the day, I did a live demonstration on how to re-purpose an old vintage book and turn it into a cool vintage lamp. It is very easy to do and is a real statement piece in my home. This project would make a really cool gift for an avid reader or book lover too.

Image by Carol Dunne Photography

What you will need for this project: 

1 x old vintage hardback book (sourced at a charity shop for 50 cent)
1 x Switched lamp holder with flex & plug - I sourced mine from
1 x length of 2x1 inch timber
Timber stain (I used Walnut for a darker look)
Wood Glue
2 or 3 inch screw (depending on the depth of your book)
Vintage Edison Light Bulb (purchased from B&Q for about 9e)

The total cost for this project was about €35.

How To Make The Lamp 

Cut your timber into three short lengths approx 5 inches long. This may differ depending on the size of your book. 

Drill a hole near the edge of one piece. I forgot to take a photo of this but drill your hole close to the edge of one piece of timber. This is to enable you to thread the lamp chord to. Then stain the wood and leave to dry. I used a walnut stain as I wanted a darker finish, but you could opt for something lighter or paint the timber if you wish. 

Walnut Stain
Stain Timber and leave to dry
Next, glue the three pieces together using the wood glue leaving the piece with the hole overhanging the other two pieces.
Timber and Glue Sandwich
This glue dries clear, but I always wipe the edges for a cleaner finish. 

Open your book about one quarter the way in. Place the block of three timbers into the book. The top section of pages should rest open against your three timber pieces. 
Holding the bulb in place once chord is thread through

Turn the book over and screw in the large screw to attach the book to the timbers. Do this slowly and gently, as the pages will gather if you drill to quickly! Turn the book over. Attach the lamp chord through the hole in the timber. You will need to take off the plug to thread the chord through.
Reattach the plug and attach the bulb and switch on.

Finished Vintage Book Lamp
I made sure to drill a hole wide enough for the lamp holder base to fit into. You could add some glue at this point to secure the metal holder into place. 

I know a few of the attendees on the day made this lamp afterwards and the results were incredible. If you do attempt it, let me know! 

I made several lamps as practice runs. This one is going to a friend who loves books. I hope it makes them smile when they switch it on. 

Thanks for reading.

*All products were bought for this project. Any references/links are provided to assist you in finding products. 


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