Hobbit Gallery Wall: or How I ALMOST Made the Coolest Gallery Wall of All Time

Let me tell you a little cautionary tale about how important careful reading skills are.

Awhile back, I came across this post about art from The Hobbit on the blog, Brain Pickings. The post featured artwork from different editions of The Hobbit from all over the world, like this illustration by Tove Jansson:

Tove Jansson's Gollum

Gollum?! Is that YOU?!

It was pretty much the coolest thing I’d ever seen, so when I saw the book The Art of The Hobbit mentioned in the post, I immediately ordered one (in fact, I ordered two, for reasons I’ll get into later), thinking that that was where I could find all these fabulous illustrations.

But no.

As the post made perfectly clear to anyone who bothered to read all the words, the book I bought only had Tolkien’s Hobbit artwork in it–nothing at all from all the international versions.

Big sad face.

You see, my plan was to make the best gallery wall EVER for Milo and Gus’ room from all the illustrations. But it turns out if you want to do that you have to spend a fortune tracking down rare and out of print copies of a whole bunch of different translations of The Hobbit.

So my book(s) got here, and I flipped through them excitedly looking for all the cool international illustrations, and I found only Tolkien’s original illustrations instead. No offense to good old J.R.R., but I was a little disappointed. BUT! Tolkien’s illustrations are pretty charming in their own right, so I decided to buck up and make the coolest gallery wall I could afford instead of the coolest one of all time.

When we moved the bunk bed out of Milo and Gus’ room, it left behind a big blank wall that needed some filling. They both love The Hobbit, and lots of The Hobbit happens in a forest, so it seemed like a great match for their forest themed room.

So, as I mentioned, I bought two copies of this book. Cutting up the book felt kind of weird, and I went back and forth about it, but ultimately decided that since it was a book about art and we’d see the art on a daily basis with it hanging on the wall in a way we wouldn’t if it were hidden away in the book, I was okay with it. But to make myself feel EXTRA okay, I bought a second copy so we’d also have the book in it’s original, how it was intended, form. Best of both worlds! It’s a cool book, incidentally, aside from the artwork. It gives an exhaustive history of how Tolkien produced all the art for The Hobbit. You should buy two, too! If you’re into The Hobbit.

I didn’t want to spend much money on this, so I started with a stack of assorted wooden frames from the thrift store (I already had some, and I made another trip to round up a few more):

hobbit08 hobbit04

I’d had that framed print on the bottom (and another matching one) for awhile, waiting on the perfect spot. I kept the mats on those, but for most of them I used either brown cardstock or just white paper as “mats.”

I had Milo and Gus go through the book and pick out some favorites:


….and then we hung them up! And now the room is finished! Room reveal with sources and details and links to previous posts about the room should be coming next week (I already took the pictures before they had a chance to trash the room ;)).

hobbit gallery wall hobbit gallery wall and hexagon shelves

hobbit09 hobbit10 hobbit11 hobbit12

The Hobbit Gallery Wall with J.R.R. Tolkien Illustrations

Read more about Milo and August’s Room:

Ikea Trofast Lego Table

Hexagon shelves tutorial

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Hobbit Gallery Wall: or How I ALMOST Made the Coolest Gallery Wall of All Time — 18 Comments

  1. aw, well you made it work- it looks awesome! but man those international versions would have rocked, too! 🙂 i think chris would like a wall like this on his side of our room- he is a huge hobbit fan. i think it’s because he’s short and hobbits are short, too.

    • ha! I didn’t even know that Chris is short….see, you’re already dishing out details that make him seem like a real life person 😉

  2. Excellent Hobbit work. I can’t believe you cut up a book. 😉 I kid. I kid.

    This looks greats! Maybe I should give the Hobbit another try. I remember not liking it in the 5th grade and I haven’t tried since.

    • I suspect if you didn’t like it in 5th grade you won’t now, either….I like the Hobbit well enough, but I tried reading Lord of the Rings to the kids a couple of years ago, and it was SO BORING compared to how I remembered it from when I was a kid!

    • Thanks! I really overthought the book cutting, thing….there were a bunch of copies used, but I bought one new and one used, in hopes that the writers would see some money from one of them 🙂

  3. I’m pretty impressed with Tolkiens’ illustrations. Those frames are perfect in there. I can’t think of a better addition to their forest room!!

    • Thanks, Kelly! Coolest affordable gallery wall is what the kids will just have to be happy with until we win the lottery 😉

    • You were actually like a voice in my head when I was trying to decide what to do…..I remember you talking about having trouble cutting up books when I made the vintage science book banner 🙂

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