Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Throwing a few books into your eclectic design!

Remember when the word "Eclectic" was thrown around like air on every design show?  That was about the same time that "shabby chic", "country chic" and "cottage shabby" was thrown around too.  At any rate I liked the designs that were lumped into those categories.  They all had one thing in common.  They took things already in your house or things found on the curb, and made them pretty. For the cost of a little sandpaper and paint, you had a pretty room.  

Eclectic was very similar to the other looks but the great thing about eclectic was it could be anything you wanted it to be.  Fabric doesn't match your wallpaper - it's eclectic.  The wood tone of the floor clashes with the wood tones in your furniture - it's eclectic.  Books all over the floor and pictures leaning up against the walls rather than hung?....again....eclectic.  Basically, it's a catchall word meaning that you stuck stuff you liked in a room whether they match in any way at all and called it a day.....eclectic.  

I rather like that design choice.  Most of the things in my house don't match and a lot of them clash with one another.  But I like them so I keep them.....I have a very eclectic house.  

Books hold a huge role in the decorating of my house.  I have them in every room - in fairly large quantities. Most of them I have read repeatedly and love, but there are many of them that were given to me as gifts, or I found at thrift stores and bought on a whim because of the binding or the age of the book.  Since I have promised myself that I will not buy another single book until I get the "collection" that I currently have under control (meaning find more room for more books), I sat down to think about what to do with the books that are slightly damaged - maybe a few pages missing or water damaged from a flood I had in my basement a few years ago.  Some of them have a nice cover but the contents of the book were not at all interesting (to put it nicely).  What to do?  

As with most conundrums in life, I was saved by the internet.  I can make a lamp out some of them!!  How great would that be to have in my library/office??  I found a few more awesome ideas as well and I will share each of them with you here.  Now if you don't have a ton of books laying around to make these great items, then head down to your local thrift store or yard sale. Hardback books at those places can run as cheap as $.25 a book.  Always get the ones with good covers.  Even if most of the pages are missing - you can always stuff copy paper or even newspaper in there to make it even.  So let's get busy!

How to make a lamp out of books

There are approximately 9 steps to this project.  I have included pictures and instructions found at www.HGTV.com  

It might seem a bit daunting but it's really not difficult.  I like the lampshade he used.  A simple wire basket covering a bulb.  Great vintage look to top vintage books.

Materials Needed:

  • old hardcover books, about 8
  • lamp kit
  • lamp shade
  • spray paint
  • drill
  • 1/2" drill bit
  • razor blade or box cutter
  • 1-1/4" screws
  • 2" screws
  • screwdriver

Step 1

Paint Fittings

Spray paint lamp fittings to desired color, and allow it to dry.

Step 2

Arrange Books

Stack and arrange the old hardcover books. Place the lamp's threaded rod next to book stack and make sure there is one inch of clearance on the top for the remaining lamp assembly.

Step 3

Drill Into Base Book

Clamp down the bottom book to the table, and using a half-inch drill bit, drill a hole in the center of the book about halfway down.

Step 4

Create a Channel

Open the base book. Using a razor blade or box cutter, cut a channel where the electrical cord will be placed. Make sure it matches the width and thickness of the cord.

Step 5

Attach Rod

Use the washer and lock nut from the lamp kit to attach the threaded rod to the base book. Close the book and tighten down the top lock nut.

Step 6

Slide in Wire and Secure Base

Entering from the bottom, slide the electrical wire through the threaded rod. Leave 1-1/2 to two inches of electrical wire at the top of the threaded rod so you can attach the lamp parts. Drill 1-1/4-inch screws to secure the book to itself. Use four to six screws, making sure to avoid the electrical wire.

Step 7

Attach the Rest of the Books

Clamp down and use the half-inch drill bit to drill a hole in the center of each book. Slide the books, one by one, through the threaded rod, drilling four 2-inch screws to secure each book to the book beneath it.

Step 8

Secure Top Book

On the top book, open the cover, and secure it with four 2-inch screws.

Step 9

Assemble Kit and Attach Shade

Assemble the lamp kit parts, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Attach the lamp shade.

How to make an occasional table out of books or even a book shelf out of books
The next couple of ideas (and images) were brought to you by the following website: http://asimplemodernlife.com/2012/07/19/10-amazing-book-storage-ideas-26/
To make a really attractive occasional table all you need are hardback books with interesting covers and in varying sizes and glue....yep....that's it!  If you want to get super fancy you can always drill a hole through all of them and insert a rod or screws to make sure they never fall apart, but if it's just an occasional table and you don't have energy filled children and/or pets running around in that particular room, glue will work just fine. 
Remember to always use a book that has a water repellant cover for your top book or brush on some shellac to give it a water shield just in case someone sits a glass of iced tea on it. Water is not a friend of paper!

How about using books to hold books???  Some of us cringe at the thought of drilling holes into books or even putting glue on them, so the next project should ease your anxiety as it doesn't damage your books at all.

How did they do this???  Look below

How simple is that??

Now how about you get off the internet and head out to your local thrift store and buy up some hardback books!!!

As always, enjoy your space!!