Problem + Problem = Decorating Solution

The written word is often said to the greatest of man’s creations. I tend to agree. However, as far as old books are concerned, they apparently have no value. We have been wrangling with the issue of getting rid of 4 large boxes of books for about 5 years. They have even moved with us twice. The problem is that nobody wants them. We have approached charities, local hospitals, free listings ect… This weekend we decided to take drastic action.

Our kitchen was half decorated (as is much of the house still) and we had boxes and boxes of books just cluttering up the place. This is a rare example of where 2 wrongs make a right. We used the old books to decorate our kitchen! Perhaps this proves that the British spirit is ever resourceful.

Here’s how we did it:

We spent Friday evening sifting through the old books, keeping anything we wanted, separating anything that Emily’s school might like and chopping the images from anything that was left. There was a serious pang of guilt about chopping up literature but after 2 hours we were left with about 200 separate images.

Today I mixed up some PVA glue and water solution (50/50) and simply soaked the pages before applying them to the wall. The walls in our kitchen are particularly bumpy (Emily’s dad did the plastering – need I say more?) and this process certainly hides a multitude of sins.

Once dry  I applied a further coat of PVA solution, and that should make the walls splash proof and wipe-able. This is a handy feature in our house.

Now we can do the washing up and read a book at the same time. That’s what I call multi-tasking!

– James


  1. penelope says

    Like it …

  2. Katherine says

    My grandmother had a wall in her kitchen, beside the Rayburn, covered with pictures of food cut from her woman and home magazine. I remember helping her re-do it in the 70’s. I learned to cook beside those pictures, I think they gave me inspiration. Today’s minimalist, characterless kitchens are not quite the same!

  3. Our downstairs loo is wall papered with newspapers. Eventually they start to yellow but that just adds to the charm. Just discovered your web page and love what you’re doing. As farmers we always try to buy British food but haven’t embraced buy British as whole heartedly as you. Good luck. Hope you have goog eyesight to read all the tiny labels.

  4. We were hard up when we first moved into this house but had a lot of old OS maps. They looked fab on the kitchen walls!

    Well done for embarking on this challenge, all the best. (Found you on twitter)

  5. It’s definitely different. It’s very interesting following your journey.

  6. Vicky Hornsby commented on A Truly British Family:

    Top tip about the frying pans, need a new one and inspired by your blog was going to buy British, will be looking into these definitely!

  7. Lizzy commented on A Truly British Family:

    I’ve just been doing the same thing but with fabric scraps – covering a rather boring wooden storage box. Am going to do the same with all the upstairs doors (which need replacing, but I’m reluctant to throw them out). Think I might use some paper on the doors too, to help recycle some old books. Love what you’ve done in your kitchen !

  8. Thank you so much. x

  9. One of my fondest memories as a child was sleeping at Grandmas house in my Uncle Ken’s bedroom which had a whole wall similar to yours (only in colour). Hours and hours could be lost reading the content and admiring the imagery. Awesome!

Leave a Reply

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed