Creating Wallpaper Crafts requires one central element…wallpaper! The benefits of using wallpaper as opposed to any other kind of paper is that it’s more durable and the choices in design are abundant.
Some turn to creating wallpaper crafts because they own some extra wallpaper (left over rolls from a previous decorating project) and want to know what they can do with it, while others already enjoy doing crafts and are looking for something “new” to create rather inexpensively. So if you don’t already have some on hand or want more than what you have, where can you find wallpaper cheap?
Wallpaper Sample Books
Wallpaper is constantly being discontinued as new papers are introduced to the market. When this happens, retailers who sell wallpaper (including wallpaper/paint stores, hardware/home improvement centers, decorating centers, etc.) no longer need the sample books that house these wallpaper patterns, so they are eager to get rid of them…for free!
These wallpaper sample books have pages large enough to make most of the crafts mentioned at Wallpaper Crafts Place, and they usually come with matching companions…perfect for creating coordinating items or “quilted” crafts. If you can get your hands on a sample book, you’ve just struck gold!
Another source for cheap wallpaper is the clearance rack at these same retailers. Many discontinued patterns or slow sellers end up here at a fraction of it’s regular retail price. For a few bucks you can get gobs and gobs of paper to create your crafts.
Garage Sales & Online Auctions
Many people who have used wallpaper in their homes find themselves with extra paper on hand. While they recognize they don’t have a need for it any longer, they don’t want to just throw it away. So, they offer these rolls for sale at yard sales or online at places like eBay at a reasonable cost.
Wallpaper Crafts Store
The Wallpaper Crafts Place has a clearing house of Discontinued Wallpaper and Sample Books in Central Virginia. While these resources are used to create the crafts mentioned on this site for resale the wallpaper is also offered for sale as well. Check out the Wallpaper Crafts Store today.
When using wallpaper for crafts and you don’t want the back side of the paper to be seen, you can cover it by bonding the wallpaper to something else, such as tissue paper, gift wrap, or even a coordinating piece of wallpaper.
One way to adhere them is by fusing plastic with an iron. Plastic bags from dry cleaning or any very thin plastic will do. Food wrap is OK, as long as it is not the heavy microwavable type. Cheap garbage can liners will work, too. Using an old iron is recommended (not the same one you would use for ironing clothes).
On a firm surface (such as a wallpaper book covers), layer the wallpaper face down, then the plastic, then the tissue paper (or whatever paper you are using for a backing) in that order. To achieve a unique look, crumple the tissue paper first, then smooth it out and place it on the plastic. Using as hot of a setting as you can, iron the tissue paper. This will melt the plastic, and bond the papers together.
TIP: If you want to make a box, use this same procedure to bond the wallpaper to cardboard from a cereal box or other thin cardboard you may have.
If you want the wallpaper to have a plain white backing, you can iron freezer wrap to the wallpaper. You won’t need the plastic, as the freezer wrap has a plastic backing on it.
NOTE: You can also use the freezer wrap to bond with tissue paper, gift wrap, maps, calendar pictures, paper napkins or tablecloths, or any other recycled paper to make many of these same projects.
Tags: wallpaper samples
- wallpaper scraps or border
- light switchplate
- utility/blade knife
- glue gun
- 3M Spray Adhesive (optional)
How to Wallpaper a Light Switch Plate:
- Simply center the plate on your wallpaper pattern and trace a line around the perimeter in pencil.
- Measure about 1/2 inch larger than that rectangle and cut out the larger rectangle.
- Adhere the paper to the front surface of the switchplate by one of the following methods:
- Wet the back of the paper with water and apply it to the dried surface, or
- Spray an adhesive spray over the surface and stick the plate to the center of the dry wallpaper swatch.
NOTE: I did the second option, when I made them myself.
- Then, snip the corners on a diagonal, making it easier to tuck and fold. Don’t snip too much, just enough to remove some of the bulk when you wrap the corners over.
TIP: Fold the corners over first, then each side forming a crease around the whole plate.
- Using a glue gun, line each edge (on the underside that will be butted up against the wall) with glue. Be careful, it gets very hot! Do one edge at a time…the glue dries pretty fast. Fold the corner and side over, pressing down into the glue, causing a good strong bond.
TIP: I used a pencil to actually press down the glued paper so I wouldn’t burn myself.
- After all the edges have been glued and dried, it’s time to cut out the center (where the actual switch goes). You have three options:
- Using a blade utility knife or box cutter, pierce the center of the hole and slice to the edge of the opening. Slide the knife along the inside of the opening at a slight angle until the whole opening has been cutout, or
- Using a blade utility knife or box cutter, cut an “X” in the center of the hole going from corner to corner of the opening. Fold each triangular piece back and adhere it to the back of the plate with your glue gun, or
- Using a blade utility knife or box cutter, cut an “I” in the center of the hole going from top to bottom of the opening, then along the top and bottom edges from corner to corner. Fold each rectangular piece back and adhere it to the back of the with your glue gun.
NOTE: I used the first option here. Truthfully this was not my favorite part, I often handed this part off to my husband to do…he’s a lot handier with knives.
TIP: Using a sharper blade creates a cleaner cut.
- Last, you’ll want to cut out where the mounting screws go to secure the plate to the wall. I suggest creating an asterisk (*) with your blade knife in the hole rather than trying to cut the circle out.
TIP: When you put the screw in to mount it on the wall, just be careful not to tear the paper.
That’s it! If you’ve done this yourself, be sure to add any tips you have below…
NOTE: Ready-made handcrafted switchplates decorated with wallpaper containing Disney Characters and the Gang from Sesame Street as well as plates & outlet covers coordinating with Paper Illusions wallpaper are all available in our store at Wallpaper Crafts Place.
Wallpaper Sample Books are generally heavy and cumbersome. While you can simply remove sample pages as needed by cutting them close to the binding with a utility/blade knife, you may prefer to disassemble the whole book. By taking the book apart, you will have more paper to work with in your crafts as well as increased flexibility in storing the paper.
Keeping in mind these books were bound to withstand heavy use, it’s going to take a little effort to get them apart. However, it’s not that difficult when you have the right tools on hand to do the job.
You’ll need: a heavy flat head screwdriver, pliers, wire cutters, small crowbar-like tool, utility knife, and a little muscle.
How to disassemble the Wallpaper Sample Book:
- Using the utility knife cut the covers off where they fold back.
- There are 2 or 3 main screws on each side. Insert the screwdriver under the cover next to a screw. Pry the remaining cover edge up. This may take some work, but sometimes they are quite easy. Use the crowbar if needed.
- Once you get it up, go on to the next one. Do one complete side, then the other. Once the cover is completely off, you can see what method was used to bind that particular book – sometimes it’s staples, sometimes ring-shank nails, sometimes regular nails.
- Check to see how they are fastened on the other side. Sometimes they go all the way through and then bend over, so you can’t just pull them out. Again, doing just one side at a time, use the crowbar, pliers, screwdriver – whatever it takes to loosen it up.
- Once you have one side off, you can just pull the sheets off – there’s no need to actually remove the nails from the other side.
Additional Tips: If the Wallpaper Sample Book is bound using the real long staples, try cutting it and then pulling each side up with the pliers. Also, save the Book Covers for lap pads, cutting boards, and/or ironing pads – they work great for when you need a firm surface.
Tags: wallpaper books