A Novel Idea! Adding Books To Our Home Office Ceiling

I’ve been so knee deep in attaching books to the ceiling, that I completely lost track of the days of the week! I intended on getting this posted on Thursday, but literally while I was eating dinner last night I realized it was already Thursday and this post is going up a day later. The life of a crazy person adding books to her ceiling, I guess! Lol. Let’s back up a bit.

Ok, so it’s Week 7 of the One Room Challenge! I always think eight weeks is way too long for this, but all of a sudden it’s Week 7 and a) I’m not sure if the sofa is going to arrive on time, b) I haven’t picked out drapes, c) what am I doing on the wall that the keyboard is on? If there’s art hanging over the sofa, do I want something different over the keyboard? and d) We just decided we want to add French doors to our office! So, ummmmm….. when do we have time to install and paint that? OY!

Let’s focus on one thing at a time, and this week, it was a DIY project that I’ve been thinking of for years!

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know old books have my heart. I really wanted our office to feel like a library/study. After I chose the Thibaut plaid wallpaper, I knew the ceiling had to be special, and one day forever ago, I thought… what if I somehow laid books all out on the ceiling???

Where do you find books all in the same color?

People have asked where I find so many books in the same color. These are all thrifted, mostly from the Salvation Army, and the key when you’re on the hunt is to make sure you’re looking underneath the book sleeve! Some of these had the most colorful sleeves, but it’s just a matter of taking them off to find that the book underneath is black with beautiful gold or silver lettering. Keep your eyes open!

The Plan

First, I removed the pages of the books. I know, guys. Seems almost painful to tear the books apart! Almost felt like I was gutting a soul. Ugh! BUT… here’s the thing. I love books. I love to read and I love decorating with books. I’ve collected these books for years at thrift stores- the majority being 50 cents each. I look at this as upcycling. I’m creating a lasting piece of art, and I’m not throwing away the pages! They’re beautiful on their own, so I’m keeping them in case I need them for some sort of future project.

So, I did this by kind of loosening the binds of the books carefully with my fingers, and then taking a razor straight down the sides.

You have to be very careful doing this so you don’t accidentally cut right through the book cover. You also have to be very careful pulling the pages after you razor cut, because some areas may still be stuck and you can rip the front cover if you’re too aggressive. The inside part can get torn up, no problem since that’ll be hidden. But you want to watch out for ripping the front.

Next, I started playing around on the floor with them- trying to figure out placement.

How will they stick?

Then I had to start thinking about how they would actually stick. Let me run down what I tried before figuring out what worked for me.

Gorilla glue? Fail. Worked for a few books, but then when I realized I had to overlap them a bit, they were falling.

Nail gun? Fail. A Brad Nailer shot straight through the book since the nails don’t have a head. There’s a nozzle to turn that reduces the pressure of the nail blast, and that worked, but then they didn’t go far enough IN, and I had to tap them with a hammer. Which is fine and all, but this gun is heavy. Didn’t want to have to go up and down a ladder hundreds of times carrying that thing. Plus, did I really want little nails all over my ceiling?

Command strips? Ding ding ding! I bought the largest size which holds up to 16 lbs. Friends, these book covers without their pages are light as a feather! Don’t want to jinx it, but this is working like a charm so far! And if one falls down the road- no biggie, I can fix it. I’m really not worried about it.

I cut the strips in half and put one on each corner of the book, being sure I didn’t butt it right up to the edge because then they’d be visible.

Then I got to working attaching them to the ceiling, alternating them between laying horizontally and vertically. I realized quickly that the best way to avoid any gaps, because I was too lazy to paint the ceiling first, was to overlap the books a bit. (WARNING: Do as I say, not as I do! Paint the ceiling first! That way you don’t have to worry about this! Had I just painted the ceiling black, then any gaps would be black and unnoticeable).

A peek so far…

Ok, so the ceiling is about halfway done. Lol. Add that to the list. Gonna be a crazy busy week! I have to run to every Salvation Army I can find to hunt down more books! Wish me luck! And stay tuned for this very special room reveal next week!

Thank you to the following sponsors…

  1. Minted
  2. Frog Tape®
  3. Anthropologie
  4. Thibaut
  5. Benjamin Moore
  6. Loloi Rugs
  7. Lulu & Georgia
  8. Shades of Light

Shop the room…



This Article Has 4 Comments
  1. Victoria says:

    I can’t decide if this is cool or completely insane 😂
    What if they fall on someone’s head, or break ornaments?

  2. Jennifer says:

    I can’t remember who linked to your office reveal post on Instagram, but she was so right – this space is amazing. And now I will just say a word of appreciation for blog posts: blogs make it easy to go back and find out the details of AMAZING CEILING TREATMENTS. I have no idea how or when or where, but I would love to re-create this somewhere in my home. My husband even loves it, and that’s saying something! You are so creative and talented. I’ve just started following you and I’m so looking forward to seeing more of what you do. Thank you!

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