Saturday, September 11, 2010

Back to School Window at UCLA Commons

Book tree made out of books curled  on top of one another held together by 3 inch drywall screws and L-bracketed to a plywood stand.  The background is book covers shingled over a canvas.
Plywood frame supporting books from behind.  My good friend Miriam helping me.

Javiera reattaching the canvas after it fell down due to heaviness.  Thank goodness for Javiera's core fusion classes.

I wanted to make a tree made out of books for the back to school window and received a generous donation of books from my friend Karen at the Sherman Oaks Library.  It was a simple but pretty labor intensive project.  I have great friends that helped me with it or I would have been toast!

Here is the how-to:

What you need:

Lots and lots of books
Plywood base- mine was 3/4 inch thick and measured 3x4 feet
Plywood support for the books- a 2x4 that was about 5 feet tall backing another 3/4 inch thick piece of plywood that measured  inches 10 x 8 feet tall.
2.5 - 3 inch dry wall screws (lots and lots)
15-20 smallish L brackets
1 sheet of chicken wire
Scissors to cut leaf shapes with 
Hot glue gun to attach leaves to chicken wire
Gold foil to make gold accent leaves with (available online)


1.  Build frame for the tree.  It was simply the 2x4 drilled into the 10 foot 3/4 inch plywood attached with L brackets to the 3/4 inch base.  Couldn't be easier.

2.  Remove covers from the books and roll pages over and under making pretty waves with the pages.  Drill the first book into the plywood.  Stack the next book on top and drill it next to the first book. Drill as many books next to the first two as you want the base to be wide then start building the books upwards snug on the frame.  Add L brackets every 4 or 5 books depending on how stable they feel up against the platform.

3.  Make a giant chicken wire ball at the top of the wooden stand.

4.  Cut pages of  2 books into leaf shapes then hot glue leaves onto chicken wire.

For the back drop:

1.  Take a canvas and using hot glue shingle book covers (tearing the spines out) over one another so that the tops of the spine don't show.