Bibliophiles, Look Away!

When we moved into our home nine years ago, we revamped nearly every surface in the house-walls, floors, countertops, etc. That is with one exception. The grasscloth wall in the living room. Like leg warmers and neon-splatter-paint-off-the-shoulder-sweatshirts, all trends seem to come back around at some point. And unlike the 80s, the grasscloth trend was kind to us. I have the good fortune to know the family that built this home in the early 60s and was told that the grasscloth isn’t original, but it looks as if it has been there for some time. And Dr. Kyle instantly fell in love with it when we first laid eyes on it.


I love it, too (it really does have fabulous texture) but as I freshened up the surrounding wall color the grasscloth was just a little too gold. I considered painting it, but I could see the fear in Dr. Kyle’s eyes. So I left it alone. For a long time. Like, as in YEARS. Then I had an epiphany. What if I could cover it up without actually altering it. Seemed reasonable, but with what? I’d seen book page walls that I loved, but that required all kinds of Modge Podge and permanence.

What if I stapled them on as if it was one giant bulletin board? Brilliant! Pages affixed and grasscloth unaltered. Now, to free those pages from their binding. I decided that if I tried cutting them off (even a few at a time) I would wind up needing a room with padding rather than book pages. So, My Dude and I decided heavy machinery was required. Off to the shed we went.


My handsome Dude

When inspiration strikes, there’s no time to change out of your cashmere and pearls. This girl doesn’t mess around.



First we tried the table saw, but then My Dude suggested we try the band saw. Who knew that a band saw could cut a book binding off so cleanly? He’s a smart one, that kid.

Once the bindings were cut off I laid out my supplies on the piano bench and got to work. I chose to use different sizes of books to break up the “pattern” a bit. The colors were also slightly different. All the better. Oh, and  I used staples. Lots and lots of staples. *Note: Only four brave books gave their lives for this project.

IMG_3635I started from the bottom and worked my way up so I could cover the staples.

IMG_3638Here’s how far I’d gotten with one strip of staples, just as a point of reference.


Aaaaand done!


Start to finish (with more than one break in between to rest my hands) this project took just a few hours to complete. And all the books (I used parts of four of them) were laying around my house, so they were nice and free.

So do I now have a bajillion holes in my wall? Yes, but if and when we take the grasscloth down, it will need to be skim coated anyway, so no problem. It isn’t a subtle look, people, so this isn’t for the faint of heart. It is, however, cheap and easy, which is right up my ally.





3 thoughts on “Bibliophiles, Look Away!

  1. Pingback: Our Living Room | Chez Moi

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