Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Disclaimer: Only BAD books were harmed in the making of this tutorial.

Holy smokes!  Did you see all the talent over at So You Think You're Crafty???  I loved it! 
But also not.  I mean, talented other people makes things more difficult for me, right?  I hate it when you love the competition...
And by now you know which entry was mine.  I'm so glad you liked it!  

I do not have a full tutorial for you today.  
I have an almost full tutorial.  
Due to circumstances beyond my control, photo taking was set aside in the interest of survival.  (Remember back here when I gave you the quiz?  Well, the correct answer was ALL OF THE ABOVE.)  Honestly, this project was the embodiment of MURPHY'S LAW.  
Alright, here we go.

You will need:
1.  Old books.  I think it would be super super cute to do this with old picture books for a kid's room or play room.  Right??
2.  A heavy duty drill.  (My dad bought me that one for Valentine's Day.  He knows me so well...)
3.  BIG drill bits.
4.  Some scrap wood cut to the same size as your largest book.
5.  Small squares of scrap wood - about 2 inches square, 1 inch depth.  You need 4 all the same size.
6.  Heavy duty glue - I used Gorilla Epoxy.
7.  Mod Podge - MATTE.
8.  A phone book.  No, just kidding.  I mean, that IS a phone book.  But really all you need is something to place underneath the books as you drill them to protect the surface as well as the drill bit.
9.  Make a lamp kit.  You can get this at your hardware store for about 5 bucks - ish.
10.  Lamp harp.  (This depends on the type of shade you have.)
11.  Threaded lamp rod.  (my pack came with a twist on connector - so you can extend the rod if you need to.)

plastic knife or spoon

First things first.  Stack your books and measure them to get the height you want.  This way you'll know exactly how many books you need.
(please ignore my ghetto yard stick which was purchased for 25 cents at the thrift store.  Pretend it is a pretty tape measure.)
Start with your base.  You may or may not need to sand your wood first, depending on the scrap you use.

Take a straight edge or ruler and connect the corners diagonally. 

Determine which drill bit you will need to use.  Pull out the little connector from the threaded rod kit, OR if you won't be using the connector, pull out the threaded rod.

Just compare the drill bits to the largest piece that will be going through the hole.

Use this drill bit and drill a hole right where the lines intersect.

(See the phonebook underneath?)

Take all of your books and stack them up.  Flip them around, turn them over, put them off-center... try out a few different layouts.  Mix up colors.  Just see what you like best.  When you're finished and have a look you like, take lots of pictures so you'll remember what order you have the books in and how you have them set up.  Your largest book needs to go on the bottom.

Put the base on TOP of the largest book, with the book sticking out a little.

Stick your pencil through the hole to mark where you will drill on the bottom book.

All marked up.

Drill the hole.  All the way through.  It may take some finagling.  Don't give up.

Ah, yes.  Right about now there may be a quick trip to the ER after you slice your index finger open with the drill bit which is AMAZINGLY sharp.  Don't worry - no stitches, just a tetanus shot.

Line up your other books and mark with a pencil where you want to drill.  Not all of the holes will be in the center.

Mix up some paint.  (I didn't have brown so I mixed black and orange.)
Paint your base and each of the little squares.

Use the epoxy and a plastic knife/spoon or popsicle stick to attach the squares to the corners of the base for feet.  Line them up against the edges.

Poke your threaded rod through the hole.  Slide the washer up against the bottom of the base.  Screw on two nuts - tighten them both up against the washer.  The second nut will lock them both in place.  (ps - all the washers and nuts SHOULD come with the kits, but double check to make sure.)

Stand the base up and slather some epoxy on the top of the base.  Slide your largest book down the rod and smoosh up against the epoxy.

Round about here I started taking less pictures.

Continue threading your books onto the rod in the correct order.  Turn and twist them the way you want them to sit and spread epoxy on the book beneath only where the top book will rest.  Smoosh them down tight as you go.

Now, slide a washer down against the last book.  Slide two nuts down on top of this and screw down tightly.  You will need to squish the books down WITH ALL YOUR WEIGHT.  It's helpful if you have another person helping with step - but I didn't.  You really, really need to squish those books down and tighten the buts.  I used a pliers to really tighten them down.

(Hence the calluses I talked about earlier...)

Now, slide the little washer cover over the nuts.  (This should also be in your kit).

When all the books are smooshed down, use your mod podge and paint around the edges of the pages.  This will help them to stay smooth and tight together.

Now, if you need a harp, slide that down.  I actually ended up NOT needing it, because I used a shade with a harp built in.
Thread the cord up from the bottom of the threaded rod all the way out the top.

Here is where I stopped taking pictures altogether.

When you get to this point, you will need to read the instructions on your lamp kit CAREFULLY.  Or consult your father.  If he knows about electricity.  That's what I did.  

Actually, now is when I took the lamp over to my parents house for tips.  And directly after that is when I slipped on the ice on the way back to the car, throwing my knee out of joint and DROPPING THE LAMP.  You will probably want to skip that part of the tutorial.  (Don't worry, the knee's ok.  I actually have ongoing issues with it popping in and out, so it's kind of natural.)

Sooooo, here's when you'll reassemble and fix the lamp, which is much easier than expected, thank goodness.

Ahem.  Back on track.  Follow the instructions for attaching the light socket to the cord.  You will need to attach the bare wires at the end of the cord up through the bottom of the socket, and screw them into the receptors.  The socket then simply screws down onto the threaded rod.

Now is when I electrocuted myself testing to see if I did it right.  No, I'm not just being dramatic.  I actually screamed.  And it was during naptime!

When you've got all the wiring figured out and it's all good, you can move on to the shade.

At this point I was up against the wire, so lack of pictures actually results from panic and rush to meat the deadline.

Take some tan paint and brown paint.  Water them down dramatically.  Use a normal kitchen sponge to paint a cross hatch pattern with the watered down paint onto the shade.  Don't make the color uniform.  This will make the shade looked aged and worn.  If you're like me and get your lamp shade at the thrift store, this deliberate aging will cover up the actual aging.  Phew!

Take some pages from an old book.  Cut them into spirals.  Roll the spirals up, starting with the OUTSIDE of the spiral.  Use hot glue to glue periodically and make the flowers more stable.  The flowers along the top are one spiral big, while the roses on the bottom are two spirals glue together so they are a bit larger.
To cover up the rod that shows above the books, I cut a tube from aluminum foil to size.  I used mod podge to roll on part of a book page.  (I slid this on BEFORE screwing on the socket.)  The front of this tube now says "This too shall pass" within the text of the book page.  It's awesome.  I did it unintentionally, but I love it.  My mom said that to me ALL the time through my teenage years (and she was right, too.)

So was screwing the side of my finger, getting a tetanus shot, popping my knee out of joint, RE-making the lamp after dropping it, zapping myself with electricity, causing crazy huge calluses on my fingers and numerous glue gun burns 


What do you think?
A lamp that encompasses my love of reading, a cozy feeling, some delicate paper flowers and an artistic flair.  

With some seriously cool titles.  Like "There's No Place Like Home" and "Miss Manners Guide to Etiquette."  And, my two personal favorites, "I Don't Know How She Does It" and "Nobody's Perfect."

I could use some hot chocolate now.

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!



Ali said...

This is gorgeous! I absolutely love it and it was totally worth all the pain, but I am sorry you had to go through ALL the pain!


Brooke Anna @ Mommy Does... said...

I'm so in love, I think I might pass out.... oh.em.gee!
You have my heart...

Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} said...

This is soooooo cool! Though I think I would like it better without all of your ill side effects. It really did turn out awesome though, I totally want one. I'm so excited to see you on SYTYC!

Lauren @ Love, Water and Wine said...

This is incredible! Your hard work definitely paid off! And yay to no stitches! :) Thanks for sharing your awesome tutorial!

Daogreer Earth Works said...

Thanks for sharing this. I loved all the asides about how you hurt yourself (I didn't love that you hurt yourself of course, but I did love that you included those bits).

Robin said...

What a great gift that lamp would be for a person that reads allot. I really like it.
PS I received the barrette yesterday. I love it Thanks so much!

Mindie Hilton said...

Love it!

WobiSobi said...

I am speechless this is amazing. great tutorial. Great job..

Unknown said...

clever and crafty!

I am having 2 giveaways on my blog.
$38 + free shipping an any backpack from busy little hands etsy store

$15 store credit from hair candy for girls.

All you have to do is leave a comment saying you want to win it.

Bree said...

I just KNEW that one was yours! :) Glad you didn't get hurt too badly. said...

WOW! That came out so cool. I love it! Thanks for sharing your process, I'll be linking.

Anonymous said...

That is so neat! How cool! You did a great job!

Unknown said...

well, i'm torn. i mean--you won, so i hate you. but it's gorgeous, so i can't hate you too much. but then you hurt yourself, so i feel sorry for you. but i still a little hate you, so i'm kind of reveling in your pain.
ugh...this competition is bringing out the worst in me.

Shannon said...

Loooove this!

Jeff and Erin said...

OMGosh.... I'm in love! I saw this over on Dollar Store Crafts and think it is incredible. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to attempt this myself, especially after your multiple injuries (that would totally happen to me) - but I love it!

Unknown said...

Awesome! Totally worth it! I have a stack of old books and thought just the other day what a great lamp they'd make. Thanks for the tutorial!

Anonymous said...

Well goodness! I've just looked through your whole blog and... I LOVE IT HERE! The feel, the humor, the cuteness and happiness? Love it. Thanks for sharing you in this way with the rest of us :)

And WOW to the lamp tutorial! Adorable much? And inspiring too.

lisbonlioness said...

If I saw this in a designer shop, I'd probably most happily sell our house (which is rented, but shush, don't tell!) to afford it. Now... where's my drill?

Angie Holden said...

Love it!! Thanks for auditioning for OMTWI! Be sure to put the button in your post or sidebar to be eligible!

Stacey said...

I love this idea! We are making book spine poems and I think this would be a great way to immortalize these. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

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