Couple of years ago, at my house in Maryland, we had a huge oak tree cut from our front yard. Around the same time, I had fallen into some youtube rabbit holes on building live-edge tables, which are tables that keep some of the bark or inner bark on the edges, and have a heavy aesthetic focus on highlighting the grain of the wood. I decided that I would like to try and make a similar table, and ended up cutting a slap or “cookie” of this tree from the stump. I let this sit and dry for about 2 or 3 years, and then ended up making an end table out of it:

I love this table, but unfortunately it is a little too high compared to the height of my bed, and I need to reach up to grab things while in bed. For my upcycling project, I have the idea of taking old books, and creating a new set of “legs” from these books.


For this project, I think that having the books will fit under some sort of “acedemia” aesthetic. I also think I can have an interesting aesthetic where the books have some sort of hidden function, and look unassuming, as they will just look like a pile of books stacked underneath the table top. I have an idea of adding to this aesthetic by additionally turning one of the books on its side, and using the book cover as a door to a secret hidden compartment, adding to the unassuming aesthetic.


For this project, my plan is to take the biggest books I can find, and then stack them on top of one another from biggest to smallest. At some point in the middle of this stack, I will turn two smaller books on their sides, and use these as a hidden “cabinet”. I think from there I can drill holes through these books, and put wooden dowel rods through to hold the books in place.


Once I have my books stacked, I need a way to mount the existing table top to the books. I am currently considering either drilling holes into the table top and sticking the dowel rods into there, or using a short piece of a larger dowel rod, mounted on the bottom of the table, and sticking that through a drilled hole in the top book. If I use the existing dowel rods, I will need to drill multiple large holes through the bottom of my table top, which I am not sure I want to do, and impact the structural integrity of the table. If I use one short piece of dowel rod, I think that the structural integrity of the table will be worse however.


For this project, I would like to try and keep the books in a similar color palate, so that they match with one another, and remain aesthetically pleasing. I am hoping I can find enough large books with the same set of colors.

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Jess Corbitt
    May 8, 2024 11:10 am

    I really like this idea! Will you be fixing the books to each other for stability or will you just stack them so you can change the height at any time?


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