When we moved into our house nearly 3 years ago, I could not wait to hunt for treasures that might be hidden inside. After all, she was nearly (as of this year, is) a 100 year old house. While we definitely didn’t find anything to make us rich or famous, we have found several items over the years that have become very special to us as they are part of our home. The old workshop in the basement still has many of the relics one might hope to find like old tools, handwritten labels, and hand-built workbenches. The previous owners left a wheelbarrow and some other gardening goodies. My personal favorite treasure hunt was when we ventured into the attic. The space up there is enormous and untouched, with rich dark wood beams and multiple peaked window openings. If we hadn’t decided to move to the country, my dream would be to convert the attic to the most amazing master suite.
So, what did we find up there? Several old department store gift boxes that appear to be from the 60s or 70s. Some rolls of old-time Christmas wrapping paper. Handmade doll clothes, and a few other small items. The “big” find was of a large box of unused vintage wallpaper from the 70s of which there are a few designs with small leftover amounts, and then the rest of the box is all brand-new of one design. It is almost like the previous owners purchased it to cover one whole floor of the house, and then changed their minds. I do want to look into selling it, as there is plenty of it, but I also fell in love with the cheerful designs and vintage quality of the wallpaper. I knew I wanted to incorporate it somehow into the aesthetic of our home as sort of an homage to what the old house has seen.
I decided to frame the wallpaper and hang it in our newly painted dining room. The dining room is this dark navy color and I loved the idea of offsetting the dark walls with the bright and happy gold wallpaper. I chose the two wallpapers that I thought complemented and contrasted each other well. As you know I VERY rarely buy new, but chose to for this project. I went with 16×20 inch white frames matted for an 11×14 inch opening. I purchased them at Target. Normally they are $20 each, but I waited for one of the houseware sales and got them each $5 off.
When cutting the wallpaper to fit the frames, I added an inch to each side so I would be able to easily position it in the matted area.
If you have wallpaper that has an intricate pattern that needs to be precisely lined up, you might be in for some lengthy adjustments. I’m a perfectionist by nature so accuracy is my Achille’s heel.
I used simple packing tape to attach the wallpaper to the matte. Know that tape doesn’t stick the best to old wallpaper so you’ll have to use a little elbow grease.
Pop the back onto your frame and measure where you would like the pictures to be hung on your wall. I’m all for even spacing and putting my hubby to work on drilling a few holes. Hang them, adjust if need be, and…
…stand back and admire your work and creativity!
A few final pointers if I may? While on this particular project I opted for new frames, you can always refurbish some you have lying around or purchase frames secondhand. Don’t have an attic of surprise wallpaper to use? A good secondhand store always has a great selection of single rolls in their houseware section. Or ask around! You might be surprised by the things grandma or an aunt keeps in the basement “just in case”. Have fun and go a little wild with the project! It’s a great way to bring some fun color and patterns into your home!