Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Me vs. Wallpaper Panel: Part One

Sometimes it's okay to fail. At least that's what I'm telling myself when it comes to this project. I actually find it kind of refreshing when bloggers share their failures because it shows that they're real people. So, here's the REAL Lindsay coming atcha.

I started this project with this inspiration image in mind. I love EVERYTHING about this dining room.

And here is our dining room for reference.

Wallpaper panel. (Planned to go where the scrolly thing is now.) Beautiful and a perfect temporary solution for us renters. I knew I didn't have the budget for the kind of wallpaper I wanted, and I searched high and low for a lovely fabric, but didn't find anything like what I had in mind. Eventually, I ended up in the arts and crafts store, in front of the scrapbook paper shelves. 

I'll share with you my creation process, then the sad tale of why it didn't work out this time around. 

Ok, so here's the paper I chose. Sort of a graphic floral print on a buttery yellow background. I luuurve it. 

Oh, and there are sparkles on the paper. But you can't really see that unless you're right up close, so I chose to ignore it. 

I broke down a cardboard box to adhere the paper to.  I actually ended up taping two boxes together so that it would be long enough to span from ceiling to floor. 

(Can you tell I did a little bit of walking back and forth on the cardboard?? Whoops.)

I suppose one could just stick the paper right to the wall, but we've got textured walls, so I didn't think that would work. 

So I used this spray adhesive to spray the backs of the 12 x 12 paper and glue them to the cardboard. It stayed tacky just long enough for me to make sure each piece lined up perfectly. 

I had to stop several times because the spray trigger started sticking to my finger and coming out of the can. Annoying, but kind of funny.

The process actually went really smoothly and I was getting very excited at this point. I thought it looked great and couldn't wait to see it on the wall! 

I used some candle holders and books and things to hold down the particularly stubborn pages throughout the process. 

Ok, so here it is right after I got it up on the wall. You should have seen me struggling with that thing, trying not to bend it at all. Man, that was an interesting 10 minutes. 

I used 3M Command strips to attach the cardboard to the wall. I use those things for everything and they always do a great job. 

So, yeah, I'm keeping it real. My dining room table normally looks like that when I'm painting, which is pretty often these days. I realize this is an awful ''reveal'' photo.

So, that is basically what it looked like when I left for the East Coast a few days later. I wasn't totally finished with it yet, but I figured I could seal the few peeling papers once I got back. 

Well, the sad story is that a week later, when Chris got in from his ship, most of the papers were completely peeled up and falling down. One of the guys from the ship who came over to our hous was very confused about my "art" on the walls. Chris assured him that he had no idea what I was trying to make, but he was sure  that it wasn't supposed to look like that and that it probably didn't look so sad when I had left the week before. 

(Have I mentioned how great my husband is? He has such confidence in my design/art skills and never doubts me.)

I don't really understand why the spray adhesive didn't work. I've seen it work on much tougher things than paper and cardboard. I'm pretty disappointed but not beaten yet. 

I will conquer this wallpaper panel, if it's the last thing I do!

Stay tuned this fall for Part Two, where I fix said 'wallpaper' panel and end up with a beautiful dining area, reminiscent of my inspiration.

(Now I have to figure out how to fix it...)


  1. Love the overall idea! Guess Chris isn't trained yet in taking pics of the good & bad for your blog? So we are just taking his word for it and it wasn't some bored midshipmen peeling it off ?:)
    Bet round two will be a winner!

  2. Hey Linds!

    So I was watching HGTV the other day and they were staging a house for sale. The designer created some art for the walls to add a splash of color. She had a similar idea - but she used foam board. She cut the foam board to the size of the scrapbook sheets and used a spray adhesive. The piece she created was more of a collage of different prints, but I'm sure the same process could be used to achieve what you are going for.

    Keep creating and having fun! I love your posts, they inspire me to be more creative with my place. I"m actually thinking about doing the collage thing for a space in my room. I'll let you know how it goes :) I hope you are enjoying all of your travels on the mainland :) Miss you!!

    Katie Neiles

  3. Loved your post, love when you keep it real!

  4. Haha. This made me laugh out loud. I would have done the same thing. Totally. I'm right there with you. Your attempt was a noble one. What about fabric, Lindsay? Jo-ann Fabrics or most fabric stores for that matter have huge flat fold sections with discounted fabric. You could buy something and simply stretch it over a wooden frame that Chris could make and use a staple gun. ? I don't know. That might be too expensive also.

  5. I applaud you for not giving up. When things like this happen to me I scrap the project. Way to keep at it! Can't wait to see the finished product. you can do it!!

  6. I just found your blog and think its totally adorable!! My family lives part of the year on Maui, so I've really enjoyed getting to read about someone else's Hawaiian living adventures and all the quirks that make it oh-so-much fun! :)

    I'm a renter too and was looking for a way to prevent the wall where our bar stools are from getting all marked up, but was having trouble like you had too! I actually decided to get drawer liner that is the kind you can wipe down in a woven print from Walmart for about $4 per bundle! I then measured what I needed and used small nails to keep it up! It looks totally like natural woven wallpaper and is super cute! I liked it so much I actually used it to make a faux headboard! I had also thought about using some of the $1 placemats from Ikea but couldn't find any I liked, but maybe that would work for you! This is what I used in the Burlap print!

    Keep up all the fun posts and good luck!

  7. That's super strange that the spray adhesive didn't work! It works all the time on TV! I really like the paper you chose though. Maybe you could use wallpaper adhesive? You could just paint it onto the cardboard and then lay down the paper. I don't know if it would make the paper curl or not. You may want to test a small piece first. Good luck finding a solution! I can see you vision and I think it will look awesome!
    -Sarah G


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