I’m going to take a guess and say that your blood pressure skyrockets when the phrase “do-it-yourself wallpaper installation” is uttered, am I right? But guys, the days of fussy, paste-y paper as your only option are SO far behind us and thank goodness because EHD loves their wallpaper. Now, it’s so much easier to find peel-and-stick varieties in very very cute patterns, and I don’t just mean at specialty retailers. What a time to be alive where you can swing by your local Target, grab a few rolls and completely change the vibe of a space in as long as it takes you to put it up.
For any of you out there that are renters, commitmentphobes or just generally scarred from bygone installation (and removal) methods, this post is for you. But before getting into the nitty gritties of how we did what we did (and some other fun DIYs), let me walk you through where we are right now…
Threshold reached out to see if we’d be up for working with their new neutral removable wallpapers (available in-store in the home innovation section of your local Target and Target.com). They sent us samples of three new patterns (above) and because it was hard to say no to that super cute large gingham, we set out to find a space we could makeover and Emily Bowser offered up a room in her home that was sitting pretty unused.
Because we didn’t have a “real” live-in client, we created one based on something we felt we had a firm grasp on: a design student. I think the part of the team that attended design school would agree that the space they’re
crying and stressed tinkering away in most of their free hours needs to be streamlined and organized with just enough style to provide a springboard for ideas without being cloying (back me up here EHDers).
A good office should be a few things: comfortable, effective, organized, inspiring, regardless of what you’re studying/where you work, so we split up this space into a few different zones: the desk is Grand Central for work and projects, the seating corner is a great place to kick up your feet and flip through magazines/Pinterest when you’re in a creative slump (cat absolutely vital here) and the shelving in between is there to keep you tidy.
Because we opted to keep the furnishing plan and pieces simple, the room was going to need a little punch by way of textiles, which is where the large gingham comes in to bring it all together.
Let’s dig into some things to keep in mind with peel-and-stick paper because, while it is as simple as peeling back the liner and adhering to wall (i.e. no messy, pastes or glues and no need to activate it with water), we learned a few installation notes along the way to make this relatively easy task even more efficient for you.
Supplies needed: one or two sets of hands, a step ladder, a straight edge, scissors, a sharp box cutter and a squeegee
- First things first, buy more than you think before starting! No matter how perfectly you think you’ve measured, there will be waste, and you can always return an extra tube or two if you don’t open them.
- This is not something I would recommend doing alone. The paper can be applied, removed and reapplied a surprising number of times but you will definitely need an extra set of hands, especially if your ceilings are high.
- Prepping the walls is important both for ease of installation, as well as the eventual removal. If your walls aren’t smooth, sanding down bigger bumps is a good idea because anything that causes the pattern to be off means the pieces you put on thereafter will also be off and a few sheets in, the inconsistency can really start to show. Also, don’t try to paper around faceplates and outlets. Simply remove the faceplates, apply the paper over, then (carefully) cut off the excess paper and replace your plates. Same goes for windows. It creates more waste, but your pattern repeat will be way more accurate. Windows that have casings are going to be a bit tricky, though, so making a cardboard or paper template may be a good idea to trace onto the paper and cut before applying.
- Take the time to squeegee before moving on to a new sheet to ensure all your air bubbles are out and you won’t have to adjust.
- I recommend leaving an inch or so extra at the top in case your walls are uneven so you can adjust as you go on. At the very end, just take a sharp box cutter to the ceiling edge for a clean line.
- All that said, a lot of people don’t have level floors and therefore the walls can be a bit wonky. Think about it like tweezing your eyebrows, though. Up close, you’re going to see all the imperfections and keep plucking past the point that is flattering, but if you step back occasionally and look at the “big picture”, you’ll hardly be able to point out the things that drove you nuts up close.
In total, we used 7.5 rolls for 170 square feet and the whole process, start to finish, took us about 2 hours (though maybe budget twice that if you’re a Type A perfectionist).
If you’ve never installed removable wallpaper before and have questions about ANY part of the process, how to figure out how many rolls you need, etc., pop into the comments and let us know what you need us to talk more about. The first wall is the most intimidating because you’re not sure where to start (we recommend hanging your first strip top to bottom from a corner), but once you get going, it’s like anything else…you just feel more confident as you’re figuring it out.
Speaking of things to figure out, we’re moving on to another DIY part of this makeover. We had the idea to add in a clear inspiration board as not to cover up our newly installed paper, and instead of buying something, we did what any overachiever would do and set out to make one ourselves after searching “clear eraser board” on Pinterest and studying the plethora of simple DIYs we found.
Here’s what you’ll need: A piece of acrylic (which you can buy at most home improvement stores) cut to whatever size works for your space, 3/4″ wooden dowel cut to size (noted below), 2.5″ wood screws, hot glue gun
Now for how to do it:
- As most of these acrylic board DIYs are made with sign standoffs (which we thought was our plan, at first), it turns out you have to order those online because not many stores carry them, so we improvised, and now you can, too.
- Cut your dowel into four, 1-inch pieces and four, 1/2-inch pieces.
- Predrill the 1-inch pieces for your screws to avoid splitting.
- Measure and drill holes into the four corners of the acrylic, then screw through the acrylic and into the predrilled 1-inch dowel piece. This will attach everything to the wall. (Quick note: when the screw was just barely through the dowel, one of us held the acrylic up while the other screwed the four corners into the wall, making sure to hit a stud. If you’re going into drywall, you’ll have to think about anchors.)
- Once the whole thing is secured to the wall, put a dab of hot glue onto the screw head, add the 1/2-inch dowel cutting, hold for a second until dry. (We tried super glue at first, but it didn’t work as well, so we recommend the hot glue, for sure).
- To get extra fancy, we finished it off with a 3M magnetic strip to attach a pen cup to hold our dry erase markers.
And finally, a DIY that Bowser and Julie dreamed up which is SO creative and super cost effective…the pin-up shade:
Simply measure your window, cut your curtain panel to size (be sure to leave a little extra for the hem), clean up the unfinished sides with iron-on hem tape, clip on the ring clips to the top, bottom and middle, then hammer in three nails at the top of your window (where the clips loop into) and BOOM, you have window treatments. How genius is that?
And there you have it. An empty shell of a room transformed to fit any budding design student (or anyone, really!) with a few smart and simple DIYs, and of course, that cute and neutral yet punchy peel-and-stick Threshold wallpaper. What do you think? Can you see yourself working in this space?
*This post is in partnership with Threshold but all words, designs and selections are our own. Thanks for supporting the brands we love that support the blog.