Guest author Emma Jeffery from the blog Hello Beautiful returns to share her freshly wallpapered closet for our May Renter Dec project series. With our fully removable wallpaper, this rental-friendly DIY lends a perfect pop of surprise pattern and color to brighten up your space!
We moved into new house just before Christmas and there’s so much I want to do to make it feel like ‘home’. I can’t wait to bring color and personality to the walls with splashes of paint, artwork and Spoonflower’s wallpaper, but being new to hanging wallpaper (my only previous wallpaper project being my daughter’s doll house) I decided to start small.
So small in fact, that I decided to wallpaper our downstairs coat closet! It’s the perfect size for a beginner project, and being a seamstress at heart, covering the inside of a closet with a bright fun wallpaper is akin to lining a plain jacket with a cool and funky fabric. You get glimpses of color every now and then, and, like a hidden secret, it makes me happy to know it’s there!
Our closet started off less than inspiring and with zero personality. It had hooks and screws drilled into random places that many previous owners added over the years. The hooks were too high for my children to reach, and hence, their jackets and school backpacks invariably ended up strewn on the floor, contents spilling forth and adding to the general ‘dumping ground’ nature of the closet.
So, I decided enough was enough! I emptied the contents of the closet, removed the hooks and screws and gave the paintwork a fresh coat of paint. I ordered two rolls of gorgeous Spoonflower wallpaper designed by Paper Sparrow , wiped down the walls and began the process of beautifying my closet.
I began by measuring and cutting the first length of wallpaper slightly longer than needed to cover the back of the closet wall. It helps immensely to mark the TOP of each of the strips of wallpaper you cut if you don’t have a directional pattern, so that you always know which way to hang it.
Our closet is conveniently located next to our downstairs shower room, so we filled the bottom of the shower base with water though you could use a trough, bath tub or very large plastic container. You need to loosely coil the cut length of wallpaper and immerse it in water for 15 seconds.
I pulled the wallpaper out of the water by holding the top edge and allowing it to uncoil as I pulled it up and out of the water, therefore ensuring that all the wallpaper was fully wet. This is definitely a two person job!
We then ‘booked’ the ends (this is where it become hard to remember the top from the bottom, but if you’ve labeled it on the back, then there’s nothing to worry about!) and then simply hung the wallpaper.
When hanging subsequent strips of wallpaper, be sure to pay close attention to correctly matching the pattern at the edges. When done well, the seams are almost invisible.
Leave the trimming until the wallpaper is completely dry otherwise it will rip and tear. I used a sharp craft knife to trim my paper after leaving the wallpaper to dry overnight.
We finished off by adding some new hooks – some at child height level so that my kids can reach to hang up their things.
The new closet looks great and the process was simple – it only took a couple of hours one afternoon to complete and out technique improved with each strip we hung.
In fact, the only problem with my closet makeover is that it’s so pretty I wish it wasn’t hidden! I wonder if we should remove the doors?
I’m an obsessive sewer, often leaping into projects with more enthusiasm than talent, more bravado than skill and more good luck than anything else. This technique has worked well for me so far and more often than not, I make things I love, even if they’re not absolutely perfect. And though I’m no expert, I have a passion for fabric, color and design. I know what I like and what I like makes me smile.