This week, I am going to show you how to fashion a vase – not from clay, but from a book!  A bibliographic vessel – A Crafted Book Art Vase!

It’s a fairly quick to make, and quite attractive.  Good for storing water-less flora like dried grasses and flowers.   These autumn twigs work rather well too.

This is how it is done:

Crafted Book Art Vase – Instructions

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for video instructions)

You will need:

An old book of about 75 – 100 physical pages (150-200 numbered pages – as book pages are numbered on both sides)

If the book has too many pages, you can use a sharp craft knife and slice the spine down the back to get the right number.

  1. Remove the cover from the book.  Lay it down on the table, and fold the top right hand corner of the first page down toward the centre of the book.  (Like a giant dog-ear).  Fold the second page of the book in half lengthwise towards the centre of the book. Make sure that the folds are firm and sharp.Instructions on How to Fold a Book Art Vase
  2. Keep on folding like this through the whole book, alternating these 2 folds.  Eventually the book will look something like this from the side … and  … the top.Crafted Book Art Vase
  3. Turn the book, so that the narrow part is close to you, and begin re-folding the pages.  The vertically folded page will be folded in the same direction again.  The previously folded edge will be folded into the centre.  These folds should not be crisp like the previous ones, but more rounded. Step-by-Step Book Art Vase
  4. Roll-fold the edge of the obliquely folded page in the same direction towards the centre again.  Work your way through the book, alternating the folds as before.Nearing Completion
  5. Eventually you will work your way round, and you will see the vase shape appearing as you work.  Once you are finished you will see all the gaps from the top, where you can place stems of flowers.  Crafted Book Art Vase
  6. The finished product – a stable and versatile vase.  Use fewer pages if you have thicker stems or thick book pages.

   The beautiful final product - Crafted Book Art VaseDo you remember this rose display from a while ago? It was arranged in the identical type of vase.

Update – Trouble Shooting Tip

If you have folded the book and it doesn’t form a complete round, ie the folded pages don’t meet, leaving a gap – it could be that the spine of the book is too inflexible.  Make sure to use a book with a strong but bendy spine ☺


Book Artist Brian Dettmer spoke about his passion for carving up good books in a TED talk recently.
“New York–based artist Brian Dettmer carves intricate sculptures from outdated materials like encyclopedias, textbooks, maps and cassette tapes. To create his works Dettmer seals the object with varnish, then swiftly and deftly moves through it with an X-Acto knife until he comes out the other side, cutting away material to form something new. His beautiful carvings reflect how, in a digital information landscape, even the oldest forms of knowledge can be repurposed.”