How to Make Wallpaper

How to Make Wallpaper

Use designer Kim Myles’ instructions to make customizable wallpaper from household materials.

5 col

Quotes and/or images from a favorite book or play.
(12) 8 1/2” by 11” white copy paper per 3 sq. ft. of wall to be covered.
Access to a laser jet printer.
(50) Dark teabags (Examples: Black tea, Green tea, Cinnamon, Chamomile)
Large bucket
2 Gallons water
Plastic boot tray
Clothesline and clothespins
Rubber gloves
Universal wallpaper paste – 3 cups per 30 sheets of paper
Additional water - 2 cups per 30 sheets of paper
Paint tray
1/2-size roller
Decorators paintbrush
Plastic drop cloth


Preparing Paper:

  1. Type up or handwrite the chosen quotes in different fonts to add variation to the paper. The example below depicts 8 different font and handwriting styles
  2. Using a laser jet printer, print enough copies to cover chosen wall area. Do NOT use an inkjet printer, the ink will run off the paper in later steps
  3. Pour 2 gallons of water into a large bucket and add the 50 teabags. Different teas will produce different color tones so decide what hue you’d like the paper to have: red (Cinnamon tea), yellow (Chamomile tea), green (Green tea) or brown (Black tea). Let them steep for 2 hours, stirring teabags occasionally
  4. Once the tea is fully steeped, pour into plastic boot tray
  5. Dip one piece of printed paper at a time into the tray and swish around for a couple of seconds until completely saturated. Carefully hang the wet paper on clothesline to dry

Tip: Dip paper once only. It will dry darker than it looks when wet.

Applying Wallpaper:


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  1. Lay down plastic drop cloth to protect floor beneath wall
  2. Put on rubber gloves and mix 3 cups of wallpaper paste and 2 cups of water into a paint tray per 30 sheets of paper to be hung. Add a little more water and/or wallpaper paste as needed to get the paste to the consistency of cream sauce
  3. Use a paintbrush to apply paste to back of your first sheet of paper. Use a roller to apply paste to the wall where first sheet will be hung. You can hang the first sheet anywhere on the wall; there is no right or wrong place to start. Press paper onto wall. Roll more glue on top of the paper to seal it down

Tip: Work in small sections about 2’ x 2’, placing the first sheets of paper in groups of 5. See diagram below:

  1. Very gently with a sponge, carefully press out any air bubbles starting at the center of each sheet and slowly moving towards the edges
  2. If the paper rips, gently smooth it back onto the wall with some paste. Any patches can be covered with additional paper later like a collage
  3. Continue layering the paper, filling in the gaps with additional sheets as you go. Try to lay down different pages next to each other for a more stylized effect

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