Making a house a home, when you dont own

When You Cant Paint Part 2: Contact Paper Wallpaper


A couple of weeks ago I posted about creating removable, damage free faux wallpaper with washi or masking tape. Today were going to cover what you can do with a blank wall and a roll or two of contact paper. Like masking tape, contact paper can be used on walls without causing damage, which makes it another perfect alternative to painting or permanent wall paper.

Customizable Wallpaper

handpainted contact paper wallpaper There is so much that you can do with a blank roll of contact paper and a little imagination. It can be painted, drawn on, stenciled and stamped, though I recommend doing this before you affix it to the wall, in case theres any bleed through. Theres a guest post on Apartment Therapy by Victoria Hudgins about how she created the wall paper pictured above. Is that white background still to reminiscent of you plain white walls? Well than lets go in the opposite direction with black chalkboard contact paper. chalkboard contact paper wallpaper Added bonus, you can change the design whenever you feel like it. Jovana of photographybyjovana created a chalk art wall for her daughter with three rolls of chalkboard contact paper that she found on amazon. If your  interested in a more adult look, take some inspiration from these chalkboard walls.

chalkboard wall with aquarium drawing

This aquarium chalkboard wall was created by flickr user bernielopes.

chalkboard wall with writing

Tumblr user Aufschnitt/ created this wall of encouragement/inspiration. Im a big fan of the wall of text. The same idea could be applied to a favorite song, poem, excerpt from a book or a few favorite quotes.

paint chip mosaic wall

Craftster user melissa! made this mosaic wall by gluing paint chip samples to contact paper and then applying the contact paper to her wall. You could achieve the same effect with any type of colorful or patterned paper if you dont happen to have 500 paint chips hanging around (and please dont go collect a bunch of paint chips from the hardware store just because theyre free those are meant for perspective paint buyers, not cheapo crafters).

If the thought of trying to attach whole 18×6 sheets of contact paper to a wall intimidates you, dont worry, this post isnt even half way over, and the rest of the projects involve working with smaller pieces that still give a wallpaper or paint like effect.

Stripes and Chevrons

black and white striped wall

This image comes from a New York Times article about young newlyweds who were looking to decorate their first place together on the cheap. They used vinyl wall stripes to define the dining area.

contact paper stripes

Jen of City Farmhouse also wanted striped walls without the permanence. She shows you how to do it yourself in this tutorial.

contact paper chevrons

For a slight variation on the stripe, Stephanie of Sabbe Interior Design decided to go with the ever popular chevron. She details how she made her contact paper chevron wall in this tutorial. Now if you can just find the appropriate ceramic animal head to add that finishing touch

woodgrain geometric wall

Were still on the chevron train, but this one has a twist. Its two tone faux bois! Theres not much of a tutorial for this one, but a few details are provided in this Apartment Therapy post. If you payed attention in geometry you should be able to figure this one out though, its just a bunch of parallelograms stuck together. If you didnt pay close enough attention in geometry class, then just go enlist the help of one of your math geek friends. You do have a math geek friend, right?

Polka Dots

At first polka dot walls didnt sound very appealing to me, but then I saw this gold polka dots wallpaper Joy of Oh Joy made over her office with a metallic contact paper polka dotted wall. I think I might be warming up to polka dotted walls. polka dot nursery Oh look, more shiny polka dots. This Modern, Whimsical and Mostly DIY Nursery  featured on Project Nursery still uses metallic polka dots, but it manages to create a very different look than Joys office by using smaller dots, and lining them up in straight rows. Large mod dots wall And still more dots, though not so shiny this time. Again Heather of Going Mod at Mod House Design, manages to create a very different look than the other two by using much larger dots placed very close together in rows that are nearly touching. You can check out her tutorial here. colorful polka dot wall I couldnt leave out this colorful and whimsical one from Darilyn of Pillow Mint. She painted the contact paper before cutting (or punching) out the dots. See her post for more pictures and details.

And The Rest

diamond wall and scalloped nursery   The first one is what Martha refers to as wall art. I think its meant to be a backdrop for wedding photos, but you could totally do it on a larger scale and cover an entire wall or even a room if your in the mood. [Instructions and diamond template]. The second image is of the contact paper scalloped border that Melissa Esplin created for her daughter, Penelopes nursery. [tutorial] I think it would also be cute to do it in grey, and make the scallops more irregular and cloud shaped, then randomly place some contact paper raindrops on the wall or maybe thats just me missing Seattle. metalic triangle wall decor

I saved my favorite for last. If I try one of these in my own home it will likely be this one and/or the chalkboard contact paper. I literally spent hours trying to track down the source of this image, and from what I can tell it was uploaded directly to pinterest by Joanna Lynn Smith, so Im hoping that she is the originator of this project. If shes not, and you know who is, please let me know so that I can give proper credit. Check her pin for a brief description of how this wall was created, and admire the pretty that is metallic triangles lines up in little rows. Have you tried any contact paper wallpaper projects? Do you plan to? Im always interested in how people work around the decoration limitation of renting or living in military housing, so if you have ideas, projects, pictures, etc. please send them my way.
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3 thoughts on “When You Cant Paint Part 2: Contact Paper Wallpaper”

    1. Love love love idea of chalkboard contact paper and a wall of words. Id write a short story on my wall of words. Man, Im yoinking that! THANK YOU!
    1. Pingback: Playing with Color Palette Generators for Decorating | Temporary Digs

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