Laura Cahill

March 11, 2009

Recent graduate Laura Cahill presented vases and furniture made from unwanted books at New Designers in London. Cahill cuts profiles from books using a band saw, then wraps the spines around test tubes creating waterproof vases. Clever. She sources the books from local second hand shops. “I discovered that the glue in old books make them extremely difficult to recycle,” she explains. Cahill has also developed a lamp using the technique and a stool made by bolting books together. It’s a “reading lamp”.

My idea of using second hand books came around after doing research into common unwanted objects. One of the most common unwanted objects that can be found at either charity shops, car boot sales and sometimes on the streets are books. I discovered that the glue in old books make them extremely difficult to recycle. Aware of this I challenged myself to turn the second hand books that I had been collecting, into desirable objects such as furniture, lighting and ornaments.

This last image is from www.target.com, they sell “recycled paper vases”. Who knew?

You can see more at finalcrit.com

Visit http://www.lauracahilldesigns.co.uk/


  1. Whoa! These are absolutely amazing.

    Comment by curledupwithabook — March 11, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

  2. What a great use for old books.
    Great site by the way.

    Comment by Gail Stiffe — March 14, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

  3. I’d be scared to sit on that stool but the lamp looks amazing!

    Comment by Shelley — March 17, 2009 @ 9:40 am

  4. I LOVE these lamps & vases. I so want to give this a try. Maybe soon. If so, I’ll post my success or failure.

    Comment by Jason Thompson — March 17, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

  5. hehee..Jason..as you say: I gave it a try and I posted my failure….don’t use a cutter!!

    Comment by Uschi — March 30, 2009 @ 5:49 am

  6. I used a cutter-knife, which is quite a problem, because you have to keep the complete book-block as immobile as possible with one hand and have to do lots of muscle-work with the other hand. I got no straight cut but a quite “wavy” line…
    But its lots of fun!!

    Comment by Uschi — March 30, 2009 @ 11:43 am

  7. Uschi,

    Thanks for the tips. I believe Laura used a skill-saw, or jigsaw to cut the books like that. I have some Ideas for attaching a template to the book covers and simply following the template with a router or saw. I’ll post my results! Jason

    Comment by Jason Thompson — March 30, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

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