DIY · Uncategorized

Did Somebody say CAKE??


Is this not one of the coolest art installations ever??  I saw this in a coffee shop months ago and just had to take a picture.  I stored the idea in my little brain and thought about it now and then and how I could do the same thing on a smaller scale in my house.

But where?  And what drawing?  I think a giant bird swooping down in my little house could just send someone over the edge.  Alfred Hitchcock I am not.

After deciding that the kitchen wall above my island, though smallish, was the ideal spot to implement this project, I set out to figure the best way to execute it.


First I measured the wall and picked which books I didn’t mind losing to the project.  I laid them out to see how it could look.  I once had the famous phrase by Marie Antoinette  “Let Them Eat Cake”  laser cut from vinyl and applied to the bulkhead in my kitchen in a former home.  I really loved that quote there and thought it would be appropriate to repeat it in my kitchen now.  We all know you can never have too much cake…

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I played around with the layout, with the amount of books and how and with what I would apply the words.

Husband graciously drilled the holes in all four corners of each book for me (let me just add here that I am totally capable of drilling holes in books myself, but he offered so I accepted.  We roll like that sometimes.)

IMG_1461  I used these nuts and bolts, sometimes the WRONG way (nut on the SAME side as the bolt). My husband had difficulty with that one.  He kind of argued that I shouldn’t really do it that way.  Really, husband?  Will the Nut and Bolt Police come arrest me??  Team, if you learn nothing else from me today, it’s RELAX.  There is no wrong way to do your art.  Who cares if someone thinks you are doing it inappropriately!  It’s your art so you get to set the rules.  Some of the books didn’t even end up with matching nuts and bolts.  Some are even a different colour! I’m not kidding.

I added a good gob of hot glue gun glue on the back of the nut/screw/bolt/washer/whatever to secure it to the pages and book cover and to semi protect the wall from the scratching bits.

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I thought about painting all the words and drawings on the pages in black craft paint, but I was concerned the wet paint could warp the pages. I ended up colouring in what needed colouring with a good old Sharpie, and did that shading the back of the drawing thing with pencil lead so you can trace the drawing you want on to paper.  The retro woman I pilfered from the free clip art images on the internet.  I could have drawn her, but why mess with perfection?  The cake and the first two words however, are freehand.  If you make a mistake or aren’t crazy about how a drawing looks, TURN THE PAGE!  You have a multitude of chances to get it right.

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Here’s the next step.  These 3M products that I got at the Home Depot are currently my best friend (sad, isn’t it?).  Follow the directions exactly.  Using these, I  mounted them on the wall without any fear of damaging the paint job and they can be removed easily without a trace that they ever even existed.  Like dinosaurs.  Except there IS evidence for dinosaurs.  So never mind.

IMG_1470  After measuring to find the centre of the wall – a little math but I got through it, I placed the tape strip to guide where I wanted to start and stop and how high. Did you know there’s an App that works like a perfect bubble level?   I did, and I used it.  It was free.  My favourite thing.

Laying the books in front of the wall I chose in the order they were to go helped me visualize the job ahead.


Up they went.


And there you go.  Let them eat cake.  Figuratively and literally!






110 thoughts on “Did Somebody say CAKE??

    1. I just played around until I liked how it all sat and flowed. I think I started out with 10 books and it was laid out so differently than what I ended up with. It’s really all just trial and error. Lots of error! Thanks for your comment!

  1. FTPT, I’m totally digging this on so many levels. First, you always make me laugh, and I appreciate that, thank you. Second, this is outstanding and I’m trying to figure out if I can do this? And wondering if those 3m products really work that great? This is amazing.

    I love literature, I love art, I love everything about this. And of course, I love your blog! ❤

    1. Oh please please comment all the time. That has to be one of the best I’ve received! Are you sure you didn’t mean to have a period between the words “don’t” and “stop”? Well anyway be careful what you wish for. Having me at your home could be quite comical. I can be demanding! 😉

      1. This project made me think of taking several books and “carving” out a hollow “storage” area (like in the movies where they store a gun, etc.). Glue the pages together (so they don’t move about) and hang the book to the wall. When one opens the front cover it reveals a diorama (like a room of a dollhouse or a Z-scale model railroad scene, etc.) or a 3D piece of art (like a shadow box). Each book might have a theme related to the book used. See what your projects do to me!

  2. Love! As usual. 2 questions: did you bolt the books open in each corner? I got a little lost on that step. And is the 3M things- are those their “picture hanger” things that are like (but not) Velcro? I love those, too! They’re just so expensive. I do think I may have to do this project in my house somewhere too!

    1. Hi! Yes, the books were drilled and bolted open in all four corners with a blob of glue on the back to hold it in place. And yes I used the Velcro-ish thingies to mount it to the wall. I cut some of them in two vertically for the lighter books since that size holds 8 lbs. and yes, the cost can add up but if you consider the bolts were under $3 and everything else cost nothing PLUS no wall damage, I think it was worth the expense. Thanks so much for commenting- I hope this helps explain it!

      1. I was going to do a wall of books as I saw in an anthropology store. So I was buying and collecting tons of hardback books. I’m pretty sure that project is not going to happen due to changing my mind. Meanwhile I have a ton of books whose sole purpose is the destination of my artistic whim. This might be one of them.

  3. I love that idea! My office is in an empty library (sad huh?). I am always looking for book ideas to pay homage to the book history of the space. Great work!

  4. What a great idea! It looks wonderful on your wall, too. Was the hook adhesive all you needed to keep the books up?

    1. Hi! its actually not the hook adhesives, they are still a 3M Command product, but these are strips that are sort of like the pokey side of velcro. They snap together and hold really well. Certain sizes are for certain weights. I use them on all sorts of things. They aren’t super cheap, but they work really well and there’s no damage to the wall. Thanks for the question and for following!

    1. The install part took less than an hour. It’s figuring out what and where and how many and the finicky drilling….I guess I’m not really giving a tangible answer am I. I did it over a few days here and there. How’s that? 😉

  5. Oh my gosh that is so cool!!! Once I finish my craft room this is totally going on one of the walls in there! I love that saying too. You’re right, you can never have too much cake.

    1. I don’t mind at all! It’s called Peppertree by Dulux/ICI/Glidden (all under the same umbrella) or a perfect colour match is Piedmont grey by Benjamin Moore. I’m not sure how it’s translating on your computer but it’s got green and blue in the grey but it never feels cold. It’s my fave. Thanks for the comment!

      1. Cool cool! Thank you, I just moved into a new condo and i’ve picked up just about every gray color swatch available, its so hard to choose! 🙂

  6. I see you have been busy! I love your project so much 😉 I disappeared for a couple of months and finally I’m back, hopefully I’ll be able to check what you have been up to, so far I’m loving this!

  7. That is seriously awesome. Don’t you love when you’re inspired by something, and the thing you made turns out just as wonderful?

  8. The installation was a brilliant idea, and you did an amazing job recreating it at home! Can’t wait to check out more DIY projects from you.

      1. Hehe, yes is precisely what i meant 🙂 , the Tableau pliege were artworks by Daniel Spoerri, he also used to glue stuff to the wall.

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