Deco-“paged” Hobbit Wall

Thror's Map, close up

When I was in high school, I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for the very first time.

Tolkien’s world wrapped me up and captured me.  I fantasized (and still do!) of taking off for middle earth, walking the road with Bilbo and visiting the elves.

Once a fandom girl, always a fandom girl.

The Hobbit x 16

Part of my Hobbit collection

When my hubby and I bought our home ten years ago, I had already been stockpiling paperback copies of the The Hobbit.   I’ve been collecting interesting Tolkien covers for years and have a lovely collection.  More than one sad, falling-apart copy of The Hobbit came home with me, just to have for that special project I knew I’d be doing some day.

It’s been a good seven or eight years ago that the “The Reading Room” came in to existence.    I still remember the wicked happiness I had knowing that I was permanently attaching words from one of my very favorite stories onto a wall in my house.  Part of it was the joy of Tolkien, and part of it was rebellion at years in rental places with cream colored walls!

When we have new visitors for the first time, and they ask to use our restroom, it’s always with a bit of glee that I direct them to the proper door.  Most people hold on to their calm until they’ve exited the room, but we get the occasional guest that will shout out through the door after they’ve entered.  It’s incredibly striking to stand face to face with a wall that is book pages top to bottom!

And hey, we’ve always got something to read in the bathroom!

Hobbit Decopauge Wall

Decoupaged Wall with pages from two copies of The Hobbit

Note: This is a permanent application. Do not use this technique unless you are absolutely sure you want a permanent change.


● books (something you’re willing to recycle  paper back books, maps, picture or comics, newspapers or letters) – amount will vary depending on the size of the wall and the materials used to cover it

Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish or other clear protective finish

● High Quality Paintbrush (check finish container for suggested brush)

● parchment paper

● large piece of cardboard

● masking tape

● newspaper or drop cloth

● latex gloves

● mineral oil

● rags


  1. Protect floor, baseboards, etc, with newspaper or drop cloth and masking tape.
  2. Gently remove the book cover (I framed mine and hung them in the same room as the deco wall).
  3. Peel apart the individual pages (this works best with paperback books).
  4. Tape a large piece of parchment paper to the cardboard.
  5. Wearing the latex gloves, put place several book pages on the parchment paper.
  6. Using the paintbrush, cover each with Polycrylic.
  7. Start applying pages to the wall. For a neat effect, line pages up side by side, or overlap and vary (as shown) for a more staggered effect.
  8. “Cut in” by placing pages side by side or slightly overlapping to frame your wall then working your way in.
  9. Use the brush to smooth out any air bubbles. You only have a minute or so to work with each page, so make sure you’re happy with it before moving on.
  10. Allow pages to dry and then apply another coat of Polycrylic over the wall.
  11. Use mineral oil and rags for clean up. Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s safety instructions.

Thror's Map

Thror’s Map, a reproduction that hangs in “The Reading Room”
drawn by Jennifer Ofenstein, 2003
black inck on tea stained paper

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also posted on cut out + keep

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24 thoughts on “Deco-“paged” Hobbit Wall

  1. Michelle

    WOW!~How cool is that!?
    I am just finishing up The Fellowship of the Ring for the first time. And I glanced down at my bookshelf the other day and saw the Hobbit…now why didn’t I start with that one? ha. Have a great day!

    1. ofenjen Post author

      I read FotR first, too! I’m not sure why, it just worked out that way. The Hobbit will make nice desert after you finish the trilogy. 🙂


  2. Michelle

    This idea has been stewing around in the back of my head….I dont’ have a wall I can do, as we live on base, but, you’ve seen those clip boards that people Mod Podge scrapbook paper to? I think I’m going to try it with book pps!! I’ll let ya know! 😉

  3. Nola @ the Alamo

    Wow, that’s spectacular. What a great idea! I was directed here from Michelle (It’s Just What I Do); her post shows her finished clip board. Ya’ll are giving me the “decoupage bug”, but I think I’ll start with something a bit smaller than a wall!

  4. wader

    This is fantastic. We’re going to do the back of our pax wardrobe (from Ikea), that acts as a room divider, with sheet music. We’ll have to cover it with MDF or hardboard first and then prime it. Do I have to apply the polycrylic to the board first or just the paper? Also, can you think of a way to tint the wall after. With sheet music it’ll be very white and I’d like an antiqued look (slightly yellowed/tea like).

    Thank you!!

    1. ofenjen Post author

      You can use a thin coat of paint or even varnish right on top of the paper before you seal it. You can get a sort of antique-y look by painting on the color and then immediately wiping if off again. If you want to do that, use a thinned down glue to apply the paper instead of the poly because it makes the surface pretty much water proof.

      Here’s the end of a quilt rack that I did some decoupage on and then painted over before sealing. That’ll give you an idea.

      Good luck with your project!


      1. wader

        Thank you for the quick response. If we use the poly to apply the paper am I applying the poly to the back side of the paper (that goes on the wall) or will it soak through by painting the side away from the wall? Sorry if it’s a silly question, I just want to be clear as I’m a little hazy on the directions and I can’t find anyone else using poly for decoupage. Everyone seems to be using Mod Podge® or watered down glue. Thanks again! I’ll be sure to contribute pictures to your flickr stream.

        1. ofenjen Post author

          You can definitely use Mod Podge, I use it too, but I was doing a bathroom wall for this project and wanted the waterproof aspect that the poly gives. It tends to get in places you don’t intend when you use it to put the paper on the surface, which is why I wouldn’t recommend it if you want to paint on top. You might end up with some blank spaces whereas glue or Modge Podge is a bit easier to control.

          Hope that helps!


    1. Tomaito-e

      But seriously, I’m so inspired by this idea. I love that you did it in your bathroom! It looks very romantic.

  5. MrsFrog

    Love this! just posted a link on my twitter – just planning which wall to try this on – like others I’m thinking maybe a whole wall might be a little much in my small flat (for my husband to take in one go!) I might mask off a large-ish area and start with that.

    1. ofenjen Post author

      Excellent, thank you so much for the tweet! It would be a lot for a large wall. Mine is in a tiny room and it’s just on one side. And, of course, it looks better in person! I’d love to see photos once you’ve done yours!


    1. ofenjen Post author

      Your sheet music room divider came out just beautiful. I’m sure it’s a conversation piece. 🙂

      Thanks for your positive comment, too. I do appreciate it!

  6. Bobbie

    way too cool! When we first moved into the house I taped pages from country magazine to the walls in the itty bitty basement bathroom because it was drywall and nasty and we were going to redo the whole thing anyway. Real book pages would be so cool! ooh imagine a craft room with pages from patterns and old sewing books…..

  7. Judy

    Wow! That is incredible! You used one of my favorite books too. The Tolkien series is the very best.


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