Library Lamp Made of Books

Shauna Smith Duty

Need a light? Have a bunch of old books laying around that you're not interested in reading? Make a library lamp! This unusual and functional work of art is sure to get great reviews from friends.



  • lamp kit from a craft store or pieces from an old lamp
  • wooden base if a base is not included in the kit
  • sack of hardcover books that you'll never read
  • drill bit a little larger than the diameter of your lamp kit pole, and a drill
  • clamp
  • lampshade (the one in the photo is painted and recycled)
  • light bulb
  • ruler
  • marker


  1. With a ruler, mark the center of each of the books.

  2. Clamp the books closed, then drill a hole in the center of each book. Go slowly!

  3. Assemble the lamp kit (or recycled lamp parts) using the books as the body of the lamp.

  4. Insert the pole through the drilled holes and stack the books on the base.

  5. If you are creating your own base, paint a piece of wood that measures larger than the bottom book, and drill a center hole in it.

  6. For a frosted look, like that of the lamp in the photo, you can lightly spray paint the lamp with a tan or gray paint.

  7. For a shiny look, varnish the books. Add your light bulb and lamp shade as the final touches and voila! Another bright idea for Thrifty Fun lovers.

About The Author: Shauna Smith Duty is a freelance writer with a penache for writing family and parenting articles. She composes articles for both print and web publications, reviews children's books and movies, writes short plays, and provides editing services.

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August 27, 20050 found this helpful

I love the book idea for your lamp.....I have a lot of old books and I think I will do the same thing....Thanks for the tip.

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August 29, 20050 found this helpful


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February 19, 20060 found this helpful

You may wish to pay attention to the copyright & publication dates of the books.

Some of the "old books" may just be worth a bunch of cash! Especially first printings...

Personally I like books too much to poke a hole through them *sigh* but a lamp like that may look really good in my den.


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Anonymous Flag
June 27, 20070 found this helpful

Love the lamp! What a neat idea.

I love books too (and treasure them), but no one wants Reader's Digests, and those would be perfect for something like this.

An idea like this, as with altering unwanted books, keeps those that would otherwise end up in the landfill as something useful and repurposed.

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October 31, 20070 found this helpful

Wonderful idea. Saw same idea in homeware store, but made of porcelain, that is where I decided to make myself one, but just with real books!

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July 23, 20080 found this helpful

I have seen this done several times on the diy network and have always thought it was such a great craft idea

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