Our village has an extraordinary supply of second-hand bookshops, including one that gives away books for free that have been rescued from landfill. Every weekend we have a browse, and usually come back with new treasures. As a result, my shelves are creaking and my supply grows faster than I can read or repurpose them. I used a vintage graphic atlas bought last year to make this gift for a friend’s new baby..
I also use illustrations from childrens books to make colourful envelope liners, and make secret boxes from the covers of interesting-looking books, by removing the text block (tutorial here).
This time I used an old book full of tips for gardeners to make a simple vase for fresh flowers (I love the title; these days it would be the ‘Dummies Guide’ or similar; not quite the same..). Here’s what you need;
- And old hardback book with a sturdy, undamaged spine
- A cardboard box that fits inside the book, and is the same depth as the spine
- A water bottle, with the top sawn off
- Glue, craft knife, ruler and pencil. Coffee, chocolate, good music all optional but recommended.
Firstly carefully remove the book text from the spine by slicing down either side of the pages that hold the book pasted to the cover. Remove the book and set aside, leaving your hardback cover which should lie flat. Place the box (without lid) inside it to check for fit.
Carefully slice out one side of the box, leaving an inch around the edges for stability and to help it maintain its shape. Press the long side edge of the box against the spine and then glue the box into the book cover, as shown below. It’s best to leave several hours for the glue to set; lie it flat and place something heavy on top of it to encourage the adhesion.
Once the glue is dry and secure, slide your water bottle into the open ‘book box’ so that it is resting on the bottom. Use a jug to carefully fill it with water…
And then just add your flowers!
Add twigs for artistic effect. Regret never having had any training in the art of floral arrangement. Decide life is too short.
And then when your flowers are past their best glory, simply remove them and the bottle, and either clean out the bottle or replace it. Job done!
Have a wonderful weekend, when it comes!