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.
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!
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
- Protect floor, baseboards, etc, with newspaper or drop cloth and masking tape.
- Gently remove the book cover (I framed mine and hung them in the same room as the deco wall).
- Peel apart the individual pages (this works best with paperback books).
- Tape a large piece of parchment paper to the cardboard.
- Wearing the latex gloves, put place several book pages on the parchment paper.
- Using the paintbrush, cover each with Polycrylic.
- 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.
- “Cut in” by placing pages side by side or slightly overlapping to frame your wall then working your way in.
- 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.
- Allow pages to dry and then apply another coat of Polycrylic over the wall.
- Use mineral oil and rags for clean up. Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s safety instructions.
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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