DIYdiy projectswindows and walls

diy project: susan’s tiger wallpaper

by Grace Bonney

today’s first of 3 diy projects comes from susan of doggie eyes. she created this incredible “wallpaper” using images she printed from the web and a little spray starch to attach them to a wall in a decorative pattern. the “x” shape she chose looks so much like a regular wallpaper roll from a far i can’t wait to try this in my bathroom. the spray starch comes off relatively easily so it’s heaven for a renter. thanks so much to susan for sharing!

CLICK HERE for the full project steps after the jump!

What You’ll Need:

-straight edge
-can of starch
-hand towel

tiger supplies

1. First, choose an image (or two) that you like. On this wall I used a tattoo-flash tiger, and a really basic daisy. Google image search is obviously great, so is Wiki-images – lots of cool old animal drawings.

2. Make sure your image is in black and white (especially if you’ll be printing on colored paper), and print a ton of copies! I used about 80 7″ish tigers on my wall.

3. Cut out the images. Little nooks and crannies will blend in with the wall easily if you’re using white paper, but will stand out as mistakes if you’re using colored paper. So, with colored paper – cut carefully.

4. Come up with a plan. I tried to freehand this tiger design without planning it out, and it was a disaster the first time around. Have more than a vague idea of your pattern – do a mockup on the floor or table first. There’s obviously an infinite amount of patterns you could come up with (with or without tigers…)

We ended up starting with a big, 90 degree, diagonal “X” in the middle of the wall, and working out from there. Good tools to have? A pencil, a straight edge, a ruler, a level. Once you do the pattern two or three times, it’ll get easier and easier to place them.

5. Using spray starch (usually a dollar or two at the grocery store, in the laundry aisle) spray the back of one paper. Wait a moment for the starch to “sink in”, then stick it up on the wall! You can move it if you stick it in the wrong place – even after the starch has dried. Just quickly respray the piece, and it’s ready to re-position. Repeat and repeat and repeat. (You also might want to have a dishtowel on hand to wipe up any drips).

Starch is a great, underused tool! You often read about using it to put fabric on the walls, but it works with pretty much any porous material (like paper).

If you’re a renter or serial re-decorator, this is a great project, because it’s super cheap and should be totally removable. Once the paper is totally dry, and stuck to the wall, you should be able to remove it with your fingernail (like a wall decal) or with a wet sponge (if it’s stubborn).

CLICK HERE for more information on and images from Susan’s wallpaper project

tiger wall

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