Welcome back! If you’ve been to our house or follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen our dictionary page wall.
It was this picture that got shared by a few other accounts and some questions asked that made me realize that I finally need to do a tutorial on this. It was so easy and quick and really the project came out of laziness and not wanting to remove the wall paper that was underneath. And then it turned into my favorite wall. So, I bring you ‘how to temporarily (or not so temporarily) cover ugly wall paper’.
A couple things first. I think a wall like this only works in small doses. I love it because it already had paneling half way up and the space that would actually be filled with pages was pretty small for a large impact.
It’s held up well after 8 years but I wouldn’t have put it in a space that would be prone to traffic or kids or moisture. It would be great for a small nook, a wall at the end of a hallway, above old paneling in a dining room…
Ok so now for this super easy tutorial.
Things you’ll need:
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a large dictionary (mine was thrifted and had thin pages)
a paint brush (I use this kind for every painting project)
scissors for cutting around the edges of the built in. I didn’t even cut the pages out of the book. There are ripped edges all over the wall.
Ok, the first thing I did was go through the dictionary and found words that meant something to us (like marshmallow in the picture below. For obvious reasons) and pages with pretty pictures. I didn’t spend much time on it. Just quickly browsed. Also, I decided to keep the pages in alphabetical order. So after I found a few ‘A’ pages, I went on so that I could make it through the whole alphabet.
I grabbed more pages than I needed so that once I started the process of hanging them, I wouldn’t have to go back and get more pages.
Do you spy the unicorn? Every wall needs a unicorn.
I started in the top left hand corner of the wall and chose a left side page (so that the straight edges would fit into the corner). I painted polyurethane straight onto the wall then pressed the page into the poly. I made sure to wipe from the center to the edges to try and get all the air bubbles out from under the page. I immediately painted back over the page, gluing it down. This is why I like the thin pages of a dictionary instead of regular
book pages. They are easier to get to lay flat and less likely to get
bubbly underneath. I didn’t know this beforehand. Happy accident.
I should also say that we have added thicker crown molding in here since I did this project so that’s why there is overlap.
I went all the way down the far left side first and then layered pages on top. I wanted it to be organic looking. I didn’t want pages to be level with one another and I didn’t want every page to overlap the last so I layered some pages over more than half of the page before it.
Ok, ‘page’ is officially not looking like a word anymore. Know what I mean? Hate it when that happens..
When I got to the bottom of the wall, close to the trim, I just cut a straight line, then laid the page down from the bottom so that it butted up to the trim as closely as possible.
With the trim around the built in I just used right hand pages so that the straight edges were against the wall. I cut some of the pages up the center so that the organic layering stayed organic.
When I was done covering the whole wall, I applied a touch up layer of polyurethane. The light would catch areas that were more matte than the areas covered well with poly. The whole project took me a couple hours tops.
It truly is the only thing in our house that hasn’t changed since I did it. The stuff on the wall has changed but I love this wall. It’s clean and bright and neutral. Like I said, it has ripped pages and some bumps and wrinkles. It’s imperfectly perfect. I love it!
What about you? Do you have a temporary DIY in your house that has ended up being a favorite? Do you want to know about the feather art? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading, friends!
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