Our local council recently held their soon-to-be-annual Waste To Art Competition – where artworks are created from materials that would otherwise become landfill.
Inspired by book vases that I’d come across online, I decided to have a go at creating one myself from old dictionaries that I had rescued from our local school.
Easy to make and the perfect decorating piece for your reading nook, this one won me Second Prize in the Functional Art category!
What you need:
3-4 old hardcover books
craft knife (or preferably a band saw!)
test tube shaped container (I used one the kids big bubble wands)
I started off by creating a template on an A4 sheet of paper, using the edge of a butter plate to get my shape nicely rounded. Cut out your template and mark your vase shape on to the covers of your books.
You’ll notice in this picture that my book doesn’t have its cover still on. I really recommend leaving the hard covers on as it will make the process of sanding the edges easier later.
Now this is where the wonderful gents of our local Men’s Shed helped me out. The competition co-ordinators had organised a workshop morning, where the old blokes at the Men’s Shed would help out if you needed power tools that you might not have at home.
When I got there and explained what I wanted them to do for me, they gave me lots of funny looks, but happily took on the task. I was also offered copious cups of tea and biscuits (bless their cotton socks) and got to have a chat with a few of them while the cut and sanded my books.
The band saw made short work of the cutting (I hate to think how long it would have taken me if I’d used a craft knife!) and while I wasn’t planning on sanding the edges of my books, Old Mate pictured above gave one of them a whirl and once I’d had a look at the finish (satin-y and smooth), I asked them to do all of them for me. The book that didn’t have its hard cover on still wasn’t able to be sanded (I ended up doing that one by hand) because the pages kept moving.
Next came the gluing. Initially I thought that 3 of the dictionaries would be sufficient to get my vase shape, but once they were dry and I’d fanned them out, I realised that the fourth one would be needed. Once the four book was glued in place as well it was time to set it up! With the help of Husband I glued the 2 outside edges together and popped the test tube in the middle to hold the flower (plus it gives the vase a bit more stability).