Decorate with Paper

Add a splash of color and style to your decor with decorative paper. Use paper to enhance wall art, lamps, pillows, serving trays, and more.

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Everything In This Slideshow

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    Watercolor Table Runner

    This rainbow table runner is as easy to make as it is beautiful. Blot watered-down acrylic paint onto paper doilies to create a watercolor design. Arrange them in a cluster, and use decoupage medium to connect them. If desired, attach to kraft paper for stability.

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    Sparkly Accent

    Gold sparkles add a touch of glamour to these pretty paper flowers. Cut from papier-mache and specialty crafts paper, the petals are pinned together with wire and gold beads. Display them clustered for a statement piece, or spread them throughout the room for surprise sparkle.

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    Statement Wall Art

    Tape, dye, and pages from old books create this pretty display. Choose a color scheme to match your room, and dye several pieces of paper in those hues. Create a combination of decorative circles by rolling a flower of small cones (blue), cutting out small stips (teal), or combining cutting and rolling for a flowery surprise (purple)!

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    How to Dye Paper

    Follow this paper-dyeing process to add color to your next paper project!

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    Paper Palms

    At first glance, you might not notice the crafted decor highlighting this buffet-table mirror. If you did catch the symmetrical palm tree sculptures, you probably wouldn't guess they were made from paper! Using wooden dowels, sheets of plain white paper, scissors, and tape, you can create this subtle oasis, too.

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    Both paper projects featured here are a piece of cake! The lampshade got a revamp with layers of cutout scrapbook-paper circles lined up like fish scales. The second project showcases a framed message. The perfect squares required no cutting -- they're simple sticky notes, perfecly lined up and overlapping.

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    Circle Garland

    Although set up for a party, this DIY paper garland could be created in any variety of colors for any space in your home. Simply cut (or punch out) circles from colorful double-sided scrapbook paper. Stitch two circles together and fold along the line. When all the circles are connected, you'll have a one-of-a-kind accent for every type of celebration.

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    Floral Beauties

    Giant paper flowers are the perfect touch for a soft, peaceful room. The 3-D project was created with bent and folded scrapbook papers. Vary the sizes to add interest, but don't be afraid to go big!

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    Decoupage for the Win

    Embellish a glass vase by printing or cutting out images from botanical books. Apply decoupage medium to the front of each image, and secure it to the inside of a clear glass vase. Keep images layered for a cohesive look. Spray-paint inside the vase to create a consistent background color. To protect the finish, place a smaller watertight container inside the painted vase to hold flowers.

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    Plus Power

    For apartment and rental living, contact paper can be the way to go. Rather than creating a mural you'll have to paint over when you leave, adhesive-paper patterns are easy to take down and won't leave behind residue. Follow the geometric design here, or create your own unique work with contact paper.

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    Sunburst from What?

    This midcentury-modern work of art can be yours for as little as the time it takes you to make it! The pretty sunburst is made from nothing but rolled-up magazine pages taped together.

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    Negative Image

    Inside this frame are two layered pieces of paper. The white on top doubles as the frame mat and the art. The bird and criss-cross lines are cut out of the white, while the coral sits behind. Switch out the background color any time you feel like changing up your room's decor.

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    Romantic Roses

    These whimsical paper roses adhered around the base of a simple white shade soften a geometric lamp and add a touch of charm. Sketch a circular swirl on drawing-weight paper (available at crafts stores). Cut to create a paper coil. Roll the paper tightly starting at the outside end of the coil. Release the coil slightly and hot-glue the end to retain the flower shape.

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    Creative Curtains

    Create confetti curtains for your windows from cut paper. Cut out squares from different weights of paper with a die-cut punch (available at scrapbooking stores) or scissors. Sew the squares together, spacing regularly, to make a string as long as your window frame; tie knots at the top of each square and at the bottom of each string to secure. Hang each on a tension rod from curtain clips. These curtains are a great way to decorate a boring window without blocking natural light. Get creative and use different colors for your garland depending on your room's color scheme or the season.

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    Pretty Tissue Flowers

    These delicate petals create an elegant centerpiece whether scattered down the center of a table or piled on a platter. To create, cut a flower shape or 3-inch circles from eight layers of tissue paper. Place in a stack. Next, poke a hole through the stack with a pin. Pull the paper off the tip of a twist tie, and insert the exposed wire through the paper layers. Twist the wire to create the flower center. Make the flower bloom by gently pulling up one layer at a time.

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    Get Rolling

    Quilling is a simple yet elegant way to embellish home accessories, such as a white picture frame. To create, cut paper into 1/8-inch-wide strips with a ruler and crafts knife; vary the lengths of the strips. Load a strip onto a slotted quilling tool (find tools and kits at Twist the tool to coil the paper tightly. Once coiled, pull the paper off the tool and release slowly to uncoil slightly to your desired size. When finished, the quills can be glued to objects, such as a picture frame, to add a beautiful decoration to an otherwise plain frame.

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    Personalized Collage

    Create sentimental wall art for your home. Piece together diamond shapes of personalized scrap materials that feature fun colors, textures, typography, or images near and dear to your heart. Everything from book covers to beer cases to photographs will work for this project. Once you've compiled the art, purchase an inexpensive frame to pull the piece together.

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    Computer Creations

    Create personalized artwork on your computer. Type a favorite saying or song lyrics, then play around with font style, size, and color until you find the perfect fit for your room design. After printing it out, mount it on patterned paper and put it inside an inexpensive frame. This is the perfect way to make a fun piece of attention-grabbing art that fits the style and mood of your room.

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    Decorative Dresser Drawers

    Dress up a bland dresser by lining the drawers with bright, fun paper. Select patterned wrapping paper that matches your room, and attach the paper to the bottom using double-stick tape. The paper gives a pop of color and personality to otherwise boring drawers.

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    Fresh Cornucopia

    A festive picture is all you need to put a modern twist on a centerpiece or serving dish. Print an image of colorful heirloom corn, and cut it out to fit the dimensions of a long and narrow glass trivet. Brush a thin coat of decoupage medium on the trivet and adhere the image, gently rubbing it to smooth wrinkles. To clean, wipe the trivet with a lightly dampened rag. Create a serving dish you can use all year by choosing a nonseasonal image.

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    Decorative Plate

    A clear glass plate makes a clever frame for a profile shot of a pretty pumpkin or any other seasonal photo. Upload the image, size and cut to fit under the center of a plate, and adhere using decoupage medium. To clean, wipe plate with a lightly damp rag. Use the plates as decorative chargers or wall art around your home.

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    Coast into Party Mode

    Protect your tabletop and show your creativity with personalized coasters. Choose a favorite image, and adhere it to the back of a clear coaster -- or in this case, a pillar candleholder. These coasters are a creative, simple way to decorate for an upcoming holiday or to add a pop of color to your room. To change the design, simply soak the coasters in water, peel off the paper backing, and start over.

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    Gift Wrapped

    Create artwork to ooh and aah by covering inexpensive canvases or wood blocks with attractive paper patterns. Wrap the canvas like a present, and attach the paper with tape. Or add funky fringe in rows for walls with texture.

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    On Paper

    For a high-impact, low-cost wall art solution, frame pretty paper in simple black frames. Add interest to the display by choosing different yet coordinating paper patterns and varying the sizes of the picture frames.

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    Dropping Names

    Prep for a party by suspending paper place cards on chair backs using no-frills shower-curtain hooks. Laminate the paper squares for reusable name plates. Use a dry-erase marker to write guests' names on each square. After the party, wipe off the names and store until the next gathering.

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    DIY Geometric Bowls

    Who says organizers can’t be pretty? And what’s prettier than pattern scrapbook paper? If you want some cute geometric bowls to hold your odds and ends, all you need is some glue and a few folding skills. Jennifer shows us all the tips and tricks over at her blog, The Craft Patch.

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    Ombre Paint Chip Wreath

    An inexpensive project, this wreath is perfect for year-round decor and is so easy to make. The Hipster Mum has a great tutorial on how to use free paint chips and a few common craft supplies to make your own ombre wreath. If you don’t own a cutting machine, don’t worry. You’ll just need to cut the leaves by hand instead.

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    Gold-Tipped Feathers

    Lia Griffith’s gold-tipped feathers have so many uses: holiday ornaments, fall garlands, and year-round works of art. Lia supplies you with three downloadable feather templates for both a cutting machine and scissors. Cut up a variety of your favorite color feathers, then take a gold paint pen, or acrylic gold paint, and color the tips with metallic magic, string them up from a fun branch or bar and hang for all to enjoy!

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    Crepe Paper Petals

    Oh Happy Day contributor Ashley created this beautiful faux flower wall art inspired by traditional Indian flower torans. A quick trip to your local crafts supply or hardware store should land you with everything you need for this pretty crepe paper project. She provides a template for the petal shapes as well as tips and tricks on how to create the art quickly and beautifully. See the tutorial here!

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    Hexagon Wall Art

    Geometrics and metallics: hot and hotter. Combining both into wall art is the best decision you can make. This project is easiest with a large hexagonal paper punch but can also be done by hand. Use a combination of glitter, foil, and heavyweight paper or cardstock to cut your hexagons, then use craft glue to stick your shapes in place on a stretched canvas. Wall-safe tape can be used to scatter any extra shapes along the wall.

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    Rainbow Paint-Chip Wall

    Here’s another project from the world of free. Don’t bother with a gallon of paint! Pick up a variety of paint swatches and use them to color your wall instead. Blue painters tape adheres these paint chips to the wall. You might even have a roll laying around so this project won’t cost you anything but time.

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    DIY Paper Dahlias

    Beautiful paper flowers have never been easier — or larger! 100 Layer Cake has lovely images of these fun paper dahlias as well as a step-by-step tutorial. Where will you put this simple and elegant DIY paper decoration?

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    Contact Paper Accent Wall

    This is the perfect home accent for apartment dwellers. When no paint or nail holes are allowed, how do you make the beige walls of your home more interesting? Katie of Mountain Modern Life has the solution for you. Although it might look like geometric stamps of cream-color paint, this funky accent wall is actually designed with contact paper. It doesn't leave a residue behind, and you can complete an entire wall for under $3.


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