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You guys are seriously the best, I’ve had so many amazing comments on my piano make-over and the book wall that I created above it. I wish I could take credit for the genius idea, but sadly I can’t. An amazingly talented Instgrammer @cottonstem created a similar one. I had the idea of doing something with books on my walls for many years, so when I saw Erin’s book wall it was a total “THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO” kind of moment. So today I figured I would give you a quick book wall tutorial on how I recreated this beautiful work of art using her tips and adding in a few of my own tricks.
My Book Wall Tutorial
Thanks in part to my inheritance of Rachel (you can read all about that fantastic secretary full of antique books here) and picking up every great vintage book I can find from estate sales and shopping trip I made, I have quite the collection of beautiful old vintage books. Some of which included some old-fashioned song hymnals that I thought would add the perfect touch above a piano. During one of those shopping adventures, I had also collected two dirty shutters in need of rescuing. They have been living in my garage, planning to use them one day in our bedroom. But I thought this would be a great focal point with the sheet music, although anything large like a sign would work. I gathered up any book I was willing to rip a few pages out of or add some nail holes into and headed to the wall with shutters in hand to start my project.
First thing I did was hang the two shutters back to back so that they looked like one large unit. I traced the outline of the shutters as a reference. Then, I took my pencil and drew out a large squiggle across the shutter outline as a guide for my pages.
After I ripped out several pages from my hymnals…
After I ripped out several pages from my hymnals, I started in the far left corner and far right corner as anchors. To secure the pages to the walls, I just used some regular old scotch tape. Double-sided tape works too, but I didn’t have any on hand.
From there I just added random pages to the wall, some in groupings, forming the outline. As I got closer to the shutter outline my line got wider. Once there I overlapped some pages to give it the effect of hymns peeping out from underneath the shutters. I continued to work loosely, not really trying to cover every spot just yet. I used the bigger sheets first and then layered in the smaller pages.
How I hung the books.
Once I had a rough shape going, I grabbed a few books and my nail gun. I started by nailing the covers to the wall and slowly added a handful of pages before adding another nail, I repeated this step maybe 5-6 times on each side. Just slowly layering the pages on. I wanted the look of the book laying open flat like.
Another book I just nailed the cover to the wall on either side and let the pages fan out. You can see that book in the photo above. And another I nailed it completely flat open. When you are recreating this, just be creative and do whatever you want with the books.
After I got all the books onto the walls, I just went in with a few extra pages as filler. Some of the pages I just stuck in between the wall and the book to just hang there. I love the different tone of the pages. I made sure to use some old yellowed pages along with some newer and whiter pages. The age of the book definitely has a lot to do with the coloring, so go for a mix of dates. I think the dark yellowed ones came from the 20s and the lighter ones from the 50s. The large sheets are even newer than that. Once I was satisfied with the page and book placement, I hung my shutters back up and added a fun magnolia wreath in the middle.
Don’t be afraid to hang the unordinary items.
If I can give you any piece of advice when decorating your home, don’t be afraid to hand the unordinary items on your wall. It’s just a few nail holes. (Maybe I’ll be back later with a tutorial on filling nail holes and repairing drywall. I’ll need it whenever I find the urge to change things up. Learning this gave me the confidence to broaden my wall hanging horizons.)