Quick and easy Penguin Classics poster DIY

Quick and easy Penguin Classics poster DIY

Taking a few minutes today to answer a FAQ: “Where did you get that books poster you have in your office?”

It pops up on instagram from time to time, or in photos I take for the blog.

DIY Postcards from Penguin poster

The short answer is: I made it, and you can too, because I am not crafty-talented, and the only reason I could pull this off is I was motivated by the love of the beautiful book covers. My inspiration for this was Design Mom, who shared something similar on her @DesignMom instagram account once upon a time. I believe she was actually in the Penguin offices when she snapped the photo, which made it all the more delightful.

You can make something similar for yourself, and you can make it as simple or complicated as you choose, but here’s the quick-and-dirty version of how I made mine.

I used:

• Postcards from Penguin (available in your local bookstore if you’re lucky or on Amazon)
• Photo squares (from Target)
• Foam core board (from Hobby Lobby)

I laid out my postcards in an order that made me happy, and then I attached them, one by one, to the foam board. It felt a lot like my old scrapbooking days. (I did this at a friend’s house, in the company of an actual, legitimate artist, and she was appalled at my ROYGBIV arrangement. But you’re the one who has to live with it, so do whatever makes you happy.)

DIY Penguin Classics poster

I did not build a frame for my foam core board, which means it warps slightly, and has since the moment I attached the first photo square to it. If this bothers you, get a frame. If you don’t care, you’re in good company.

The whole project took me a thoroughly enjoyable two hours. (I toted my supplies to a friend’s house for girls’ night, where we all worked on our own projects or just sat and chatted, and if you’ve been procrastinating on your crafty projects I highly recommend this approach.)

I’ve been living with it in my office for nearly ten months now, and it still makes me happy every time I see it.

I’m not much of a crafty type, but this DIY was worth it.

If you ARE the crafty sort, and have tips on how to do a more professional (ahem) take on this project, I’d love to hear your tips in comments, along with any other great bookish DIYs. Thanks in advance!

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31 comments

  1. Ashley says:

    So you stuck the postcards directly to the foam core? What did you use the photo squares for? What kind of glue did you use? I am so craft-impaired, it’s not even funny. But I’d love to try this with a set of Pantone cards!

    • Lisa says:

      Photo squares ARE the “glue”. They are small squares that are sticky on both sides to hold photos down, perfect for simple tasks like this. Mine come on a roll and you just peel them off, stick them to the photo (or whatever) and then peel the paper off the top and stick the photo down. So easy to work with!

  2. Lori McKee says:

    Had to Google ROYGBIV – 🙂

    Love the idea of a crafts night; now how to get myself to actually organize one? I actually have this in my digital calendar, every September to plan a fall crafts night with lady friends/relatives and a crafts DAY with the grandchildren – all in preparation for Xmas. Just thought of it last year, wonder if I’ll get it to happen….?

    • Lisa says:

      My two sisters and I do this, well we used to do it monthly but we’ve missed a couple months lately. Keep it simple – not too many people. My sisters and I don’t care if each other’s house is clean or dirty, as long as there is a table(s) to work at, and don’t have to have fancy desserts. We’re together to craft and talk and laugh – it’s great!!

  3. Jocelyn says:

    What a brilliant idea! I thought I would have to buy the wallpaper from John Lewis, which would require a trip to London. Since I live in South Africa this would make it the most expensive wallpaper in the world. This is a much better idea ^_~ Thanks!

  4. Susan says:

    I think I’d upload the .jpegs of the books from the internet, open up Photoshop Elements and make a poster that I could have printed and then framed in a poster-sized frame. And, I love the rainbow arrangement.

  5. Bonnie says:

    Thanks for sharing this!I will make one for our Bibliophile college Freshman who is in the Great Books Honors program…and I thought I didn’t know what to get her for Christmas;}

  6. Virginia says:

    This is such a great idea. I am thinking of printing photos of my daughters and making them each a poster for Christmas. I checked Amazon. Obsessed with the Vogue postcards.

  7. Renee says:

    Even my totally non-crafty self might be able to handle this! I teach astronomy, therefore I”m also a big fan of the ROYGBIV pattern. I have tons of postcards from travelling too, just languishing in a basket — I could make one for them, too! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Emily says:

    I am fairly crafty. But this is brillant! If anything, I would likely mount the postcards on a posterboard and then frame the whole thing, just so it would last longer. I think I’m going to give this a shot, I’ve been looking for new artwork!

  9. Jamie says:

    How cool would this be do to with all the books you read in a year? Printed off on matte photo paper or cardstock. Then it could be an art piece for a year, and then switched out. Hm…I may have just the perfect place for that!
    Question – how heavy did it end up being? We have concrete walls and drilling anything is a nightmare. Do you think this would hang with those 3M command strips?

    • Anne says:

      That’s an awesome idea! Except pretty soon I think I’d be choosing my books by their covers, although not for the usual reasons. 🙂

      I think I could hang this with command strips. It’s not heavy. If you were concerned you could size down a little, or divide it into two separate panels and hang each separately.

  10. Corey says:

    I love this! I have a foam core and scrapbook paper poster I made that also didn’t lay flat. My husband made one slit down the back side of the foam core and now it does! Just thought I’d pass that on for anyone who wanted to hang the poster flat on a wall. Great project!

  11. Kira says:

    Oh boy, now I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of postcard choices on Amazon — I had no idea! Why would anyone BUY art when there are so many postcards that can be assembled into customized art pieces? I’m only partially kidding…

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