While book lovers might balk at the idea of tearing up a sacred tome, some books are just ready for the next phase of their lives. So in honor of National Library Week, which runs through April 14, we decided to hit the books for a DIY project.

The Charleston Friends of the Library, a nonprofit organization that supports the Charleston County Public Library system, receives donations of used books, CDs, and DVDs at all 16 branches. The donated items are sold at book sales throughout the year and online at shopcharlestonlibraryfriends.org with the proceeds going toward library programming. In some cases, the donated books are damaged with mold, missing covers, or are just simply not in sellable condition, so the group recycles the leftovers.

Friends of the Library Director Emily Everett enjoys finding homes for books that aren’t quite up to book-sale snuff. One of her favorite crafts involves using book pages to create candle-lit jars. They’re great for displaying on mantles, book shelves, and dining room tables. —Erica Jackson Curran

Materials Needed

• Glass jars (make sure they’re large enough for candles)
• Old book pages
• Mod Podge (craft adhesive)
• Paintbrush/sponge


1. Wash out the jars and remove the labels. I put my jars in a large bowl with warm water and let them soak for a couple of hours. Some scrubbing might be involved.
2. Pick out the old book pages you’d like to use and then size them to fit your jar by tearing the pages. I left the edges jagged.
3. Place your jar on a flat surface. I used a paper plate to easily rotate the jar during the process. Coat the side of the book page you’d like to stick to the jar with a paintbrush or sponge using Mod Podge while placing it on the jar. Add an extra coat of Mod Podge on the outside of the book pages after you’ve glued them to the jar to make them extra durable.
4. Let your jars dry for a few hours. I used a brown paper bag as my drying base.
5. Put the candles in the jar and display.

Emily Everett is the director of the Charleston Friends of the Library. She’s had the pleasure of enjoying her staycation lifestyle in Charleston since 2010 with the company of good friends, frequent visitors from out of town, and her dog Miles. For more information on the Friends of the Library, visit charlestonlibraryfriends.org.

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