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What Can Be Done With Wallpaper Leftovers?

Updated on September 24, 2014

Extraordinary and Crafty Uses for Wallpaper Scraps!

Do you put wallpapers on your walls? As it usually happens, there are always bits of leftover wallpaper scraps, no matter how good you take measurements before purchasing your wallpapers. And you remain wondering what to do with the remaining pieces?

Wallpapers aren't just for walls - they can be a free source for some of the most creative yet simple crafts, as well as useful items that can help save some money in your household. This page holds a number of ideas how to use those wallpaper scraps for something useful and beautiful. Have fun crafting and upcycling!

Free Wallpaper?

Most stores that sell wallpaper will give away their sample books from discontinued wallpapers. They are usually very glad to get rid of them. These sample books have pages large enough to make most of the crafts mentioned on this page. They are also great for projects that need several coordinating designs, such as the quilting. Another source is friends that have recently repapered a room and may have leftover scraps. I have also seen wallpaper rolls at garage sales. Although not free, it can be very low cost. Source: Barb's Pad (also has some great craft ideas!).

Cutting Edge of Wallpaper
Cutting Edge of Wallpaper

Wallpaper has recently experienced something of a renaissance. After years of minimalism; of plastered walls painted in neutral colours, people are again coming round to the idea of individual expression in interior design. The enormous variety and scope that wallpaper allows for means that it is, at last, hip once more. The Cutting Edge of Wallpaper pays tribute to this exciting new trend, looking at the techniques, products and designers at the forefront of contemporary wallpaper design. Divided into chapters according to the characteristics of wallpaper (geometric, architectural, figurative and interactive/technical), the designers include Jane Gordon Clark, Neisha Crossland, Tracey Kendall, Timorous Beasties and over 70 others. Three essays look at the medium in depth. The first explores the history of wallpaper, and how it has evolved. A second looks at wallpaper today, and the third, by Charles Stuckey, looks at the crossover between wallpaper and fine art. A beautiful, vividly illustrated publication, this book is sure to appeal to anyone with an interest in design.

 

Household Tips

Line your drawers

Wallpaper remnants can be a great substitute for shelf liner paper when used to line dresser drawers or closet shelves -- especially designs with raised patterns or fabrics, which may add a bit of friction to prevent things from moving around. Cut the wallpaper into strips sized in both length and width to accommodate the space.

Restore a folding screen

If you have an old folding screen that's become torn or stained over the years, give it a new, younger look by covering it with leftover wallpaper. Use masking tape to hold the strips at top and bottom if you don't want to glue it on top of the original material.

Protect schoolbooks

If your child goes through book covers on textbooks on a semi-regular basis, get your hands on some old rolls of wallpaper. Book covers made of wallpaper are typically more rugged than even the traditional brown paper bag sleeves; they can hold their own against pens and pencils, and are much better at handling the elements, especially rain and snow.

Cut paper 2" wider and 6" longer than your book. Place the paper sample wrong side up. Fold the top edge of the paper down 1" and the bottom edge up 1". Place book in the middle and wrap with the paper, folding the extra 3" at each end over the edge of the cover to the inside.

Mirror Decoration

Use the same border as in the bathroom to trim around mirrors. I have cut about 1/4 inch strip off of the border and wet it, then stick it on the mirror around the perimeter. Looks great!

Bulletin Board

Cover the cork part of a bulletin board with wallpaper (tape on for a temporary different look, glue on for a permanent look). It looks especially good if it matches the walls or color of the room!

Window or wall treatment

Glue leaves and shapes over a doorway, archway or window. Cover with a light coat of paint and sand off for a "worn" effect.

Tricia Guild Pattern: Using Pattern to Create Sophisticated, Show-stopping Interiors
Tricia Guild Pattern: Using Pattern to Create Sophisticated, Show-stopping Interiors

The book is an outstanding resource and, in its way, a celebration of an unfettered design spirit. Features a touch-me flocked cover and a vibrant wealth of information inside. In 210 pages, Guild takes a savvy approach to profiling pattern.

 

Placemats

Make a "quilted" placemat by cutting a piece of cardboard and a piece of paper to size. Draw a quilt design on the paper and cut out the shapes. Use them as pattern pieces for cutting your wallpaper scraps. Attach the wallpaper pieces to the cardboard with the adhesive of your choice. Cover everything with clear Contact Paper or acrylic coating, such as Mod Podge, to seal the placemat and protect it for extended use.

Wagner 0282018, 705 Steamer 1-Gallon Wallpaper Steamer
Wagner 0282018, 705 Steamer 1-Gallon Wallpaper Steamer

Removing wallpaper often ends up in removing part of the sheet rock or plaster. No matter how careful you are with the putty knife you’re going to do more damage than intended. For years contractors have relied on the power of steam to separate the paper from the surface and now that same power is available for the DIY’er in the Wagner 705 Electric Wallpaper Steamer. Simply place the 8-inch or 11-inch steam plate cover against the paper surface and viola, the paper practically peels itself. You can operate the Steamer for up to 1-1/4 hours on a single fill of the 1-gallon tank plus the 11-foot hose allows the user to move freely about the rooms without disturbing the tank.

 

Craft Supplies Organizer from Reused Household Items

Reuse a tissue box, paper tubes and leftover wallpaper to create this organizer for your craft supplies or your child's art supplies. If you have a hobby such as scrapbooking you can store your edging scissors in the tubes, just cut the wallpaper with the decorative edge before applying it to the paper tube for easy reference. The remaining space is perfect for your acid-free adhesive, photo corners, die-cuts, stickers and glue sticks. ....... PDF Instructions

Shapes for decoupage

Cut out the shapes of leaves and decoupage them to virtually anything - table tops, frames, decorative boxes, etc. They will make a great classic decoration specially during autumn and Thanksgiving season!

Wallpaper Intarsia

Choose a simple graphic, print it out to size in outline/colorbook format. Cut it apart at the appropriate places, and use each piece as a pattern to cut out from wallpaper,using different designs or colors for each piece. Then glue it together on you card. Add detail with embossing powder, markers, paint, or whatever you have. Use wiggle eyes, yarn for whiskers, add silk leaves, or whatever will bring your creation to life.

Wallpaper Picture Mat

Reuse leftover wallpaper, an old frame and a favorite picture from an outdated calendar to create a unique decorating accent for your home.... PDF Instructions

How to Decorate with Wallpaper: A Practical and Inspirational Guide with Step-by-Step Projects
How to Decorate with Wallpaper: A Practical and Inspirational Guide with Step-by-Step Projects

Home decorators with a passion for pattern and color know it’s the perfect way to reinvigorate any space. They’ll turn to this stunning new guide to tell them everything they need to know about choosing and using wallpaper in every room. A section on tools and materials describes the different types of paper available, and all the essentials are covered—from calculating the amount of paper needed to preparing the walls, from hanging patterned wallpaper to papering ceilings. Every project is especially designed to strengthen an important skill, such as papering around corners and dealing with windows, doors, and other obstacles.

 

Homemade Designer Candles (the easy way...)

This is a good way to turn plain "dollar store" pillar candles into expensive-looking designer candles and use those little border samples often included in the wallpaper books.......Instructions

Cover gift boxes

Glue the wallpaper to the outside of a box to make a pretty gift box -- or -- use it to make your own boxes! If the wallpaper isn't heavy enough, glue two pieces back to back, or glue it to lightweight cardboard and then fold the box.

Note cards and pouch.

To make the pouch measure two note cards and their envys side by side both lengthwise and widthwise. Make a cardboard pattern of the envy then cut a piece of cardboard to fit in the bottom of the envy to give it some support. Measure it from the bottom of the flap to where the envy is folded up at the bottom. Then use the double sided red tape and tape it down in about 4 or 5 places. Took a sheet of metalized gold inkjet paper and put it down as far in the envy as you can (leaving enough at the top to make sure the flap would be covered. Then tape the envelope together. After the envy is all done, trim the foil paper around the flap. Measure about 5/8" of the foil (use scraps) for the width and measure the length to fit across the envy. Again use double sided tape to attach it to the the envy, then trim the edges. On some of the pouches you can use an eyelet, but in order to use it you'll have to put a little piece of cardboard under the foil so it would be thick enough to hold the eyelet.

Make a jigsaw puzzle

What to do with your leftover wallpaper? Why not use a piece to make a jigsaw puzzle? Simply cut off a medium-sized rectangular piece and glue it onto a piece of thin cardboard. Once it's dried, cut it up into a bunch of curvy and angular shapes. It'll give you, or the kids, something to do on a rainy or snowbound day.

Make Your Own Envelopes

Wallpaper samples or calendar pictures make great envelopes. The black or darkest paper samples look wonderful with the trim of lace - very Victorian! ........Instructions

Fishing Game

Use leftover wallpaper scraps to cut out fish shapes (wallpaper books are great because there are lots of patterns). Place a paper clip on the nose of each fish. Create a rod out of a dowel or branch with string and a magnet tied on the end. Children will love this fishing game. The wallpaper is sturdier than regular paper but light enough that the magnet will pick them up. Make it more of an educational game by placing numbers or letters on the back of the fish. If they identify the letter or number correctly they keep the fish if not it goes back in the pond.

Have some more ideas?

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    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      Very good ideas, I think that it is important to recycle and using all the leftovers certainly in one way to conserve resources.

    • profile image

      Ibidii 4 years ago

      I may have missed it in your lens but we used to make gift bags out of the wallpaper samples. It is the same pattern one used for paper bags Also you can make a closed box you make in origami. The kids loved it. I taught the Brownies how to make the gift bags ant then the adults at church women's group. Great lens! Fun ideas!! :)

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 4 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      I love the idea of reusing leftovers. Some very original ideas here. Thanks!

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Great ideas for using up left over wallpaper on craft and other household projects. I love the variety of colored paper leftovers.

    • AnnaMKB profile image

      AnnaMKB 5 years ago

      Years ago, I used to be able to get the discontinued sample books from stores for free. I used them to wrap small gifts and make Christmas decorations, among other things. Then the stores started charging for the books. Ah, well.

      A good place to get leftover wall paper is a ReUse Centre, or something similar, if your city has one.

    • profile image

      Traceeshobbies 5 years ago

      I have tons of wall paper left. Thanks for the ideas.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      When I was a young girl mum had a wallpaper book. The paper then was decorated with a lot of beautiful flowers. I used to design paper doll clothes from these pages. I wish that I had kept some of them.

      Thank you for bringing back this memory.

    • jenokson profile image

      jenokson 6 years ago

      Super ideas on this lens! I don't have ideas to contribute because you seem to have quite an exhaustive list! I can't wait to try some of your ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I can't think of any. You said it all. Very nice lens. Making envelopes is what I want to do with the excess of wallpapers.

    • Janet2221 profile image

      Janet2221 6 years ago

      Since we are in the process of wallpapering two rooms in our home right now, this lens is very helpful. I know our drawers can use some new lining, so maybe i'll try that. :)

    • NanLT profile image

      Nan 6 years ago from London, UK

      Some excellent craft ideas.

      Added to "Another 100 Lenses for my 200th Lens"

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 7 years ago from California

      I always get new craft ideas from your recycle lenses, and this one is no exception.

    • profile image

      utilizingproject 7 years ago

      I use these to make different kind of thing as show piece. Such as doll, flower, boat and others. Your lens very informative. What can i do with my damage Compaq disk and DVD.

      Thanks for sharing a nice lens.

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 7 years ago

      Teachers like to use them in book making centers.

    • Jennifer Einstein profile image

      Jennifer Einstein 7 years ago from New York City

      Great ideal about the wastebasket. I hate how ugly mine was. Now I can spruce it up!

    • KOrazem profile image

      Seeking Pearls 7 years ago from Pueblo West

      Wonderful lens filled with fabulous ideas.

    • profile image

      Oosquid 7 years ago

      I always, but always, buy too much wallpaper! Now I know what to do with it :0)

      Great lens, 5 stars.

    • michellepatelle profile image

      michellepatelle 7 years ago

      Great lens. 5 stars. Now if I just knew what to do with all my old cans of paint.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Very nice ideas!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      This lens is featured on A Day of 100 Squid Angel Blessings.

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

      I always love your 'uses of' lenses. I haven't used wallpaper for years - but now I will know what to do with the left overs if I do!

    • Natalie W Schorr profile image

      Natalie W Schorr 8 years ago

      I have lots of vintage wallpapers left over from years of motion picture work. I've used them in art extensively, and think they are a great resource for crafters and artists. Great job on this lens.

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 8 years ago from Sweden

      I never stop admiring people for new ideas and new lenses. Thank you! I will remember this lens and share with others too.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      I covered the switch plates in the bathroom with wallpaper. They look nice! Welcome to the Money Saving Tips

    • thepartyanimal2 profile image

      thepartyanimal2 8 years ago

      Yahoo you are a winner in The Squidoo Home for The Holidays Lens Contest So Go Grab your badge.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      I love the idea of using left-over stuff to make new stuff. I have a ton of wallpaper scraps. I'm going to pull the box out and make some picture frames for Christmas gifts for my teacher friends.

      Thanks for the great idea and thanks for your kind comments on my Say Something Nice lens. I appreciate it.

      Lizzy

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 8 years ago from Covington, LA

      I used to use cutouts from wallpaper in my decopauge projects. Welcome to the Naturally Native Squids group. Don't forget to add your lens links to the appropriate plexos and vote for them.

    • Barkely profile image

      Barkely 8 years ago

      Cute ideas! Thanks for adding this lens to the Fun For Kids Group!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 8 years ago

      In addition to the shelf lining...it has a nice support to use for a funnel for the fruit fly traps!

      https://hubpages.com/education/fruit_flies

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 8 years ago

      Shelf liner. It is so expensive. And you don't have to have the same for every cabinet, right? So using left over wallpaper with an acrylic cover should do it! 5* Love the recylcing!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Wallpaper for jewelry -- using it much like kimono fabric -- with resin/acrylic laminated. I love the idea of wallpaper for placemats! Wallpaper napkin rings. 5***** for creativity

    • Lou165 profile image

      Lou165 8 years ago from Australia

      Another great lens.

      If you have textured wallpaper you can glue it onto a canvas and paint it to create instant wall art. Sometimes adding small tiles or beads in contrasting colors looks really good. We are in the process of doing this to sell at markets (we've brought a couple of rolls though!)

    • ctavias0ffering1 profile image

      ctavias0ffering1 8 years ago

      Recycling - love it :-) 5*

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