Today's Renter Dec tutorial wraps up a month-long series dedicated to beautiful, renter-friendly projects that are fully removable. We shared how-tos on adding pops of pattern by wallpapering closets and door frames, and a brilliant decal growth chart for kids that you can take with you from house to house. This past weekend I used peel and stick wallpaper to create a faux tile backsplash to add some much needed pattern and character to my plain kitchen. Our peel and stick wallpaper is the perfect renter decor fare — it's easily removed and repositioned.
Working at Spoonflower, we're always printing amazing designs created by the Spoonflower community and we love to decorate our office with a happy mix of colors and and patterns from the Marketplace. (Take a virtual tour of Spoonflower headquarters!) After leaving work, I come home to cook in the kitchen of my rented townhouse, that looks like this:
Admittedly, the surfaces and appliances are nice, but after hanging out at an office brimming with gorgeous patterns and prints, to me, it looks like this:
Technicolor version coming soon!
Choose your Design
This faux kitchen tile project would look great with just one pattern, or one primary tile design plus a second design for a few accent tiles, but I picked four different designs by Lisa Barrett (NinaRibena on Spoonflower) and one accent tile design in a bright wasabi color. Because I wanted to use a lot of different patterns for my tiles, I chose designs in the same black and champagne colorway to keep the wall from looking busy, and to make the fun green accent pattern pop even more.
Measure your space
Once you've picked out your peel and stick-worthy spot, measure the space you want to cover with your woven wallpaper tiles. My spot, the wall between my kitchen counters and my upper cabinets, measures roughly nine feet long and fifteen inches high. I knew I wanted to create rectangular tiles similar to the subway-style tiles I'd installed in previous house, but you can choose any shape you like — square, or even hexagonal like the faux backsplash some of the girls in the Spoonflower office created above our coffee bar:
Order your Wallpaper
I wanted to use 7×3" rectangular tiles, and to cover my wall with five different patterns, I needed to order 1 roll of peel and stick wallpaper to have enough tiles to cover my approximately 9 foot by 1 foot high space (I didn't tile all the way up to the underside of my cabinets). Pick out your tile shape and size, then calculate how many rolls you'll need to order for your tiles.
Depending on the design you choose (or design for yourself!), you may need to order more than the literal square footage you are trying to cover if the elements you want to show in the tile need to be cut out individually, like the Hello print I chose by NinaRibena.
Cut your peel and stick wallpaper
Before you mark your wallpaper to cut down into tiles, cut off the kiss-cut edge (the peelable edge).
Mark the back of your wallpaper to cut into your tile size– I chose 7×3" rectangles.
If you choose a design where you'll need to cut out individual elements for your tiles instead of cutting out the grid from the back, an acryllic ruler comes in handy.
Once I had all of my tiles cut out and ready for my project, I couldn't wait to see them up on the wall!
But instead of slapping them up on the wall, like I wanted to, I took a few moments to try out a couple of tiling options.
Place your tiles
Now you're ready to start placing your tiles! The paint in my kitchen is matte, so I didn't prep the wall other than a quick wipe down, but if you have a glossy paint in your kitchen, you may want to clean your wall with a bit of soap and water to remove any dirt or oil.
I wanted to place my tiles in a traditional brick pattern, with each row one half brick stepped from the last, so I chopped a couple of tiles in half to begin.
I eyeballed about a 1/8 to 1/4 inch margin around each tile for the look of grout lines.
For cutting the tiles to place around outlets, I found it simpler to mark on the face of the peel and stick tiles with a pencil than to measure around each impediment.
You could plan out which tiles you'll to cut down for the repeat and for outlets by measuring out your whole space, but because I wanted to randomize the different tile designs, I cut the special tiles as I went.
Progress! Cutting the wallpaper tiles for placement around the switchplates and outlets took the most time, after that, it was smooth sailing.
Compared to some of the other home dec projects I've attempted in the past, this one makes only a tiny mess. It's a fast project too– which is a good thing for a kitchen– I only interrupted one mealtime. But hey, that's the cost of doing DIY business.
This project is perfect for the committment-phobic, and the DIY novice. Since peel and stick wallpaper is easy to remove and reposition, I could rearrange any non-quite-straight tiles and swap out tiles if any of the designs started to look overused in the repeat.
I'm really loving the results. For such a quick and simple project, the space feels totally transformed. My kitchen looks so cheery now, I can't wait to have a dinner party to show it off!