DIY Oversize Book Page Wall Art (and 12 Free Printables)
Dress up your walls with words of wisdom! These free oversize book page wall art printables are a great way to show your love of the written word!
I spent the middle part of my 20s in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I had a job trading stocks for a small investment bank in Boston, and I considered myself a worldly and cultured young man (despite the fact that my foreign excursions until then had been a vacation in Mexico when I was a kid and a quick jaunt into Canada during my junior year in college). I thought I had it all figured out. Looking back, I cringe at the memory of that self-important doofus who wore too much gel in his hair and reeked of Acqua di Gio cologne. But for all his faults, that doofus did like to read, and he loved to learn. Of all that’s changed (and improved, I hope), my love of reading and learning has remained constant.
Words are powerful things. They can unite, or they can provoke war. They can anger, and they can soothe. They can take us places we’ve never been and show us things that don’t exist. They elicit emotion – good and bad and everything in between. A master wordsmith only needs a sentence or two to convey a powerful universal truth. These truths are then passed down from generation to generation. In this electronic, interconnected age, they are shared globally on a daily bases and adorn the Facebook pages, decorate the walls and spill from the tongues of people from Boston to Bangalore.
But I never thought about hanging them on my wall until Handan showed me some pictures on Pinterest. Words as art. It was a beautiful concept. I decided to curate a few of my favorite quotes so that I could make my own wordy wall art. And during my research, I rediscovered my favorite poem – one I first discovered when I was that little doofus in Cambridge trying to learn poems to impress the ladies (I don’t think it ever worked).
Handan suggested we start offering book page wall art printables and illustrations on a regular basis. This post is the first of many more free printable posts to come. I will be focusing on book page art, birds and animals, old ships perhaps, and anything else that strikes my fancy. Handan will offer botanical illustrations and seasonal and holiday printables.
I have designed today’s oversize book page wall art printables to fit into a 16 x 20 inch frame or a 24 x 36 poster frame, though you may scale them up or down as necessary. Handan and I bought our 16 x 20 frames at Michaels with coupons, so the whole lot became cheaper than DIYing them, since the frames came with glass and mats. You can also make your own, but if you want glass, you’d have to find a custom glass shop, and that may not be feasible for you. For this initial run of prints, we wanted the smaller frames for my office. In the future, I’m sure we will make some poster prints, as Handan already asked me to DIY a bunch of large poster frames. I’m including two different styles: black text on old paper and white text on a dirty chalkboard. Help yourself to either or both! I like to mix them together.
You may have seen other bloggers touting Staples’ color engineering prints as a budget-friendly way to print large photos or other works of art. An 18 x 24 inch color engineering print runs $3, so that is certainly a great deal. Unfortunately, the Staples stores in our area have all upgraded to new printers, and there is a new corporate policy forbidding engineering prints when the background is fully colored or black (which rules out all the photo and graphic printing we DIYers love so much). For such prints, they now require you to upgrade to heavyweight paper, and that raises the cost to $15. You can still order color engineering prints online with no restrictions, but it’ll cost you about $10 for shipping, so you’ll want to order more than one. We have tried both to compare, and for us, it was worth it to pay the extra money. The prints on the lightweight engineering paper look good, but the paper does warp a little bit:
The prints on the heavyweight paper are perfect. The text is clearer and it has a richer look overall. The rest of the photos in this post show the heavyweight paper.
Another option (and one that I’ll be using in the future, unless I need a same-day print) is Amazon print shop. They offer custom-sized photo prints in matte or glossy, and for a 16 x 20, their price is $13.50 with free shipping for Prime members and $7 shipping for non-Prime members. Since I haven’t ordered prints from Amazon yet, I can’t speak for the quality, but I’ve come to trust them, and I have no doubt that the prints would be excellent.
Let’s have peek at the quotes I picked and see how they look hanging on my office wall.
The first printable is a poem by William Butler Yeats, an Irish poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Of the hundreds of poems, both long and short, that he penned, The Song of Wandering Aengus is my favorite. It is also my favorite poem of any poet. It’s a simple story, but a powerful one: young Aengus goes fishing one evening and catches a small trout. As he is stoking his fire to cook the little fish, it magically transforms into a beautiful maiden who runs off into the night. Aengus then spends his life looking for the girl. As an old man, he informs us that he will continue to search for her until he finds her, and then they will spend eternity together.
This poem is perfect. It’s not too long, and it has beautiful imagery. Can you picture the silver apples of the moon? That image has been knocking around my head for the past twenty years.
By the way, I’ve caught hundreds of trout in my life, and not a one has turned into a beautiful maiden. I must be using the wrong bait.
The next two quotes I adapted from Turkish folklore. There was a man named Nasreddin Hodja who lived in the 13th century during Ottoman times in what today is central Turkey. He was a Sufi (Islamic mystic) philosopher and was known for his funny stories and jokes. Over the centuries, more stories were created and told with Hodja as the central figure. The stories are almost always funny, but they work on many levels. The joke is at the forefront, but just behind the humor is a moral. If you look just a little deeper, you’ll sometimes find an extra twist that illuminates the mystic philosopher’s journey towards enlightenment. His stories are taught to young schoolchildren and studied by older students. They are an integral part of Turkish culture, and they can be heard on the lips of old timers in tea houses and on radio and TV. To make the character more accessible to Westerners, I have changed Hodja’s name to The Old Fool, as that is how he is perceived by those he interacts with in his stories, though his foolishness is merely a cloak that hides great wisdom.
You’ve probably heard of the Persian poet, Rumi. Like Nasreddin Hodja, Mevlana Rumi was also a 13th century Sufi mystic. He is considered one of the greatest poets in all of history, and for good reason. He was a profound thinker, and his words still move readers all over the world to this day. He was born in what is now Afghanistan and later lived and died in what is now Turkey, close to where Nasreddin Hodja lived. I wonder if they ever met. I think they would have enjoyed each other’s company very much. As Sufis, they put their love for God above all else in life. The petty differences in religious dogma that other men squabbled and killed over meant nothing to the Sufi mystics. Their relationship with God was all that mattered.
The last printable is a quote inspired by the legendary JRR Tolkien. For those who may not know his name, he authored The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He was a master linguist and was fluent in over 100 languages and dialects. What Beethoven and Mozart were to music, Tolkien was to language. The original quote is from The Lord of the Rings:
Frodo was now safe in the Last Homely House east of the Sea. That house was, as Bilbo had long ago reported, ‘a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.’ Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear and sadness.
I’ve seen a lot of wall art with a shortened version of the quote:
That house was…‘a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.’ Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear and sadness.
I find the ellipses (…) clunky, and I think the quote in its original form doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to hang in our own house. Who’s house are we talking about? The neighbor’s? So I paraphrased it just a bit and made it personal:
I think that’s much better!
Okay, enough of my blathering. I promised you book page wall art printables, and printables you shall have!
Just one last note: we designed these free book page wall art printables in three colors and to fit into a 16×20 inch frame or a 24×36 poster frame, though you may scale them up or down as necessary. 24×36 inch scales down easily to 20×30 / 16×24 / 12×18 / 8×12 / 4×6 inches, and 16×20 inch scales down to 12×15 / 8×10 / 4×5 inches with no problems. If you need help with scaling down these printables so you can print them using your home printer, then check out our “How To Easily Resize Pictures” post.
Now click on the button below to download the printables you’d like! They are all in the Book Page Art section of The VIP Patch.
If you’re not a Navage Patch VIP, you won’t be able to access our Freebies Library. But that can be easily fixed! Subscribe for free on the form below and become a Navage Patch VIP. Once you subscribe, a password will be sent to you in our Welcome email, and that will give you access to The VIP Patch [Freebies Library]. If you didn’t receive our Welcome email, can’t find the password or have any other questions on this process or on our free printables, please check our Printables FAQ page.
By the way, we now have 18 more free printable oversize book page art. You can check our new set of oversize book page art by clicking on the picture below.
If you display our free printables in your home, be sure to take a picture and post it on Instagram! Don’t forget to tag us @TheNavagePatch! We love to see our printables out in the wild!
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I am getting addicted to this site. Thank you!
You’re welcome, Mary Ann! And we’re a much better addiction than drugs, booze or cupcakes! 🙂
Darn you guys. I love you. Really I do. I feel affection for both of you. Thanks for a wonderful place for me to visit with my morning coffee. Please don’t stop. I love the decor tips, the humor (I truly do smile at your craziness) and the laid back way you write. I cried when I read these poems. Today has not been good until now. Then, I read the Navage Patch and felt a whole lot better. Thank you.
Hi Linda, your comment brings a smile to my face. I’m sorry that you’re having a lousy day, but I am so glad that our posts can help! This blog can be a lot of work sometimes, but when I read comments like yours, it makes all the effort worthwhile. Thank you so much, Linda!
linda and mary ann feel about you two like i do, i have a ton of affection for you both, and feel you two are so well suited to each other, i love all of your diy’s, but i am sure i love the words y’all write the most, the stories you tell greg and the banter you have with greg, handan, i have roared at some of the words and some have made me teary eyed,and some have made me feel nostalgic for my younger days… i will be a fan forever xx
Chris, we feel the same way about you. If we write a post and more than 24 hours passes without a comment from you, Handan gets totally panicked and thinks something happened to you. I wouldn’t be surprised if she makes me call Tennessee the next time it happens so they can send out a search party, lol! 🙂
Sometimes more can be said in a sentence than is said in two hours of talking. Enjoy your prints and will took forward to more.
Thank you, Frances! I agree that less is almost always more when it comes to writing and speaking 🙂
So excited by these prints (can you hear it in my typing voice?!)!! We’re voracious readers in my family so you hooked me. Then-nnnnnn you mentioned the Hodja quotes. I lived in Turkey as a child and we have a well-loved Hodja book in our family. Double hooked! Thanks to you both, Greg and Handan!
Hi Susan – that’s so cool that you know the Hodja stories! Handan first told me a few of them a couple of years back, and I’ve been planning on doing something with them ever since. They are perfect little stories, and I wish we had more like them in America.
Words! Oh, the joy of words! I read everything from Kellogg’s cornflake packets to the Sanskrit! How I love the way one can escape life, or to embrace life simply from reading. ‘Oh, the places you’ll go….’ quote of Dr Seuss’ book is so true when one starts to read.
Now the Yeats poem; I have a different take on it. To me I see that our youth is spent on our basic needs, then as we mature we look for love, in our old age we live with our memories, and what we could have been, and what we have lost. That’s what I love about poetry, we can take our own meaning and interpretation.
The printables are truly lovely. I wish I had more wall space to create a beautiful ‘quote wall’
Hi Aletheia, I love your take on Wandering Aengus! I’m sure yours is the more complete and correct interpretation. I’ve never been good at deciphering poetry, which is probably why I don’t read it much. My brain is too lazy to dig too far below the plot, lol! Thank you for giving me a new way to look at my favorite poem. I knew that I wasn’t understanding it fully, but even so, I do love it for the simple story it tells and the beautiful imagery it sparks in my mind. Reading that poem, a lifetime unfolds in my mind as I follow Aengus on his lonely search. Thanks for writing, Aletheia!
Fabulous quotes. I love them all. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Ivory!
Love these so much. I am going take the ones from Rumi and make them into Christmas gifts for my 17 yr old son. They will inspire him and make him feel loved when he needs it, I hope. Thank you for the beautiful idea!
Thank you so much, Allison! I think that’s a wonderful idea. I hope your son enjoys them!
What font did you use to make these / which program did you use?
Hi Alicia, we used Photoshop and a commercially-licensed font.
Love all the prints… thank you for sharing. do you ever do any in landscape vs. portrait? I have two large frames on our art wall that I would love to add some of the either the star wars prints or the book prints however each frame is landscape.
Much appreciation for that you share….
Hi Anissa, Handan tried the patent art in landscape, but it just didn’t look as good as portrait, so that is all we offer. Ditto the book page prints, for obvious reasons. But we will be offering some quote art printables in landscape, and in the future we will likely offer non-word-based printables in landscape as well. Thank you for reading and getting in touch!
Thank you..i love the Velveteen Rabbit quote..its my favourite book from childhood.
You’re so very welcome, Sara! 🙂
Thank you for sharing! I found you through a google image search where they are ripping off your content on this site:
Thankfully, you watermarked your images so I was able to find you. Beautiful prints!
How long does it normally take to send the email with password for free printables? I have entered my email to subscribe twice but have not gotten a welcome letter with password yet. thanks
Hi Felicia, I wrote you an email about this. 🙂
Thank you, I’m very excited!
You’re welcome, Sheila!