Pinterest Challenge: The Almost Book Lamp

Oh yes, it's that time again... Pinterest Challenge Time!!!

For those of you stopping by from Young House Love, Bower Power Blog, The Great Indoors or Hi Sugarplum! today, you may remember the Yarn Lampshade I put together for the Fall challenge. And if you're not stopping by from the challenge, and are a regular around here then you'll remember it from... well... just reading my blog. But either way, I have to let you know, this project is not nearly as cool. And by 'not nearly as cool,' I mean it's a total project/DIY fail. I want to keep it real with you guys so I'm going to show you what I did, where I went wrong, and how I hope to fix it. Then, if you stop by after the weekend, I promise an update on how I turned my almost book lamp into an actual book lamp.

First things first, I was pinspired by this awesome pin, from HGTV:

                                                                            Source: via Sara on Pinterest

This was one of the very first things I pinned, and since then, I've been dying to try it and I decided to wait until the next pinterest challenge to see if I could do it. (Spoiler Alert: It didn't work out so well.) Then, I checked out a few other tutorials, here and here, for some extra information. My next step was to find some books and so I headed to my local Goodwill store and bought 7 hard cover books - covering the topics of politics and literature - to use. Then, I stopped by Lowe's and bought a lamp kit and a drill bit.

Then, I took my books from Goodwill, removed any jackets they still had, and set them up in the pattern I wanted to have the lamp in.

Then, I attached my drill bit to my drill and, after placing my first book onto a phonebook (to prevent any damage just in case), marked the center of the book and started drilling.

So, this is where things started to go badly. All of the tutorials I looked at it made it seem as though drilling through a book is easy. Newsflash for you: it isn't. And it kept just killing my drill. And no matter what I did, I couldn't get it go through the book cover and the pages at the same time. And then really, never more than 100 pages or so at a time. So a project that I thought would maybe take an hour, turned into about 4. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

In the first book, only drill halfway through, then using an x-acto knife, cut out space for the wire to come through the back of the book.

Then, as you drill through each book, add it to the stack, weaving the wire through. Eventually this will happen:

At this point, you'll think that although it's time consuming, this project has definitely been worth it because this is looking awesome. And then you go to put the rest of the lamp kit together and discover this:

Notice something strange? Yea, it isn't straight. At all. Because I opted to go with the tutorial that didn't suggest placing threaded brass nipples throughout the length of the books to give the lamp part stability. I even tried popping a shade on it to see what would happen...

Doesn't look too awful. Except that when I let go, the whole thing toppled over. Project Fail. If you still don't believe me, here's a look from the back:

So, at this point it was past midnight, I was pretty bummed and sort of taking out my frustration on the dog and Josh and so we all decided it was best if I just got in bed, accepted the fate of the lamp and went to sleep. And so, this weekend, I will return to Lowe's, pick up a better drilling accessory - either a larger drill bit or something else - and then I will officially conquer this challenge!

I hope you're all having a wonderful Wednesday and that you will check back to see the final results of my book lamp!



  1. If you're having trouble drilling through a book, the drill you're using is probably too weak. A 12V drill is only one step above an electric screwdriver.

    If you want to try stronger one, I can lend you ours tomorrow while you're in Brookline. No sense in buying one when you're hardly going to use it!

  2. if you glued the books together, would that make it more stable at all?

  3. @AmiDawn

    It might make the books themselves more stable - and I am going to glue them this next time around - but the main problem was the actual piece for the lightbulb which had nothing to keep it stable.

  4. Sorry! :( I hate project fails. This looks salvageable though!

  5. Oh, no! Well, good for you that you've set your mind to finish this, no matter what. I'm sure you can do it! Thanks for linking up with the Winter Pinterest Challenge, and hope it works out once you continue!

    Erin @ The Great Indoors


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