Meet the Trader: Kooky Book Craft

Making the ultimate in quirky gifts for book lovers, Charlie Keenan and partner Ollie run Kooky Book Craft.

Charlie, who works as a prison educator by day, began upcycling books into clocks about a year ago after she spotted one on Etsy.

"The shop was actually selling things made from upcycled wood," explains Charlie. "But they had this book/clock in the background of their picture. I wanted one, but couldn't find anyone selling them so I decided to have a go myself."

Using an old hardback book, a scalpel, and a clock mechanism she bought off eBay, Charlie was pleased with how the clock turned out.

"My friends liked it too, some suggested I could make them as gifts."

With the help of partner Ollie, an architectural assistant, Charlie made a few to sell in Etsy and was blown away by how popular they were.

"Then people began sending me books and asking if I could make them into clocks," she explained. "Then people asked if we could do other things with books too."

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Charlie and Ollie have made plant pots and trinket boxes from upcycled books, and they turn the cut-away pages into bookmarks.

"It's a hobby that has turned into a business really," explains Charlie. "It's taken over our small flat. We've not got a garage or a workshop, we do it all from the kitchen table. When we are making books we are shopping for books. Second-hand stores or charity shops ... I'm always late home from work because I've popped in somewhere to see what they have."

One day, Charlie and Ollie would like to have a book shop cat cafe, combining their love of reading and feline friends. 

"We could sell our upcycled books as well, it's a dream at the moment but one day I'm sure it will be a reality for us."

Find Kooky Cook Craft at our Sunday market in Broadmead, or shop them on Etsy