Upcycle: A book-bud vase? | the ReFab Diaries

This weekend I made myself tackle the dull things I've been avoiding since I moved. Like hemming curtains. And moving stuff to the basement storage. My reward? Making this ... thing. 

I'm not quite sure what to call it. A book vase? (I already made something I called that) Organic art? Maybe a book bud vase? I'm really not sure, so I'm calling it a mixed-media upcycle. And, whatever the name, I love, love, love how it turned out! And it was easy to make so read on for instructions!


1. I have had this 1941 biology book for years. I always knew I wanted to turn it into something that would show off its beautiful cover. 
2. The piece of wood is from an old dresser mirror I acquired recently - it's the attachment. 
2. And the perfume bottle is also something I've been hanging on to.
3. I bought the copper pipe clam for $1.35 from a hardware store and also ended up using copper wire. Neither the wood nor the wire are essential. 

Step 1: Carefully remove the book from the spine with an exacto knife.

Step 2: Glue a piece of cardboard to the back of the book cover to stabilize and strengthen the whole piece. Later I came back and added the copper wire to create a hanger. Ultimately, this didn't work. I'll explain why later.

Step 3: Shape the clamp to the bottle. At this stage I added wire but you could also attach the bottle directly to the book cover at this point. 

Step 4: Whatever way you approach attaching the bottle, you need to make holes through the book cover. Gently tap a nail through then work it until the hole is big enough for, in my case, the wire.

Step 5: Position the pieces and pull the wire through.

Step 6: The wire needs to be pulled tight and twisted. If the bottle is sliding in the clamp, you may need a different size clamp. You could also try painting the inside of the clamp with clear nail varnish or a few dabs or glue to give it some tackiness. 

At this point I added the hanger, not thinking about how off balance the piece would be. I'll update this post when I solve the problem. For now, I'm ok just standing the thing rather than hanging it.

Have I mentioned how much I love how this?! And while I said the wood isn't necessary, I think it adds an extra natural element that's kinda wonderful.

In its permanent home on the shelf I made from a drawer front

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