By Nicole L. Warren
Wall décor can be easy and inexpensive to create. Tired of your bare eggshell white walls? Live in an apartment or dorm that doesn't allow you to paint? No problem! Even if you swear you don't have a creative bone in your body, these step-by-step directions and insider tips will help you make artwork to create style and charm in your spaces.
1. Washi Tape Designs
Washi Tape is a Japanese creation used by crafters and artists worldwide to prettify almost anything. It's best described as decorative masking tape, so it can easily be removed from walls when you’re ready for something new. An endless assortment of tapes in different widths, colors, textures, and patterns is available at your local or online craft retailer. Before you purchase the tape, make sure you have an idea of how many feet you'll need to complete your design.
To create your masterpiece, you'll need:
- Washi tape
- An X-ACTO knife
- Measuring tools
Step 1: Plan Your Design
Grab a pencil, a ruler and a few sheets of paper and sketch some ideas. Look for inspiration in the shapes, colors, and patterns already in your home. Repeat the interlocking circles from the dining room curtains, use the color combination of a throw pillow or copy the zigzags in the area rug.
Here are a few other ideas to get you started.
- Recreate your favorite skyline.
- Outline "picture frames" to showcase your child's artwork.
- Bring landscapes indoors with abstract versions of mountains, rivers or flowers.
- Create a mosaic of squares, rectangles, and triangles.
Step 2: Prepare the Wall
Make sure the wall is clean and dry so the tape can properly adhere. Depending on how intricate your design is, you might want to use a pencil to lightly draw guidelines, or use strips of washi tape to mark an outline. Measuring tools can help you center your design and ensure that parts are symmetrical. After you've added guidelines, stand back several feet and check that everything is lined up how you want. Now would be a good time to measure how much tape you'll need to complete the design.
Step 3: Let the Taping Begin!
Before you begin positioning the strips of tape on the wall, wash and thoroughly dry your hands. Washi tape does not like oil or moisture. Measure and cut the strips of tape as you go, starting at the center of your design. Firmly smooth the tape as you apply it, working your way outward.
Step 4: Admire Your Hard Work
Pat yourself on the back; you did it! Expect that your design will remain intact for at least a year, unless you're in a space used by curious hands or with high levels of humidity. The moisture and wear can loosen the tape.
2. Wall Decals
If you're looking for a professional-looking option that's quicker and easier install, wall decals are for you. No sketching, measuring, or cutting required. Just peel and stick. Typically made from self-adhering vinyl, decals can cover a large wall, frame a chaise lounge, or hide unsightly stains. A wide range of styles is available from cartoon characters to inspirational quotes. Visit your local craft, hardware or home goods store to find a decal that coordinates with your décor. Many online retailers also sell custom designs to perfectly match your personal taste. Just as easily as you put the decals up, you can take them down. As a bonus, you might even be able to reuse them! Installation directions may vary between manufacturers so be sure to read the directions that come with your decal.
Here are some general tips to follow:
Tip 1: Measure the area you're going to cover in advance, so you have an idea of what size decal to buy, or if you'll need to buy several decals to cover the space.
Tip 2: Before removing the decal from its backing, tape it up on the wall. Try different positions and locations to decide which suits your room best. Then you can simply remove the backing and apply the decal pieces in their spot.
Tip 3: Make sure the area you’re covering in clean, dry and smooth. Any bumps or ridges may impact how well the decal sticks.
Tip 4: Use something with a firm, straight edge, like a credit card, to smooth out any wrinkles once the decal is on the wall.
Tip 5: Even though some designs look like one big decal, they'll be divided into several small pieces. The pieces are reassembled like a puzzle, to create the complete image. This process can get a little tricky especially if your decal design is intricate. To avoid this headache, look for brands that come with numbered pieces. Otherwise, you can rely on the sample image on the package or visit the manufacturer’s website for guidance.
Tip 6: Some types of decals are both removable and reusable. If you've thrown away the original packaging, there’s no need to worry. The decals can be placed on sheets of wax paper and stored in an envelope or folder.
You Can Do It!
Try these two projects to discover that interior décorating isn't just for the pros and it doesn't have to cost a fortune. With a little and creativity and a few inexpensive supplies, you can create the perfect artwork to personalize your living space. Let us know about other DIY wall art projects you've tried and loved. Share your ideas and questions in the comments below.
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Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com and www.dreamstime.com