Friday, October 28, 2011

My Definition of Home...A Dictionary Wall

If you are a detail-oriented person,
today's post will be right up your alley.

If you're not...
it might be best if you came back another day.

It's been over a week in the making,
so you may want to grab a
beverage and get comfortable.

Okay, for those who are still here,
here we go.............

When you find a $3 dictionary that looks like this...
and it is a postbound book, with 1,888 easily removeable pages...
and you have paneling in an entryway that looks like this...
You know why you were meant to become
the rightful owner of that dictionary.

You just know...
My options were:
1)  paint the paneling - but then it would have been
ugly painted paneling
2)  Tear down the paneling
and replace with something else -
maybe someday, but not a priority right now
3) wallpaper over the paneling - much more doable and less expensive, so that became my plan!

The first page of the dictionary
got centered above the doorway.
I used good ol' Elmer's glue to adhere the pages.
Modge Podge would have been much too pricey
for a project as large as this.
Working my way around the door frame.
About half of the first wall is almost done.
Once the walls were completely covered in pages,
I put a topcoat of glue over all the pages.
It gave the pages an even lovelier
golden tone when it dried.
The illustrations are like little works of art.

 And so many wonderful words to choose from.  
In keeping with the aged look of the
dictionary pages, I decided on a
combination of a vintage & industrial look
for the entryway.

It's all in the details, so
here's a little tour of how I dressed the area up.

I reattached the coat hooks
that were previously hanging in the entryway.
I love the darkened, authentically-aged
look of the wood - scrapes and all.
It's perfect for hanging
baskets, antique scissors & snips...

and an old hanging ruler.
Resting on the coat hook board is another old ruler.
And above the coathook is another
basket with a vintage linen inside...
and my handmade "Nantucket Chair Caning" sign.
On the floor is this old carpeter's tool trunk,
which holds an antique wooden cheese box
stocked with chair caning supplies.

This roll-top desk was purchased
by my uncle, who gave it to my mom
(and she refinished it), who gave it to me.
I've had it for at least 15 years.
I replaced the original wood knobs
with some lovely glass ones.
These knobs were salvaged  from this cabinet.
 You can read about what I did with this cabinet here.
The keyhole is missing the original metal plate, but I still love it.
On top, 2 gorgeous old sewing machines.

I love the names of them - 
"Honeymoon" & "Domestic".
 The name is especially fitting for the Honeymoon.
The details are "sew" love-at-first sight.

 I used lots of vintage sewing goods.

And some tattered antique books.
Above the rolltop desk is this wooden frame that I added a chalkboard to, with a portion of Psalm 19:14 written on it.

Here's the steamer trunk tray and the amber bottles I decided not to sell.  They both were just too perfect for this space to part with them.
On the side of the desk is my Industrial Chair that I added vintage ephemera to.

Now to put the details together...
Book Page Wallpaper Repurposed Books Salvaged Books Dictionary Page via Knick of Time
Total cost for this project?
$3 for the dictionary
$20 for the glue
I'd love to say this room is finished,
but the floor is plain concrete
that has lots of stains.

I'd like to cover it with
reclaimed brick road salvage,
for the look of
an old Midwestern street.
We have a few of these left in our town,
and while bumpy to drive on,
Their bygone-days look is beautiful.
If the price quote comes back
unreasonable high,
then I think I'll try using the
brown bag technique on the floor
that I read about on Lovely Crafty Home here.
Brown paper bag floor
It will use the same process as the walls,
except I'll use our leftover floor sealer
that we used on a wood floor in our old house,
instead of glue as the topcoat.

The other part that isn't finished in this entryway
is the whole other side of the room!
I still have plenty of glue left
to finish the other walls.
I have enough dictionary pages left
to do another small room!
My husband is working on one
of the walls, for the remodeling
that he's started in the bathroom on the other side,
so it may be awhile before the
entire room is done.

This entryway will have an
ever-changing display,
because although some of the things
are mine and I'm keeping them,
some are available in my Etsy shop,
so I'll rotate things in and out as they sell.

Step by Step
it's feeling more like
our home, instead of just a house.


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  1. I Love your walls! They turned out beautiful! Makes me wish I had panel walls to hide :) What a wonderful idea!

  2. Beautiful transformation! Love the scripture on the blackboard that ties it all together. . .very clever! Love the look ~ your name is written ALL over it! Blessings!

  3. Amazing! Beautiful and creative use of the dictionary. You are so brave to do it, not everyone could pull it off but with all your details the room really comes together. I love the chair and your roll top desk. The walls are absolutely unique and wonderful! I'm totally pinning this right now - as a book lover - on my Home Library board. This would look beautiful in a home library too. Thanks for sharing. Saw you on TT&J.

  4. OH ME OH MY!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!! what can one say except for "that's AMAZING!!!!!!! Can I come over and Read your walls...;) well I know who to go to when I need to know the meaning of a word..;) have I told you that I LOVE it!!!! Well I do.... Love it that is... ;)

  5. Well this certainly turned out great...and $23?! Very creative!

  6. how fabulous is this! not only is it gorgeous i feel smarter all ready : ) hugs...

  7. Oh Angie, so that is what you have been doing. I LOVE it and I think most bloggers like us that love this look wish we have old yucky paneling to cover instead of new sheetrock walls that we don't want to harm. You never have to buy the expensive Mod Podge again, just mix equal amounts of white glue with water and you have it. You are doing a great room at a time, making your new house a home.

  8. Oh - I love it all! Can I come over and just browse and snoop? I think we'd be great soul mates :) Wish you lived nearby (maybe you do - I didn't check). And I have my Etsy stuff all over the house too :) Enjoy your new room.

  9. Oh - and you can make homemade mod podge and use less glue. It is 3 parts glue and 1 part water... forgot to mention that. :)

  10. This is gorgeous! We have icky paneling too. In some rooms we did paint it, but in the living/dining area, hubby sealed it with Kilz and then we spackled over it by filling in the grooves and we textured the entire room and made it look like old plaster. I love it! Neither of us like paneling. ICK!

    Your entry tells a lot about you from the first step into your home for anyone lucky enough to receive an invitation!

    Love it all!

    XO Diane

  11. I am a detail-oriented person but found myself having to resist a strong urge to go to the end of the post so I could see the finished project. (Like when reading a good novel and you just can't wait to get to the end so you peek at the last page. Actually I've never done that but have been tempted plenty of times.) It was well worth the wait. Absolutely brilliant! Keep on inspiring us!

  12. I need one more detail please. How did you handle the grooves in the paneling when gluing the pages?

    I think this looks fabulous! I have a huge old dictionary . . . hmmmm . . .

    And you were so right to keep all of those old bottles!

  13. WoW1 That is an amazing transformation!

  14. Very unique, love how it turned out.

  15. It looks awesome with all your accesories. I think the floor idea is a good one as well. What a lot of work but very cost effective.

  16. You must have WAY more patience than I do! Which is why I don't have anything as cool as this! I love the way it turned out and what a fitting background for all your vinatge treasures!

  17. WOW. I just saw this, and I LOVE it! The pages make such a statement, but they're still simple and a great backdrop for all your cool stuff! Looking good, Angie!

  18. This is awesome! I featured you today, come check it out.

  19. Gorgeous! I love the book pages on the wall and all your beautiful accesories.

  20. Oh my goodness this room is fabulous! I love all of the photos and details of the room! I am in love! I would be crazy excited if you would come over and link up at Crafty Scrappy Happy :o)
    Jaime from Crafty Scrappy Happy

  21. Wow! This took some guts. It turned out fabulous! Great job.

  22. I’m a new follower from Terrific Thursday. Won’t you hop on over and follow me back?

  23. You had me with the dictionary.....fabulous!!


  24. What an Incredible room, I Love the walls & the Sweet decor... I sure wish I could do that to a room, but I am a renter, maybe I could get away with just the small wall in the bathroom ~ I may try it~
    Thanks for sharing

  25. So creative! It looks incredible :)


  26. OMG! How amazing is that? Quite amazing, I say! I thought I was the Queen of learning to make "do" with what you have, but honey you have me beat! Congrats! I am following you from the Terrific Thursday Blog Hop!Trying to follow you but nothing is coming up. So I will finish this comment and reload the page and then follow you some kinda way. Hope you will come by and say hi!

  27. Ok, it loaded I am now following you via GFC :-)

  28. wow what a differance a dictionary page can make! i love how it turned out.

  29. <3, <3, <3 it!
    I did a room once with maps from National Geographic. I used wallpaper paste to stick them on went over them with golden oak stain, wiping off any excess. t ended up being one gorgeous bathroom.

  30. Oh well...the <3 were supposed to be hearts! lol

  31. What a bargain redo...and it looks amazing. I think this would be great for my guest loo...maybee a book of Wel done it looks wonderful!

    Tassels Twigs and Tastebuds

  32. Oh my goodness - I am just in awe!!! LOVE your new wallpaper!!! ;-D


  33. Your wallpaper is terrific! You did a great job, and the price is certainly right!

    Thanks for sharing your creativity at Potpourri Friday!

  34. It's coming along beautifully! I love that you used a dictionary on the wall! So glad you linked up with us and can't wait to see what you link up this week!


  35. Just wanted to let you know I featured you! Feel free to come grab a featured button!


  36. love your blog!!!and great article I love any antique or anything old and of value!!! coming from chasing the rainbow (catching up). stop by and check out our delicious cookies

  37. Oh my goodness, that was seriously AMAZING!!! My jaw dropped open when I saw how everything came together and it looks like something out of a magazine. Thank you so much for sharing it with us this past weekend at Inspiration Friday!

  38. I am so glad I found your blog - that dictionary wall paper and then the collection of vintage and older furniture and wall decorations - WOW. I am going to follow in a second.
    - Joy

  39. This turned out fabulous, and your photos are wonderful, thanks so much for linking up to VIF!!

  40. I love it, Angie! How smart to have used the vintage dictionary pages as wall much more interesting. And if you ever get bored, when you're sitting at your desk, you can always read your walls. lol

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday. Hope to see you again this week. Come by tonight and see your scholarly entry featured. ;)

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  41. First of all, let me tell you I hung onto every word. First I saw the dictionary, my brow furrowed when you said that you were putting the pages on the wall. I thought for a milisecond "Ok this is insane". Then picture by picture, description by description, my eyes widened. Then from "This is insane" to "This is incredible". You clearly put in so much work, but it was truly worth it. What a fabulous idea. The dictionary wall is the perfect backdrop to your amazing antique and vintage pieces. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing vision!


  42. This looks so good! I have one of those old dictiories in my pile of yard sale stuff. Guess I'll drag it back out and do something with it instead of selling it! Thanks for the inspiration in the knick of time! ~ Barbara

  43. I LOVE what you've done!! Are you a professional designer? You could be if this is an indication of what you do. I found you through At the Picket Fence, my first visit here, not my last though!

  44. The entrance looks really good! Great update!!
    Donna G

  45. Oh my goodness- how charming!! Love how it turned out- thanks for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday!

  46. How cool!! Love,love those sewing machines!!
    Thanks again for partying with us at Share & Share!

  47. That is just amazing - I love the dark silhouettes of the scissors against the words. And the illustrations!

  48. what an incredible re-do! creative and beautiful. greetings on pearl and lace thursday (& friday...!) xo

  49. I am in awe. Thank you so much for linking up to last weeks show and share. Make sure to come back and link up this week with your latest project.

    A mommy's life...with a touch of yellow

  50. I absolutely love the dictionary wallpaper, and the verse on the chalkboard is wonderful with it. I'm pinning this! Little Bit from

  51. It looks fantastic! I love the vintage appeal of it! :) So lovely!


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