After furniture got juggled around in the living room, we were left with a woeful-looking blank* space on a wall:
But after combining scrapbook paper with a stencil pattern, magic happens, and this is now on the wall:
About a year ago, I shared a scrapbook paper wall art DIY project where I mounted papers on a grid of nine 12″ x 12″ wood pieces. It’s hanging in my office:
It’s an easy way to fill a bigger space with color and pattern. So I decided to do a similar scrapbook paper DIY craft project for our living room’s blank wall.
Here are supplies to do this project:
- Bigger frame with a smooth firm surface inside it, or a large piece of wood
- Scrapbook papers
- Cutter/scissors to trim papers to size
- Mod Podge and brush
- Stencil brush
- Bowl or lid for paint
- Paper towel
Continue reading for the full how-to-do-it directions, plus photos showing you each step of the way …
I already had all supplies in the house, and didn’t need to buy anything for this project.
In storage I had 32″ x 32″ framed art that I bought years ago at HomeGoods on sale for 1/3 the original price because I liked the frame:
When you see a good sale, if you like the frame, it can be a bargain way to get a big frame – you can always replace the art. This piece might be MDF, I believe, not a canvas, so the surface is smooth for however I wanted to repurpose it.
My mom and I sifted through a stack of scrapbook papers during Thanksgiving, glancing around the living room and saying “yay” or “yuck” to find the right mix of papers and colors. I was hoping our consumption of a 3-foot tall bottle of Riesling wouldn’t cloud our judgment! Two months since the 3-foot tall bottle of wine, I think our choices were okay. We chose nine papers for a 3 x 3 grid:
Because the “canvas” part of the frame is about 29″ x 29″, I cut the papers to 10″ x 10″ so they would overlap a bit. I now wish I had butted the edges of papers against each other instead of overlapping — once the papers were stenciled with metallic paint, the ridges show and I’m not a fan of that.
First — and I did not do this! — make sure the hanging fixtures on the back of your frame are at the top before you start gluing paper and stenciling! When I went to hang up my frame, the hanging fixtures were on the left side. Ha. Ha ha! I took it to the framers at Hobby Lobby to move the fixtures and reattach them securely; my piece is heavy.
To start, I decoupaged the papers onto the “canvas” with matte Mod Podge.
Then I brushed a layer of matte Mod Podge on top of the papers. This step makes it easy to clean up paint smudges later while stenciling.
I struggled with wrinkling of lighter-weight scrapbook papers:
Even though I spread Mod Podge evenly, used a brayer and smoothed with my hands, wrinkles still happened. I decided to see how the project unfolds – maybe they’ll become a design element instead of looking like a mistake.
How to stencil deserves entire posts of its own, so this post isn’t about sharing those techniques, but you can find plenty of links at this How to Stencil Pinterest Board.
As you can see, the paper colors and patterns are more quiet now, peeking out from behind the bronze painted pattern:
Often I have an end result in mind when starting a project but something happens along the way to change it. In this case, the wrinkled paper is bothering me. The metallic bronze paint highlights the wrinkles and makes them shine in the light. Hellooooo wrinkles! If I can’t beat the wrinkles, I’ll treat them with something special. I haven’t decided what to do yet — I’ll live with this for a bit first. Or maybe where it hangs, the wrinkles won’t be noticeable depending on how the light hits this.**
This was a super easy project, and it adds an exotic touch to a corner of our living room:
While doing final edits, Sinead O’Connor’s “Last Day of Our Acquaintance” came up on my iPhone (love her voice), and it was perfect, this is the last day of my acquaintance with a blank wall that had to go.
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* NOTE: It’s really odd to write about a blank space that needs filling, right after posting about how I like blank space and elbow room! But, some blank spaces feel right. Others feel sad. This was a blank space that needed something.
** NOTE: Turns out, despite there being four windows in this room, this is a darker corner and the wrinkles don’t show. Yay!
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This project shared at:
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