How to make panels from wallpaper

Add a decorative touch to a plain wall

Wallpaper panels are a creative way to dress up a plain wall, highlight artwork or mirrors, or break up the size of a large room. Wallpaper adds texture, pattern, and color to a room without painting, and can be used to set the overall theme of any room. Below, we'll show you how to make panels from wallpaper in a few simple steps. Make several long wall panels to add a touch of sophistication to a bare wall, or create one large one and use it as a focal point in the room.

Materials needed to make wallpaper panels:

- Wallpaper

- Coordinating wallpaper border

- Level

- Metal ruler

- Retractable blade

- Wallpaper paste

- Basic wallpaper hanging tools

1. Determine how much wallpaper is needed - Decide how large you want your wall panels to be by making 'mock' panels from poster board or butcher paper. Play with different arrangements and size variations until you find one that appeals to you. Then, measure the size of the wall panels and purchase wallpaper and coordinating wallpaper border accordingly.

2. Mark the walls - Leave the mock panels in place, and use a level to ensure they are properly aligned on all sides. Use a pencil, not a pen, to mark the walls. (Pen will bleed through the wallpaper pattern) Remove the mock panels.

3. Cut the panels - Use a retractable blade to cut out the panels from wallpaper. Unless you are creating a large panel that will require multiple strips of wallpaper, there's no need to factor in pattern matching or repeat. Simply cut and set aside.

4. Prepare the wallpaper - Consult package directions for 'booking' time and prepare the wallpaper accordingly. Only prepare one panel at a time!

5. Hang the wallpaper - Match the edges of the wallpaper with the pencil marks you made earlier. Once you're certain they are in place, smooth the wallpaper into place. Use the palms of your hands to move the wallpaper around, and smooth out any air bubbles.

6. Smooth the seams - Use a smoothing tool to go over the wallpaper one final time, and concentrate on the seams to ensure they won't curl up after drying.

7. Paste the border - Because you will be placing the wallpaper border directly on top of the wallpaper itself, you will need to add additional wallpaper paste. This will keep the two materials firmly together. Measure the wallpaper border, cut, and then paste.

8. Apply the border - Work in a clockwise direction, starting in a corner, and begin applying the border directly over the wallpaper panel. Lay the corners on top of one another, and then go back in and miter them. To do this, use a metal ruler and a retractable blade to cut horizontally at the corners (where the strips intersect) to match the pattern in place. Remove the excess and smooth the wallpaper in place.

Quick note - A wood frame or molding can be used to frame the panels in place of a wallpaper border.

Panels from wallpaper can be accented with artwork, mirrors, candle sconces, light fixtures, or used alone as a room accent. When using multiple wall panels, cut them all the same size and space them evenly on the wall.

More from Jennifer Wagner:

Wallpaper Hanging Tools - What you need and what you don't

Guide to Common Types of Wallpaper

How to Patch Wallpaper Damage


Personal knowledge and experience

Jennifer Wagner - Yahoo! Contributor Network