Friday, February 26, 2010

Hi Ladies,
I've finally had a chance to put together this DIY post from Ruche's first Spring lookbook. Sorry for the delay! Everything is extremely easy and can spruce up any plain wall in your home.


1. Floral wall made out of butcher paper

Stephanie got a roll of butcher paper and we were debating what do to with it. The night before the photo shoot, the Ruche team decided to make paper flowers and taped it to the wall. It was inspired by the book "paper chains and garlands" by June Gilbank that my husband picked up from Barnes and Nobles weeks before, hoping to one day use it..indeed we did! See instructions below.


We made different shaped and sized flowers out of butcher paper. For this particular wall, we covered the wall with butcher paper first, and then taped the flowers to it. This method could be used on a smaller scale and can be framed in a boxed picture frame too! You can also mix it up with different colored papers. BE CREATIVE!



2. Book paper mache wall

We picked up some used cheap paper back books at the thrift store. You don't necessary need old antique books, just books with pages with a yellow tint. (If you're wondering, we used Secret Garden, 3 Ninjas, and some other one. haha) We used a paint roller to roll "Sta-Fold" (liquid starch that use for iron clothes) all over the wall, stuck old book papers on wall, and rolled another coat of "Sta-fold". Work one section at a time. Wait for it to dry..and TADA!

To make the shelves out of books, you just pick a book you want to use as a shelf, put l-brackets through it, and screw it to the wall. Instead of stacking more books on it, you can substitute with pictures frames, vases, and more!



3. Natural Peel-able Wallpaper

You can make a cornstarch paste that can be used to paste fabric on your walls. The cool thing is that you can easily peel off the fabric and change it up. Recycle your fabric by putting it in the wash and you have the same fabric you started with.


Cornstarch paste is easy to make and works well for both wallpaper and papier mâché. Make one batch at a time to avoid lumps in the paste. For one gallon of paste, sift one cup of cornstarch into a large pot. Slowly add one gallon of hot tap water a little at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition of water with a wire whisk. Heat the mixture on medium high heat on the stove, stirring constantly, until it thickens and becomes clear. Let the paste cool to room temperature for use. Instructions take here and here . As for the bottom section, the boys (Stephanie's hubby and mine) looked up how to install wainscotting and went at it. It turned out great!



4. Antique looking wooden floors
Stephanie introduced me to milk paint and I love it. Looks like I'll be painting EVERYTHING with milk paint. If you want that old antique finish on your furniture, milk paint is an excellent solution.

For our lookbook, the boys made this floor out of 2x4 wood blocks and we painted it with "oyster white" milk paint.

Hope you enjoyed our DIY post. If you ever get to using any of these ideas, I'd LOVE to see pictures!!!


Comments (63)
  • How fun! And how nice of you to post such elaborate tips on how you created it. Now if only you had tips for keeping wee little models still ;)

    Posted on February 25, 2010

  • Thank you sooo much, these are great ideas! that milk paint looks very neat ant i absolutely cant wait to try it. It sounds soooo much easier than white paint and sandpaper XP. I also must say those flowers ar such a simple but very cute decoration. love love love them!

    Posted on February 25, 2010

  • All of the style shots you all do it amazing. Thanks for sharing some inside tips!! <3

    Posted on February 26, 2010

  • You are amazing for posting these DIY's. Thank you so much! I also see stuff like this that I like, but then never know how to google it. So this is such a brilliant idea. (Definitely love the milk paint!)

    Posted on February 26, 2010

  • This is a great post- I really enjoyed the behind the scenes feel of it! ;)

    Posted on February 26, 2010

  • what an incredibly inspiring post! thank you so so much for this!

    Posted on February 26, 2010

  • If worried about lumps in the cornstarch mix, why dissolve it in hot water? It's typically dissolved in cold water first for that exact lump reason. You're cooking it on the stove anyway...

    Posted on February 27, 2010

  • Absolutely LOVE the books-as-shelves idea. I've been desperately looking for some new, artistic idea to add some subtle flair to my guest room...I'm on my way to the used book store now!! Thanks so much for posting

    Posted on February 27, 2010

  • amazing post! would love to set up a studio like this! thank you for sharing it all!!!

    Posted on February 27, 2010

  • I'm so glad you've enjoyed the post! Please send me pictures if you ever experiment! (

    Posted on February 28, 2010

  • Mai, I love it!! Thank you for sharing how do your beautiful photo shoots! I have a craft room/office area that I have been wanting fun ideas for. I am going to use your ideas for the walls in my room. I will send pictures when it is all completed!
    Oh, and as a special thank you I just ordered la dentelliere dress! (Okay, truth is I would have ordered it anyways. Love your stuff)

    Posted on February 28, 2010

  • for the larger flowers on the wall, did you use a special sized butcher paper or the standard kind? the directions say to use squares, and if it is the usual kind of butcher paper i am thinking of, the flowers wouldnt come out as large as they look on the floral wall for the shoot. or, is it unnecessary to use perfect squares because we can still make them out of rectangular cuts?
    i'm really looking forward to making a floral wall in my room now! thanks so much for sharing with us! only more reason to love ruche!

    Posted on February 28, 2010

  • Cassarah,
    We used standard butcher paper for all the flower except for the big flower on the bottom left and the top right corner. For those two flowers, we actually used photo background paper which is a big wider. Hope that helps!

    Posted on February 28, 2010

  • This is perfect! I was looking for a cheap way to redo my room since I am running low on cash- these are uber cute and affordable!!!! THANK YOU!!!

    Posted on March 1, 2010

  • I ma new here and I adore everything about it!!

    Posted on March 3, 2010

  • wow this must have taken a while, I hope i can get to try it soon

    Posted on March 3, 2010

  • Wow, thanks so much for this post! I'm starting to redecorate my house and I love the style invoked by Ruche so much! These look like fun DIY projects. Can't wait to try them!

    Posted on March 4, 2010

  • Thanks so much for the how to on these fun ideas! I will definitely be sharing this post with my blog readers. Would it be ok to use a few of the photos as I refer to your post?

    Good job! I cant wait to see what you guys come up with next.

    Posted on March 4, 2010

  • Thanks ladies!

    Jenn-Lee - Yes, feel free to use any of our pictures. =)

    Posted on March 4, 2010

  • Awesome! Thanks so much! :)

    Posted on March 4, 2010

  • Wow! I love your concepts! Great tips!

    Posted on March 7, 2010

  • I could have sworn that those paper flowers, were really fabric. They look so softly, man handled.
    Well done.

    Posted on March 9, 2010

  • Hi Mai,
    Thanks for all the tips. How lovely for you to share! I found your sight from Mia Joie and loved the old book idea. The first time I saw something like that I was at the Anthropologie in SoHo about 10 years ago. When I saw yours it inspired me to do the technique for my Once upon a time collection. We took book pages and glued them to 4 sheets of blueprint paper and now have a portable backdrop. I do kids clothes so the size is perfect for little ones. I love your site, you have such a gift for merchandising and buying, it is truly your calling!Cheers to you!Thanks.

    Posted on March 10, 2010

  • I've done these to my walls before and love it! FYI though, I did the book page thing a few years ago and it was killer trying to get it off the wall. maybe because they were really old book pages... i don't know.

    Posted on March 12, 2010

  • I would love to know where they found the instructions for creating the wainscoating. We want to do that in our kitchen. Love the ideas! I think the flowers would be absolutely adorable with starched fabric and put in a smaller scale for my daughters br! Thanks!!

    Posted on March 22, 2010

  • Any tips on how to do the book pages look without destroying your walls? Will the liquid starch pull the paint off the wall when I remove the pages?

    Posted on March 22, 2010

  • Awesome! Thank you for these DIY instructions. I really like the book page wall since I was an English major!

    Posted on March 22, 2010

  • The wainscoting was actually done by a collective effort by Stephanie's husband Isaac, and my husband, Josh. They said it was pretty simple if you have a miter saw, level, ruler, and nails. Its like making picture frames and nailing them to the wall.

    I think removing the bookpages might require a little work. We will peel most of it off, then use a warm water soaked sponge to loosen up the corn starch. The corn starch comes off fairly clean, but I think the wall should be re-painted after anyway.

    A few of our friends used the pinwheel flowers as backgrounds for their engagement shots too, the pictures came out really nice too! They set up the background on their garage door and waited for the sun to come up.

    Hope that helps =)


    Posted on March 22, 2010

  • I appreciate what you offer on this site, but I must object to your use of the "old books" for your project. I question the sanity and mentality of anybody who thinks that turning old books, and possibly classics into some crappy art is justifiable. You people who do these things have no respect for things other people would value for what they are. It is the saddest commentary on our society I can possibly think of. I wish you would not promote the destruction of books. There are people in the world, including myself, who would have loved to rescue the books you sacrificed for your project. How sad!!!!

    Posted on March 23, 2010

  • To whom it may concern,

    We are sorry you took so much offense to our post of using "old books" and turning them into wall paper art. We didn't think anyone would miss books on tax laws or other mass printed books. We carefully selected which books would be used for wallpaper, and which ones would be kept in tact. In particular the books that were used as shelves are still in perfectly readable condition, and believe it or not, we do enjoy browsing through them during our breaks.

    To our readers and friends who stop by our blog, we ask you too, carefully choose which books you use for your walls.



    Posted on March 23, 2010

  • This is absolutely amazing!!!! I love these insider tips. I'm going to try these during spring break. :)

    Posted on March 23, 2010

  • oh my gosh! I definitly trying this! Im a new follower and I cant wait to see more!

    Posted on March 26, 2010

  • love your clothes and love, love love the DIY projects. I can't wait to post these on my blog!


    Posted on March 31, 2010

  • I got here via a link from CRAFT Magazine blog. These ideas are awesome! I'm especially digging the fabric wallpaper idea after doing my own Google search about it and reading from all sites visited that it doesn't harm the paint job. We're renting a house and I want to make it more personable inside but we're not really allowed to do anything like painting or wallpapering.

    Posted on April 2, 2010

  • Thanks.

    Posted on April 4, 2010

  • I've worked at a public library, a Barnes & Noble, and an independent bookstore. Each threw books into dumpsters. There are just some books that no-one wants, despite how sentimental we are.

    At the public library, unwanted books mostly went to the prison system. But old Reader's Digest collections, technical manuals, periodicals, mass markets, etc. were dumped every day. Same deal at the used bookstore.

    At Barnes & Noble, it was just Mass Markets... lots and lots of mass markets, stripped of their covers and put in dumpsters.

    I don't work with books anymore (I have a clothing store, now), but I still go to my local libraries book sale. At the end they let you fill up paper bags of books for $1 each - I always grab all the atlases for craft projects.

    I think your wall art is beautiful!

    Posted on April 4, 2010

  • AWESOME AWESOME idea!!!!
    I would so do that to my wall if I wasn't so afraid of the collection of dust on the paper
    But it looks fantastic!

    I Can't Sew

    Posted on April 10, 2010

  • I used your butcher paper flower idea and so I'm leaving a link to show you the photos like you asked. :) It was super cute and I don't think I would have thought of it so I'm really glad for the idea!


    Posted on April 13, 2010

  • I'm halfway done covering my ceiling in these pages. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

    A note on making the wallpaper paste with corn starch. no need to slowly add hot tap water as the instructions say. just mix all the starch with cold tap water and whisk. the cold water doesn't cause the starch to congeal. Then follow the rest of the instructions as shown.

    And for smaller projects is so easy to cut the proportions in half so you don't end up with tons of paste.

    I'll post pics when its all done.

    Posted on June 9, 2010

  • Wow.. Most of the wallpapers are gorgeous.. Over the years bright colours have faded into soft dusty shades and what used to be bright white has become cream.

    Posted on June 30, 2010

  • I love the flowers! How did you get them to spread out? I am trying to make them for photo frames for my vintage style wedding and am not having much luck.

    Posted on August 1, 2010

  • Hi Meghan,
    You can tape the petals together on the back side. Good luck! We'd love what you come up with for the frames! Congrats!

    Posted on August 1, 2010

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    Posted on August 2, 2010

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    it name is ديكورات_دهانات

    Posted on September 6, 2010

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    Posted on September 13, 2010

  • I came across to your site and discover that there are exciting things to do to enjoy your DIY projects.You just have to be creative and have good source of interest for a nice outcome.

    Posted on October 1, 2010

  • wow...a wonderful site...

    Posted on October 2, 2010

  • what a terrific features in your site.. love to visit here.. review


    Posted on October 2, 2010

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    Posted on November 2, 2010

  • Its very hard working for decorate any wall. I am planning to decorate my bedroom walls with some childrens wallpaper with 3 Japanese wool rugs. Your tutorial is easy for learning but I seriously I am very confused. :D

    Posted on November 3, 2010

  • So genius. Thanks for the wonderful post. So inspiration !! :)

    Posted on December 30, 2010

  • one word. awesome :)

    Posted on January 21, 2011

  • The designer has an artistic way of making decorations. Using Pages of books as a wall decor is very creative. Quality materials combined with unique design makes a good decoration.

    Posted on February 1, 2011

  • Nice article. What a brilliant idea. I want this to be my wall decoration is my room. It is so unique and stylish. Keep posting blogs related to this.

    Posted on February 5, 2011

  • I love the butcher paper flowers! I was wondering where the best place to get butcher paper or some other paper that works good.

    Posted on March 7, 2011

  • They were all beautiful. From the shoes, up to those flowers. Nice!

    Posted on June 11, 2011

  • How did you get the butcher paper up on the wall??

    Posted on June 17, 2011

  • Nice wall. You are very creative and resourceful. There's a lot of things that we can do with spare things.

    Posted on July 9, 2011

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    Posted on August 2, 2011

  • Yeah, Its beautiful - great stuff.
    I love the flowers

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    Posted on August 4, 2011

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  • They look absolutely stunning!

    Posted on December 2, 2011

  • I would have never thought to apply butcher paper but that is a great idea.

    Posted on August 31, 2012