Impossible Things

The story behind this project actually started back in week four of CWTS. Corey and I were working on our oh-so-beloved reading room, and we wanted some DIY artwork to hang on the wall behind the chair. You know, the space that’s actually empty in our final photos?

Well, we had a grand plan and even almost finished it during the competition, but decided to nix it at the last second because we already had so much going on in the bookcases and we didn’t want the end result to be too busy. But we were super excited about the idea, so we decided to go ahead and finish it up once the contest was over. And I’m oh so glad we did.

When we were brainstorming ideas for art in the reading room, we knew we wanted something book-related. And, we also knew that if it was going to be related to a specific book, it had to be Alice in Wonderland. It’s my favorite book of all time (I have four copies!) and is probably the most quotable book in the history of ever.

We found a large frame in the As-Is section of Ikea and figured it would be perfect for the project, so we snatched it up.

I decided to sacrifice one of my copies of Alice for this project – we were going to buy a new copy, but I figured three copies of the book is just as good as four so I tearfully let one go.

Just kidding, I didn’t cry.

But I wanted to.

But, if I’m going to be honest here, I have to admit that I’ve already replaced this copy with a new on from Anthropologie. So I’m back up to four and all is right with the world. It’s an addiction.

For the background of the project, I took a razor blade to the book to carefully cut out pages that I thought looked interesting – I tried to go for a good balance of pages with illustrations, chapter intros, and full-text pages. Then I just used some spray adhesive to create a collage of book pages on the back of the frame.

Once that was done, we were about 90% finished with the project (seriously, this one’s a no-brainer). I asked my awesome and oh-so-helpful sister to help me out cutting out the quote we chose with her Cricut. I have one, but I’m still a little scared of it and it takes me about three hours to cut anything outside of the basics in the cartridge, so I figured it was much more efficient to be a baby and ask for her help.

Luckily, she’s nothing if not amazing, so she put something together for me (in like, 5 minutes because she’s a Cricut rock star) and cut it out on plain black scrapbook paper.

And then all I had to do was pull out my trusty glue stick and toss it on!

I told you it was easy.

I got extra lazy with this project and rather than taking the time to measure everything out and make sure it was perfectly spaced, I kind of just eyeballed it. I used an open folder to make sure my line was at least semi-straight, and I slapped the letters on.

I figure if anyone notices that it’s not perfect, I can remind them that it’s a quote from the book that practically invented whimsy, so maybe I did it on purpose!

But it looks pretty dang straight to me.

I’m so obsessed with how this turned out, and I’m head over heels in love with the quote. I love that we were able to pull something from my favorite book in the world, and I love how nicely it fits into the reading room.

Basically, it’s perfect.

What’s your favorite book in the world? Anyone else tossing together some book-related art lately? Or buying four copies of the same book?

…yeah, it’s probably just me on that one.



15 thoughts on “Impossible Things

  1. This is such a cool idea! I don’t think I own four copies of any particular book, and it’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but I think the quote you chose is excellent! I might have to try this sometime!


  2. Aw, I love it! I actually have that pink copy of Alice although I haven’t read it yet. Maybe I’ll add that to me to-do list soon.

    My favorite book(play?) and the only one I have more than one copy of is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. :)


  3. This is such a cool piece of art! I’m not sure I could sacrifice a book – when I heard our library uses old books for kindling, I refused to donate there. Your sister did a fab job on the letters. I’ve had a Cricut for 6 years and I’m nowhere near that good!


  4. Amanda-

    If I didn’t already love your site (which I do!), and I didn’t already feel like we have a lot in common (I have two puppies that are my children, I’m a teacher, I’m an avid reader…), then this project would have sealed the deal to convince me of how awesome you are:-). This is absolutely one of my fav-o-rite projects I’ve ever seen done. Ever. I also love Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland…and have been known to quote Jabberwocky, too. I’m an English major-I can’t help it!! I will absolutely be making one of these, and have to pick a book (it will be SO hard to pick a favorite!) and a quote….thank you for the awesome inspiration!!


    Amanda Reply:

    Aw, thanks! Glad you like it!


  5. I was just catching up on the last few weeks of your blog and am feeling the need to comment about how absolutely amazing, inspiring, and innovative you two are. I have always admired your little projects, but being a homeowner now, I appreciate these things in a whole new way. We’ve lived in our house for a little over three months now, and despite the decorating touches I’ve added, it still looks like we just moved in. Achieving such a layered, personal, stylish yet lived-in look is a gigantic task that I’m realizing many people never achieve in their homes. The fact that you guys are already there after a year and a half is AMAZING. You and Corey are gifted with such a great eye for approachable design. I sincerely hope you guys develop a blog following that rivals that of blogs like Young House Love. You so deserve it. :)


    Amanda Reply:

    Thanks so much, Bri! That’s so sweet of you, and nice to hear – sometimes I feel like we’re taking FOREVER to get things done. :)


  6. Just had to chime in and say how much I loved this project. I’ve done something similar with much loved books, (framing pictures of my favouirte childrens’ books for my baby daughter’s room,) but not to the same extent with the quotes – gorgeous! Love your blog.


  7. My favorite book series are the Betsy-Tacy books, and I do have two copies of the first in the series. Although there aren’t nearly as many versions of them as Alice in Wonderland.

    I do love this idea, and think it would be so many fun to do something similar in a nursery using prints from all different type sof children’s books.


  8. I am way behind in my feed reader and just saw this today. I don’t comment often but must say this is so neat! I love it! I need to do something like this for my bedroom…


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