Word of warning: This post is not for the faint of heart bibliophile. A book did sacrifice its pages for this do-it-yourself project. A classic, in fact. I gazed long and hard at my bookshelf before deciding which tome I could possibly part with. Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights took one for the team... since it was just an edition purchased for British Literature back in the day. Again. Hardcore literature lovers, you may want to brace yourself or considering exiting promptly if you cannot bear the thought of defiling pages sacred to bookworms near and far...
I tore off the cover and sliced down the spine of Wuthering Heights with an exacto knife. Gruesome, I know. I took me a while to steady my hand for such violence. And then I tore each page from the other. Page after page after page. Until I had a big pile of individual pages.
And then I started gluing. I used a spray adhesive (Elmer's CraftBond Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive, to be specific) because it is a temporary bonding agent. If I want/need to remove the pages, I can simply peel them off. The spray adhesive worked great! However, half way through I ran out. And beings that I was doing this project in pajamas and with no desire to make a HobLobs run, I decided I'd try another method for the sake of experimenting, too.
So the rest of the time I used Mod Podge mixed with water. WARNING: For renters and dorm-dwellers, I highly recommend avoiding Mod Podge (even if diluted). Mod Podge (in all its glor) is a more permanent adhesive. I did this knowing that when the time comes to remove the pages, I'll need to do some hardcore scraping and probably re-painting. My apartment is old (100+ years) and the walls already aren't the best. But if you cause damage to your dorm or apartment walls, the landlord isn't going to be happy and you won't be getting that shiny security deposit back. Lovely Undergrad will not be held responsible for lost security deposits, so judge wisely. ;) Okay, I'll step down off my soap box now and continue with the project...
The project itself was easy but tedious. I'd definitely use the spray adhesive if I did this over again. All you have to do is spray and stick. The Mod Podge/water mixture required brushing it onto the pages. It also caused the pages to wrinkle, whereas the spray adhesive kept 'em nice and crisp. I didn't fret too much about placement since I think a slightly off page here and there adds character. I also didn't smooth down the corners of the pages since I prefer the texture. If you are a perfectionist or wrinkles, torn edges, peeling corners bother you... I recommend looking for a wallpaper that looks like book pages instead. This could be a frustrating project if you aim for perfection and smoothness.
I'm sooo delighted with how the pages have really brought my bed nook walls to life. It hides the wear and tear of the old walls---flaws, holes, weird dips and crannies. I used the entire Wuthering Heights book to do this. (The novel itself was only half the book, the other half being biography, reviews, history, commentaries, etc.) It took a lot more pages than I expected... and these aren't even full sized walls. So if you have a big wall, you may want to think ahead and get several books to mix up the pages from.
I also spray painted the little wire bookshelf a nice ivory to kinda blend into the book pages more. The light blue just wasn't suiting the space.
I love the one random illustration that was in the study part of the book! It adds a bit of unexpected interest to a sea of words.
Gahhh! I just can't stop looking at my book page walls. The project took me a couple hours total... the Mod Podge part taking longer. If I'd made the HobLobs run for more spray glue, I'd probably have been done in half the time. I also kept pausing to read whatever page I was gluing... so that tacked on several minutes here and there, too. ;)
There's a saying that, "Book lovers never go to bed alone." I can vouch for that, since I'll be going to bed with Emily Bronte every night. Wait, does that sound as weird as I think it does? ...Maybe I should have went with Leo Tolstoy or Shakespeare instead. Haha.
Again. Just to review. Don't do the Mod Podge (or even the spray adhesive) if you don't want to run the risk of getting in trouble with your RA/CA/landlord or losing your security deposit. I know I'll be able to make the walls look brand new (and probably better than their previous state) when I'm done with the book page wallpaper. ...But this isn't a project recommended for tenants and dorm-dwellers. xoxo.