It's a Wrap: Making the Most of Textured Wallcoverings

Embossed wallpapers add instant character to walls, but don't stop there. Use these papers to customize accessories throughout your home.


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Home Office
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Homey Office

    Use embossed papers to personalize accessories. Swirl, pebble, and basket-weave textures allow you to warm up any space, such as this home office. And because the papers are paintable, the color scheme is up to you.

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Boxed Beauties

    Fancy photo boxes can be quite pricey, but this project offers you the style without the cost. Buy an inexpensive photo box. Place it on embossed wallpaper and trace the bottom. On each side of the traced rectangle, draw a flap to cover one side of the box. The flaps should only be as high as the bottom of the box lid; if the paper is higher, the lid may not fit on the box. There will be a seam at each corner of the box, so make sure the flap on one side is long enough to overlap the corner. Cut out the paper, and paste it to the box. Repeat process for the lid. Paint the lid and box, including the unpapered portion under the lid, in satin or semigloss latex paint.

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Magazine Mania

    Magazine holders from an office supply store are easy to cover with embossed wallpaper. Lay the flat holder on the wallpaper and trace the shape. Cut out, and paste the paper to holder. Fold the holder into shape while the paste is still wet and paper is pliable; let dry. Paint.

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Fancy Frames

    The trick to wallpapering picture frames is finding a plain, flat frame. Look in crafts stores, or make your own frame. Roll out a large section of wallpaper, right side down, and lay the frame on top. Trace the inside opening, allowing an extra 1/2 inch for folding. Trace around the outside edge, allowing an extra 1/2 inch, and draw four 1-inch flaps that fold over sides of frame. Each corner has a seam; make sure the flap on one side is long enough to overlap each corner. Cut paper, and paste to the frame; let dry. Paint; let dry.

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Waste Not

    This trash can bottom is an ice cream tub, but you could use a trash can of any size or shape. Cut paper to cover the tub, adding 1/2 inch to the circumference to overlap seam. Paste paper to tub; let dry. Paint.

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Window Ware

    Consolidate a variety of paper textures and paint colors to create a stationary woven window treatment. Paint papers; let dry. Cut papers into 2-inch-wide strips. Determine shade length and width in inches, then divide by 2 to find the number of vertical and horizontal strips needed. Cut strips to proper length. Lay vertical strips side by side, taping the ends to the work surface. Weave in horizontal strips, hot-gluing the ends to the outer vertical strips as you go. Trim uneven edges. Lay tension rods at top and bottom, and fold papers over rods, hot-gluing in place.

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Delightful Dining

    Embossed wallpapers lend an air of formality to the dining room. Limiting the papers to wainscoting and accessories keeps the patterns from overwhelming the space.

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Top It Off

    To add interest to a premade wooden cornice, use a border paper or cut a roll to size. Cornices typically come finished, so buy one in white and repaint in the color of your choice. Paint the paper; let dry. Paste paper to the cornice, using the tip of a scissors to tuck the edges under the molding.

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Wonderful Walls

    Wooden rosettes and two different papers give this wainscoting three colors and three textures. An embossed stripe, painted green, is the backdrop for ornate diamonds, pasted directly on top of the striped paper. It's best to paint the diamonds before pasting them up. For a finishing touch, accent the diamonds' meeting points with wooden rosettes, available at home centers and hobby stores. These peel-and-stick rosettes come unfinished; we painted ours a darker shade of the green wall color.

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Pretty Place Mat

    For elegant texture at the dinner table, cut vinyl embossed wallpaper to place-mat size. Vinyl isn't as porous as traditional paper, so you can leave it unpainted and it still wipes clean. Finish the edges by topstitching cloth ribbon around the perimeter, mitering the corners.

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Everyday Retreat

    A dramatic headboard -- made from a salvaged fireplace surround -- is embellished with embossed wallpaper to add cottage charm to a dull bedroom. Paste paper to plywood, and paint; let dry. Use screws to mount the plywood to the back of the fireplace surround, filling in the firebox hole. Mount the surround to the wall.

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Mirror, Mirror

    Cover a mirror frame as you would a picture frame. Be sure to buy a mirror with a flat frame. Roll out a large section of wallpaper, right side down, and lay the frame on top. Trace the inside opening, allowing an extra 1/2 inch for folding. Trace around the outside edge, allowing an extra 1/2 inch, and draw four 1-inch flaps that fold over sides of frame. Each corner has a seam; make sure the flap on one side is long enough to overlap each corner. Cut paper and paste to the frame; let dry. Paint; let dry.

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Nifty Nightstand

    Give furniture a facelift by applying textured paper to recessed door panels. We bought an unfinished nightstand and painted it green, but you can get the same look on kitchen cabinets or an armoire. Simply cut the paper to fit in the recess, then paste in place, using the tip of a scissors to tuck paper edges under the molding. Paint.

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Showy Shade

    Texture and paint can dress up an inexpensive lampshade. Buy a plain shade with straight sides. Lay shade on embossed wallpaper, and roll or flop it as you trace so the resulting pattern is one piece. Add 1/2 inch to the top and bottom edges and to one end; cut out. Paste the paper to the shade, folding over the top and bottom edges and overlapping at the seam. Paint.

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