Building & Renovating

RL Tips: Working with Wallpaper

Tips and ideas to maximize your roll


You have decorated your space with wallpaper and you're left with scraps? Don't throw them away as you can still use it around the house. Let these tips and ideas guide you.

Crafts and Styling by Dagny Madamba, Rachelle F. Medina, and Kathleen Valle. Photographed by Vincent Coscolluela.

Read the original article (“Wallpaper Wonders”) in the November 2012 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

The situation: You have wallpaper bits and pieces that are too pretty to be thrown away.

Solution 1: Frame them and use as wall accents.

Use the wallpaper samples and work with different frames. The bolder the pattern the better—and similar or different kinds of picture frames. Here, we used brightly colored frames for the textured animal prints; and simple, streamlined ones for the dainty floral scraps. Mount them on a plain wall, or if you’re feeling flamboyant, on a wallpa­pered wall with a different, complementing pattern.

Solution 2: Turn utilitarian to chic.

Switch plates and outlets are just about the most neglected and unattractive parts of the house. Cut to size a wallpaper scrap and carefully trace out the slots with a cutter. You can also open out the plates for more precise cutting. Paste to the surface with double-sided tape.

Solution 3: Give your lampshade an upgrade.

A smooth (not pleated) paper or fabric lampshade is the perfect surface for applying wallpaper on. Cut your wallpaper scrap to fit the height and circumference of your shade. Spread scrapbooking paste on the back of your wallpaper, and apply carefully to the shade, smoothing out creases and bubbles. Finish off by hot-gluing a contrasting ribbon or trim around the base of the shade.

The Situation: You want a twist to the usual headboard.

The Solution: Create a fake headboard using wallpaper.

Copy decorator and former Real Living creative director Gwyn GS Guanzon’s trick in the Andrade couple’s bedroom. He used trompe l’oeil wallpaper of a tufted fabric—a witty and possibly cheaper alternative to a full, upholstered headboard.

The Situation: You want a patterned wallpaper but you’re worried that it may be too much for your small room.

The Solution: Sometimes a tiny, utilitarian area needs a big boost, and wallpaper can do that, especially in powder rooms.

In his powder room, creative director Vince Uy opted to use fiery red wallpaper to add heady oomph to the tight space, and highlighted its sensuality even further with framed vintage pin-ups.


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