Monday, January 27, 2014

Antique Book Vase (Tutorial) and a Rustic Clothing/Towel Rack

I was given these books by a co-worker who knew that I could do something with them.
I'm not adverse to defacing books if I think that something pretty can come of it.
I decided to make them into a vase.
What a nice way to showcase pretty reads.
[Excuse the fake ferns and flowers; I didn't have time to make run to Trader Joe's.]

I found a rectangular-shaped glass vase. 
One smaller in width, depth and height than the grouping of books.

I determined where I wanted the vase to go, 
figuring the top lip of the vase to be flush with the top of the book spines.
Began work from the inside out. The picture below is of the gray book in the lineup above;
it just looks green in the picture.

On this particular book, the entire center section (covers and pages) needed to be cut. 
I cut out the front cover first (the picture doesn't show it, 
but I bent the cover back and cut it directly on the cutting mat.)

I then drilled a hole in each bottom corner.
I put a piece of foam core between the book and the cutting mat as a buffer for the drill bit.
The role of the holes is to 1) act as a cutting guide for all the pages,
and 2) when putting a lot of pressure on the knife for the blade to cut as many pages 
as possible, the blade hits the hole which helps prevent the blade from continuing to cut.

I used a series of ties and clothespins to hold the already-cut pages away from what was to cut.
The goal was always to try to keep the book opened at a 90 degree angle; if the book is opened to lay flat, you get page creep which means cut lines would vary once the book is closed.

Here is the finished book. 

This book became the template for all the others I needed to cut.
By lining this master book up with the next (the bases of the spine flush),
I could trace out the cut lines.

Here are the books cut and ready for the next step.
I didn't have to cut at all into the end books.

I applied glue to the back and front covers that would be connected.

And lined them up carefully.
Put encyclopedias on top as they dried.

"Painted" the three exposed page edges of all the books with a matte finish Mod Podge Paper on Paper.
While the previous step of applying glue held the books together, 
this step keeps each individual book from opening.

The glass vase slipped right down inside.

Two things I wish I'd done —

1) I wish I'd have cut into the front cover of the left-hand end book and the 
back cover of the right-hand end book to make the vase opening just a tad bigger.
The vase was a bit tight going in and can't be removed.
The option to take the vase out would have been so much better and easier
for filling with water and cleaning.

2) While the holes acted a a guide on two corners, I had to use the piece I cut from the front cover
as the template for tracing the lines from the holes to the top of the pages.
In hindsight, I probably should have just drilled two holes at the top as well.

Another project from the weekend —

Had found this wooden slatted piece at the dumpster. 
Lots of character and even some green moss in places.
Bought three metal hooks at Hobby Lobby and screwed them in
to create a rustic clothes/towel rack.
Selling it in my booth.


Elizabeth said...

That is such a cute idea!

Mattie Smith said...

Hi to every single one, it’s truly a good for me to visit this web page, it includes great collection of Antiquarian Books Online.

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