Upcycling with Wallpaper

With growing environmental concerns, one of this year’s main focuses is to create less waste, especially through repurposing or recycling.  This is perhaps why there is an ever-growing interest in upcycling.  But what exactly is upcycling? Well, put simply, it is the process of repurposing and renovating old furniture or items to create new and often unique pieces.  For example, by taking an old, marked bookcase and adding leftover wallpaper as a backing, you can revitalise the item and make it usable and stylish once again.  In this post we are going to explore some creative and stylish ways to use wallpaper to upcycle items. 

What Wallpaper Can I Use?

First off let’s look at what wallpaper you can use to upcycle.  The short answer is... any!  Whether you’ve got left over rolls after redecorating or even just the cut-offs, you can put these to good use if you know how.  Alternatively you can order samples of your favourite designs for smaller projects or collages.  At WorldofWallpaper we offer samples (which are typically 53cm by 30cm) at only £1.99 each with free UK delivery on every sample!  The third option that we are going to explore today is using peel and stick wallpaper, an ideal choice for a quick, no-mess upcycle project.

Using Left Over Wallpaper and Cut Offs

Upcycling with wallpaper is the perfect way to use up any paper and cut offs that may be leftover after decorating.  These leftover wallpaper pieces can be used to create some stunning items and pieces of furniture through the process of upcycling.  Below we are going to look at a few examples. 


                        Glitter wallpaper upcyclingWallpaper off cuts for upcycling

Wallpaper Coasters

Why spend loads of money on buying brand new coasters when you can use your leftover wallpaper scraps to create designs that not only look stunning but match other areas in your home! The pin below takes you to an article posted on www.thinkingcloset.com.  They detail the step by step process for creating the impressive wallpaper coasters seen below.

Framing Wallpaper

For great wall art or to add an interesting twist to your existing decor, upcycling old picture frames with wallpaper cut offs and leftovers is an excellent way to achieve a classic and stylish look.  In the image below you can see a similar idea that is created using the Precious Metals Sirius Feathers Wallpaper by Arthouse.  By framing this design it breaks up the plainer coloured wall giving the room an element of artistic style and creativity.  To get the wallpaper for yourself simply click on the image below.  Additionally, if you have multiple wallpaper cut offs then why not consider creating a stunning framed collage for a more quirky and unique look.

Precious Metals Sirius Feathers Wallpaper Gunmetal Arthouse 673602

Wallpapering Furniture and Storage Units

Another great use for leftover wallpaper is to upcycle old furniture that is past its prime.  With cabinets, bookcases, wardrobes and more, these old pieces can be transformed into stunning furniture items which compliment your room’s decor and add a unique and special edge to your home.  Take a look at the video below for step by step instructions on creating a fantastic wallpapered bookcase!

An example of this type of wallpaper upcycling can be seen in the images below which were sent in by one of our amazing customers moleandvelvet.  They have used our Teal Lagoon #Fish Wallpaper by Holden to give a fun and stylish twist to their cabinet!  Click on the images below to get the wallpaper for yourself.  

Upcycled CabinetUpcycling FurnitureWallpaper Furniture

Upcycling With Samples

Another great way to upcycle furniture is by using samples.  You can order samples of your favourite designs and use them to create personal upcycled items.   The best thing about samples is that you can also experiment with multiple designs and patterns and use combinations of designs as well as getting creative with collages and more.

Wallpaper Samples for Upcycling

Wallpaper Kitchen Splashback

One great use for samples is creating a kitchen splashback.  Preventing your kitchen wall from becoming stained or getting damp, a splash back deflects the water and dirt and can be easily wiped down and cleaned unlike the wall itself.  It’s a very practical item but this doesn’t mean that it can’t be stylish and make up part of the rooms decor.  Click on the pin below to take you to PillarBoxBlue.com for a full list of instructions on how to create your own kitchen splashback.  

Upcycled Lampshades

The second item is upcycled lampshades.  When you decorate a room you shouldn’t have to replace and buy a new lampshade every time you change the design!  Why not upcycle your old lampshades with your favourite wallpaper design or one that matches your room’s decor.  Want to decorate again? No problem! Simply repaper the lampshade once more.  For full instructions on how to create your very own wallpapered lampshades click the pin below which takes you to Makesbakesanddecor.com.

Table tops

Overtime table tops become marked and stained and can look rather unsightly but don’t throw them away!  By using samples of your favourite designs you can completely transform you piece of furniture into something contemporary and brand new.  Once again click the pin below for how to do this for yourself. 

Upcycling With Peel and Stick Wallpaper

Peel and stick wallpaper is the perfect no-mess solution to wallpapering.  It has an easy to apply, peel and stick design which negates the need for wallpaper paste or glue, saving time and mess!  This also means that it can be repositioned during hanging to ensure that you have the perfect fit.  Another bonus is that the paper peels off in full sheets and leaves no residue meaning that it is easy to remove if you fancy a change.

Wallpaper Your Staircase

Have you ever thought about wallpapering your staircase? No? Well it’s not as crazy as it sounds!  The interior designs industry is seeing a growing trend in this practice with people personalising and styling their home with unique and contemporary staircase designs.  One great way to ‘upcycle’ your staircase in this way is with a peel and stick wallpaper.  Take a look at the photo below.  In this image our NuWallpaper Beachwood Peel and Stick Wallpaper by Fine Decor is used to create a fresh and airy feel to the hall and stairs.  The design features a realistic wood effect in blue, green and grey tones.  To test the design for yourself you can order a sample here.

NuWallpaper Beachwood Peel And Stick Wallpaper Fine Decor NU1647 5.5m x 0.52m

Upcycled Bedroom Furniture

Another handy use for peel and stick wallpaper is to upcycle old bedroom furniture and storage units such as dressers, wardrobes and bookcases.  We have a great range of peel and stick designs which you can access on our site which are ideal for this purpose.  The great thing about upcycling in this way is that it is quick, easy, mess free and doesn’t come with long drying times or the strong smell that you get with paint.  For this reason it is ideal for nursery furniture.   One of our favourite designs for nurseries is the adorable NuWallpaper Elephant Parade Peel and Stick Wallpaper below.

NuWallpaper Elephant Parade Peel And Stick Wallpaper Blue Fine Decor NU1404 5.5m x 0.52mNuWallpaper Woods Peel And Stick Wallpaper Grey Fine Decor NU1412 5.5m x 0.52mNuWallpaper Elephant Parade Peel And Stick Wallpaper Grey Fine Decor NU1405 5.5m x 0.52m

For a how-to guide on upcycling a dresser in this way take a look at the video below.

Final Note

Upcycling is a fantastic way to not only save both the planet and money through re-using old items and furniture, but it is also a great way to add a unique style to your home in a way that can’t be bought in a shop.  We have covered a few of the ways to upcycle with wallpaper above, but there are many more ideas out there such as bookmarks, greetings cards, pedal bin designs and more.  For further ideas check out our Pinterest upcycling board.