Saturday, June 13, 2009

My $13 Paper-Covered Wall

I spent $13 to make this paper-covered wall. No joke! It's amazing what a pad of scrapbook paper and some glue dots can do.



Our basement is mostly unfinished, meaning it has cement floors and exposed brick walls. The one basement room that is finished is one big rectangular area. We use it as a craft room / workout room / kids' playroom. Until I win my dream $10,000 Pottery Barn Kids Makeover, I'm doing what I can as inexpensively as I can to make it pretty.

I bought a stack of the premium type 12 x 12 scrapbook paper. I chose the Vibrant Treated Paper Pad because it's super colorful - perfect for my kids' play area. And you can't tell from the pictures, but some of the sheets are embossed and some have some sparkly elements.

I refuse to buy anything full price at Hobby Lobby since they usually have 40% off coupons and tons of weekly specials. It's a matter of principal/obsession for me at this point. Anyway, 90 page stack of paper - $19.00 on sale for $10.00. Glue dots - $4.49 on sale for $2.25.

Disclaimer: I know for sure that those glue dots are going to be a complete pain to take off the wall later. I'm choosing to live recklessly in the now.

So I figured out how many sheets I needed up and across to cover the wall. Since the paper is 12 x 12, it was pretty easy to figure out. When I was doing the math, I noticed that I did have a few vertical inches left, so I left 2 inches at the top and bottom of the wall bare. I could have cut some of the paper to make it fit, but I really wanted perfect 12 inch squares, so I just left a little bit of the wall blank. I would suggest that if you do a wall like this you do an entire row across and an entire row down before you do anything else. Just to make sure they fit the way you want. After that you can go for it!


Here's what the playroom looked like before:


3 hours and 2 margaritas later it looked like this:


Well, it kind of looked like that. There might possibly have been some rehanging and staging and picking up of a zillion toys before this picture. And maybe it's because it was dang cheap to make, but that wall just makes me happy.

86 comments:

♥Rocío♥ said...

AWESOME!!!!!!!
I LOVE YOUR IDEAS!!

capecodjewel said...

That is a wonderful idea!
My daughter has been bugging me to let her paint her room (she's 14) with polka dots or some such, she's not sure.
This would look soooo much cooler!

Dirt. said...

gorgeous! go on with your crafty bad self!

Debbi Andersen said...

What an adorable idea!!! Great use of your Savy Frugalness! lol (if that is a word!)
Bravo!

Karen Terry, Artist/Designer said...

You are the most creative person! AND the cleverest!!!

Katie, Kevin and kids said...

Darcy, What a cute idea! I love it!

Mary said...

Oh wow! I really love this! Now that really gives me ideas on what to do with all my scrapbook paper!!! Tahnk you so much for sharing this!

Michelle Sybert said...

found this via parent hacks. I will be linking to this next sunday (on my weekly links post!)

so cute and I am so doing this!!!

Ashley said...

Wonderful idea! And it turned out adorably!! Great job!

A Painting a Day by Kristen Stein said...

Super cute! I know exactly which scrapbooking tablet you used. I have a bunch of those as well. Great idea! Love the whimsy and the color!

kristen

Suzanne in TX said...

Love your work and you are so clever to do something like that! What an inspiration to us all...

Manic Mother said...

That looks awesome, love the idea. Blog looks great too!

J n J Designs said...

Woman!! You Amaze Me!!!! :) I have a wall or two for you here!! :) LOL

Design Knit Fun said...

so cute - now I'm inspired to try paper where I used to have fabric when have some free time next week. Looks great !!

Ali Richardson said...

LOVE IT!!!! Super duper jealous sister!!!!!!! xoxoxoxo

Heidi said...

WOW! great idea, thanks so much for sharing both the idea and the how-to! love it!

Carla - Owner/Designer said...

Great idea - and great pictures. Thanks for sharing!

magda said...

That reminds me of the floor my sister created for her nursery. She went to the carpeting stores and asked for samples that they were no longer using, and covered the entire nursery floor with carpet squares. It looked really fun, and it was free.

Anonymous said...

Hi I got the link to your blog on twitter. I love this! Can you help me understand this part though. Did you just put a glue dot in each corner of the 12x12 peice of paper? Are you worried about the paper being ripped off the wall easily? Or is it tacked down pretty well? Anyway, this is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Darcy said...

I just LOVE reading all your wonderful comments! It just makes my day! Thank you!
Anonymous, I put one large glue dot in each corner. A couple of my papers did start to bow out a little on the sides, so on those I just stuck an extra glue dot on each side. I'm not really worried about them getting ripped off, since I put them on a wall behind my kids' craft area. It's not really a wall they play by, they just do art there. But if a sheet or two of paper gets messed up, I plan on just replacing them individually. Thanks for your questions! :)

apparentlyjessy said...

What a great idea! Would be so good for renters who cant really change the place! Very clever!

lisalyn said...

My daughter lives in an apartment and she saw this idea online and would love to do it in her bedroom.
She thinks they used tape to attach the paper.


Great idea!! And your wall looks fabulous! :)

La Rêveuse said...

This is seriously great!

Tip from my MIL--try hot glue. She's used it for years to put up posters in her room at school (teacher) and it holds forever but peels off easily without removing the paint. It even works on brick and cinderblock walls. I taught for 10 years and used it as well. She had a room she was in for many years, and just left stuff up and it stayed for as long as she needed it up. Amazing!

Life Made Creations said...

This is such a super awesome fabulous idea! I'm trying to think of which wall I can do it on at my house. . .

kilgore said...

So clever! I must do this and soon.

PS - Your kids are adorable!

Jessica Brammer said...

Such a great idea! That looks like so much fun.

Debbie/StudioBeeCreations said...

Rock-o-licious idea....I just signed up to follow you....this Mama is totally impressed!
For your future removal...here's a tip: I work at Lowes in the paint & home decor depts....try Goof Off...it will be a time & LIFE saver!
creative blessings,Debbie

Julie B said...

How creative! And inexpensive, too!
You are so clever!

SkylarKD said...

This is beautiful!! What a wonderful (and inexpensive) decorating idea!

What did your kids think when they saw it?

Carrie said...

LOVE it!! Great job!

Darcy said...

Debbie - thanks for the smart idea with the Goof Off. I forgot all about that stuff - perfect!

SklyarKD - my kids loved it! Well, they loved it for about 1 minute, and then they didn't care one way or another. Oh well. I still love it! :)

spearmint baby said...

amazing!! love it!

L2L said...

this is great!!!! My head is working over time and I'm wondering which wall in my house I can try this on!!!!

Angela said...

Ok....seriously CUTE! I totally had no clue that that was exposed wall at the top and bottom...totally thought it was decorative molding. So fun. Love the colors!

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

What a great idea! It looks so colorful and fun-plus it was frugal, which is of course awesome in my book!

Composing Hallelujahs said...

it's... it's... wonderful!

kristena marie said...

This is brilliant! One of my babies has been peeling the paint off the walls in her room for some time now. No punishment can make her stop. I'm now thinking she should just go for it, and then I can paper the wall! Of course, that will probably get torn off too, but at least it would be easy to replace! Thank you for this fabulous idea. Love it!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

NO way that is paper? Wow I'm so impressed! Ok do your kids not write on the walls? LOL Caden has gotten into this horrible habit, and the magic eraser has become my new best friend ;)

Heather said...

(Just randomed in from OnePrettyThing...) I LOVE this idea! I've been agonizing over how to decorate my DD's walls (which are currently nasty brown paneling), and this is the perfect solution! And it won't even matter if she goes crazy on it with a crayon, because it's already paper!

~Caro~ said...

wicked! i love it, esp for a playroom!!

sara's art house said...

I LOVE this!!!!!!!! I have patchwork scrapbook squares all over my kitchen and I have never seen anything close until I saw your playroom!!!! Great job- it looks so happy :)

meg duerksen said...

this is so cool! this is my first time on your site but i added you on my happy list because this is SO COOL! i want to go make something like this somewhere in my house...right now!

Melissa said...

What a fun - and cheap- way to jazz the playroom up. SO fun! Now I'm trying to figure out where I can use this idea in my own home. Thanks for sharing it!

Loudonland.blogspot.com

Cate O'Malley said...

What a great idea - looks fabulous!

Tina said...

LOVE it! So fun! My daughter might try it this summer in her room. (No margaritas for her!)

The Un-Organized Mom said...

LOVE THIS IDEA!!! I have TONS of scrapbooking paper but I've never thought of papering the walls with it!!!

Thanks!! =)

thea said...

FAB-U-LOUS!!! I so wish i could do this right now, however, we may be selling our house soon. BUT- when we move I am SOOOOO doing this somewhere in our next home!!! LOVE IT!!! Hmm... i ama teacher, maybe I can do this on my bulletin board to give it some UMPH!! :)

Abi said...

Your article was posted @ THC this week.

Thanks. Abi

conner.ash said...

I absolutely love this! I have been looking for ideas to decorate the nursery for a son that will be arriving in November. You've totally inspired me!

Henry said...

I have done lot of research on the web for Kids Playroom Ideas and find spacify to be comprehensive resource for Kids Playroom Furniture. Check it out.

Amy said...

luv luv luv it! Now I have to look at the rest of your blog!

Everyday Mom Ideas said...

I just had to follow you, your blog is just too fantastic not to. I love this idea!

My2Gs said...

My husband is right now in the process of finishing a playroom in our basement and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! Thank you so much for sharing :-)

Lisa Stassforth said...

Wow this is something I could do and it would look good. lol Very creative!

lisastassforth@sbcglobal.net

Raychel said...

Wow! That is super neat! Very clever.

I used a photo to feature you on my blog. You can find it at www.MyCreativeWay.blogspot.com

It will be on tomorrows post &/or the "YOUR CREATIVE WAY" section. If you do not approve I will take it down asap but I'm sure my readers would love to see this :)

Thank you for an amazing blog!

Raychel from MyCreativeWay.blogspot.com

Kimara@weefolkart said...

I love the fact that nothing goes away once it hits the internet! I just came upon your awesome room today... a goodly 6 months after you originally posted the idea. Brilliant! I'll be linking on Facebook. Love your blog, BTW.

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Random Sharona's Flying Om said...

Wow! I love this idea! I was trying to figure out how to get so many colors in one room without looking like a crazy person! Yay!

Amooretto said...

This is such a fab idea! I want to do this to a scraproom wall! Thanks for the idea! :) The playroom looks wonderful!

Cooking From The Heart said...

what an excellent idea!!! Thanks for sharing, I'm gonna totally do it on my children's playroom, it looks so fresh so happy and colorful...LOVE IT!!!! Thanks so much =D

amycatalogna said...

Um, I love this idea. LOVE. IT. I just need to find a wall in my small house to do it on. I love it! (Did I say that before?)

Mama Kas said...

I just stumbled onto this last night, and had to go buy a pack of scrapbook paper today. I had a wall in my kids' nursery that I needed to paint, and this looks so much better than one boring color. :-) Thanks for sharing your creativity! I only wish that I had seen it sooner.

Laura said...

I LOVE this idea! Cheap & super easy!! Another option for a more permanent effect? A light coat of paint or wallpaper paste, stick a piece of paper over top while it's still wet, paint or paste a little more, stick another piece of paper over top.
Just a thought!! Great idea! Might be using this idea in my own room (with a little more formal of colors, though!! :) Make a "pop" wall behind my headboard!!! Thanks for the idea!
Laura
mom2 5boys

DCBaby said...

I LOVE this idea so much that I stole it for my baby's nursery: http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/190296_1916709560325_1319550755_32225528_2412055_n.jpg

I have gotten so many compliments on it!!

Darcy said...

DC Baby! I LOVE IT!!!

Angela said...

did you have trouble with your glue dots holding??? trying to put up some tonight and having them come unstuck...suggestions??? thanks!

Darcy said...

Hi Angela,
Hmmm... I didn't have any major problems with my glue dots holding. Every once in a while (over time) one would let go of its paper (but never the wall) and I would stick on another glue dot and that would work.
A friend of mine tried it on a wall in her basement, and she had the same problem that you are having. I wonder if it has something to do with the gloss in the paint? She lived in the same city, so it definitely wasn't the climate. She ended up using spray adhesive. It worked, but those papers are probably there until the end of time, so you have to use your best judgement. Maybe wallpaper adhesive would work? I'm not sure. Sorry I don't have any solid answers for you!

Ardentgailla said...

That looks absolutely amazing! I've been trying to come up with an inexpensive way to colorize my walls (especially in the kids' rooms), but at the same time, keep it removable (since we're in rental property).

I'm inspired to try this (or something similar), with perhaps those pull to remove stickies.

Thanks for the inspiration!

andiejaye said...

i. LOVE. this. thinking maybe i'll try it somewhere in my house. i just used scrapbook paper to be a temporary backsplash behind the oven until i can find tile that i like. maybe i'll leave it? then i can switch it out? hmm...you've given me something to ponder. oh! and i'm also your latest follower :)

Shay S. said...

I am a renter & am so tired of the boring off-white walls & light beige carpet. Most of my furniture is neutral, so I need to do this to add some color to my life. I have been a scrapbooker for years & probably have enough paper to do this on every wall the house.
I found you through One Pretty Thing about the book organizing. I love what I see here & am now following you!

Jennie Skaggs said...

Hi, I am in the process of trying this...I did alphabet letters (cut with the cricut) for my daughter's playroom. We tried glue dots...they fell down within hours. Now I am trying repostionable spray adhesive...some are staying up and half has fallen down. LOL I am going to try one more time. I am also planning on doing this in my craft room...and doing butterflies behind her bedroom wall. Thanks again for the great idea.

kellyjp29 said...

What a great idea, never thought about it but yeah that is soo totally cool and cheap too! I love a great deal for design! Kelly

airaka said...

I just used spray adhesive to put the scrapbook papers up on my closet doors. I was just wondering what i could use to seal it so its washable? I have a daughter and she gets everything dirty. I tried mod podge and it made it bubble up... can i use clear spray pain or what?

Darcy said...

Hi Airaka,
Oooh! I bet those closet doors look awesome!
Hmmmm... a clear spray paint would probably work, but I honestly don't know if you would ever be able to get it all off later on when it's time to change the look. We didn't have that many issues with dirt, but ours weren't on closet doors, either. You could just buy another pack of paper and replace the individual sheets as needed. Mod Podge works as a top coat only if the papers are stuck down really, really well. And even then, you have to keep smoothing out the bubbles as you work.
Hope this helps!

Jakarta Hotel said...

Nice wallpaper! So colorful!

Perlengkapan Bayi said...

Beautiful! Very suitable for use by children.

Gloria (Disneynut4life22) said...

OMG..... I totally totally love this wall and room!!! I warranted to know if it would be okay to pin this on my board in Pinterest?

disneynut 4 life 22 at yahoo dot com

Veggie Mama said...

Thank you for the inspiration for this wall! We finished it quite a while ago but finally got around to writing about it. Posted a link to this page to share where I got the initial idea! Love it! Thanks!! http://gardenmamagrows.blogspot.com/2013/01/bugs-room-and-her-scrapbook-paper-wall.html?m=1

home builders Missouri said...

I am so thankful that I stumbled across this post. My younger sister has this art room and she wants me to somewhat upgrade the interior design. This is definitely the perfect plan. I am sure she will love it. Thank you for sharing this very useful post! Please keep on posting.

Anonymous said...

THIS is why I read the comments! We're renting & I've scrapbooked the wall twice now. Once with double-sided tape, then next with photo mount adhesive. One on each corner of the paper than one in the middle. It keeps falling & I'm out of ideas. Your mom is a genius! Thank you for the tip!

Amanda Hansen said...

I used the medium glue dots and a few pages kept falling off the wall so I taped them all together to close the seams so they would hold each other up. this morning I have a a huge crumpled pile of paper due to it falling off the wall :(

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Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, what a great idea!! I want to try this in our basement. One big question I have is, Does the paper warp? Our basement tends to be damp. We have a dehumidifier running, but the cement walls are cold and it gets damp. Also, have you tried this with photos? My daughter has a dance studio in the basement that we built and those walls are finished. I wanted to make one wall of it all her photos from dance over the years. Do you think that would work? Thank you for sharing your ideas!

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