The removable wallpaper for my One Room Challenge is here, which calls for a big ass HOORAY! I’m over half way through hanging it, so today I’m talking all about the process and giving you guys a few tips that can make hanging peel and stick removable wallpaper a little easier, should you want to give it a go yourself. (You totally should, by the way – this stuff is amazing.)
If you’re playing catch up, I’m giving my daughter’s bedroom a makeover with a global boho feel over six weeks for the One Room Challenge. You can see the last few week’s posts here:
Plans for Eleanor’s Global Boho Bedroom (Week 1)
Befores & Details on the Plan (Week 2)
Wallpaper Options (Week 3)
Textiles & Furniture (Week 4)
How to Hang Removable Wallpaper (Week 5)
The Reveal (Week 6)
Bonus: How to Make A DIY Wall Hanging
Now we’re in week five – the last week before the big reveal. I wanted to use mudcloth wallpaper from the get-go. We are renters, though, so it needed to be fully and easily removable. I couldn’t find anything like that in the UK, but Spoonflower has been on my radar for years. They’re a US company, but they’re in Germany now too, which makes everything much more accessible to the likes of me in London.
If you read my week three update, you’ll know that I didn’t actually order my wallpaper until after I published that post – only two weeks ago – and I was really scared that it wouldn’t arrive in time to finish the One Room Challenge. Well, it was on my doorstep eight days after I ordered it. It’s printed to order and, like I said, shipped from Germany, so I am beyond impressed with how quick it got here. And, because of that, I’ve already been able to get most of it on the walls, and guys, it looks so good.
I reached out to partner with Spoonflower for this project. On their website, you can create your own designs, which can be printed on wallpaper as well as fabric and gift wrap, and even on home decor and clothing through their sister sites Roostery and Sprout Patterns. You can also choose from the 350,000 designs already on their marketplace, which is what I did. I settled on Bebe Mudcloth White by Holli Zollinger, which is a delicate, slightly more graphic take on a traditional mudcloth print.
They have two options for wallpaper, both of which are renter-friendly and removable. Their smooth wallpaper is water-activated and very affordable. I got some samples, and it’s lovely stuff (on the right, below). Then they have a peel and stick option, which is a bit more expensive but is repositionable, thicker, and has such a lovely woven texture.
I opted for the peel and stick option for two reasons: the texture and because I’m a newb at hanging wallpaper. As it turns out, I definitely made the right call. If you saw my Instastory on this, you might already know that I kinda effed up the first piece. It was tricky, because I was working by myself around a door frame. I initially hung it too low, so I had to peel it all off and reposition it.
I called in the troops to help me for a bit after that. Well, troop – my Dad popped over to give me an extra set of hands. Together, we messed up that first strip a further three times or so, even sticking the wallpaper to itself twice! So yes, this is how not do do it. (Hanging wallpaper in my activewear.)
Fortunately, this stuff is amazingly forgiving, and now it’s up, there are no signs of the trauma it underwent getting there! The rest of that wall was simple and solid, and it went much more smoothly.
Spoonflower sends installation instructions with its removable wallpaper, and has video instructions online too. Generally, it’s a really straightforward process. So, rather than give you a full on tutorial, I’m sharing a few extra tips that will help if you’re going to hang removable wallpaper yourself.
1. Position and hang artwork first
Figure out where things are going and hang them before you wallpaper. If you mess up, you can patch the walls, but you can’t patch wallpaper so easily.
2. Prep your walls & remove outlet covers
This one’s obvious, but aside from making sure everything’s clean and free of dust, it’s also good to remove outlet covers. (Turn the power off first.) Laying the wallpaper under the outlets will make it look as sharp as possible.
3. Use a laser level
I bought this laser level for the project, and it’s saved a good chuck of time and made it much easier to hang the wallpaper dead straight. Set the line up to match the edge of the strip you’re hanging, and it’ll save you having to bust out the spirit level all the time. I’ve wanted one of these handy little tools for ages anyway, so it was a good excuse to buy one!
4. Start at the top left corner, in the least conspicuous part of the room
This is stated on the instructions, but it’s worth mentioning. If you’re hanging a whole room of removable wallpaper, you’ll be left with one seam that doesn’t match up completely. Start in the least visible corner – in my case, right of the door – and that seam will be barely noticeable.
5. Overlap the moulding or ceiling at the top of the wall
This is where I went wrong right off the bat. I tried to line the top of my strip of wallpaper with the bottom of the moulding. It was almost close enough, but the walls aren’t completely straight. That tiny gap would have grown as I moved along and been much more obvious. You can trim excess later.
6. Maybe don’t use the squeegee straight away
Spoonflower’s removable wallpaper comes with a squeegee tool to push all the air bubbles out to the edges. We actually found it easier to very lightly press it down and smooth it out with our hands first, as you can see in the video. Once we knew it was in the right position, then we pressed down more firmly. Doing it this way meant we didn’t have to reposition it so often.
7. How to hang wallpaper on wonky corners or wonky walls
Like I said, my walls are not completely straight, even though our house is only about 20 years old. The first corner we got to was significantly wonky. We’d been lining each new strip up to the edge of the previous one. If we’d continued it around the wonky corner, though, the right edge would’ve been noticeably off.
To combat this, we pressed the strip down on the first wall until it got to the corner. The bottom was the wonky part, so we made a cut up to where the wall straightened, then lay that section overlapping the first part, using the laser level to make sure the right edge was still straight. It’s slightly misaligned, obviously, but I think that’s better than having a whole section be wonky. And you tell me if you can notice it!
If you have super wonky walls top-to-bottom, it might be worth running the paper slightly round the corner and then trimming it an inch or so onto the next wall. After that, start with a new strip, hung level, on that second next wall. The corner will be misaligned, but overall the design will be stay straight, and the mismatch won’t be overly noticeable in a corner anyway.
Here’s a little GIF (my first one!) of how the first section of wallpaper installation went down. (Yes, I missed a section. Shush.)
I honestly cannot say enough good things about the Spoonflower wallpaper. It’s very thick and has enough give in it to make it very forgiving, as I said, and easy to hang. So much so that I was able to hang a good chunk of it myself after my help (Dad) needed to leave. If you’ve never hung wallpaper before, peel and stick removable wallpaper is a very good place to start.
I cannot wait to finish this room and style it for next week’s reveal!