Ten Easy DIY Projects With Wallpaper Scraps

January 29, 2022

Ten fun ways to use leftover wallpaper scraps!

I hate wasting anything...especially something as beautiful as wallpaper. Thankfully there are so many fun home decor ideas that will use up your scraps. 

Wallpaper remnants (at least the peel and stick versions) are thick enough to stand up to some wear and tear and are easy to work with. 

When you hang wallpaper with a repeat (which most have), you'll have a lot of excess leftover when you're done with your project. 

The repeat is the the distance between where the design matches up on each roll of wallpaper.

Because the repeat on the wallpaper I used in our powder room (thank you for all of the lovely comments!) was 24 inches, I had numerous scrap pieces that were around two feet long: 
blue green floral wallpaper in bathroom

I always keep that excess just in case I need to patch up a spot sometime, but also because it's just too pretty to throw away!

I walked around our house with this floral paper in my hands, looking for a spot that would make sense. 

I mentioned earlier this week that it has all of the colors we use in our home, so it wasn't long before I found a spot in our dining room. 

I've always loved painting or treating the backs of our bookcases for a pretty accent. Paint is the easiest choice of course! 

But I've also used fabric, wallpaper and even wrapping paper in the past. 

I installed the wallpaper before I built the shelves on our basement built ins and my office bookcases, but there's an easy way to add it after the fact as well. 

The key is mounting it to something -- that way you don't have to try to awkwardly reach back and get the wallpaper just right in those tight spaces. 

I use cardboard or foam core boards as my "mount" -- delivery boxes are perfect for this!: 
mounting wallpaper back of bookcases
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You'll want a straight edge like a level or ruler, a measuring tape and a sharp craft X-Acto knife or utility knife to cut with.

I measured the wall on back of each shelf and then transferred that onto the cardboard or foam board, then used the knife to cut: 
cutting wallpaper with craft knife

Using a cutting mat like this one makes this process super easy! 

If you don't have a mat, make sure you score it on something that won't get damaged, like a cement floor. 

After my foam board was cut to size, I found the easiest way to attach the peel and stick wallpaper was to lay it down on the sticky back: 
mounting wallpaper on bookcase

Because these shelves are so skinny, I didn't worry about the pattern matching up. That's the beauty of this project -- it doesn't need to be perfect! 

The board doesn't have to be the exact right size either -- you won't notice minor imperfections. 

I smoothed out my wallpaper (the peel and stick was easy to remove from the foam board and readjust), and then flipped it back like pictured above so I cut the excess off the sides with my knife. 

These mounts make them so much easier to install, and you also don't have to worry about the wallpaper damaging the walls on your bookshelves.

This colorful pattern makes for such a pretty, unexpected surprise!: 
wallpaper on back of bookcase shelves

If you tire of one design, you can reuse the boards to apply a new fabric or wallpaper. 

Love this little hack and the pop of color it adds behind the accessories: 
bookcase on sides of window seat

window seat with bookcases

That blue and green wallpaper goes perfectly with the dark blue Cyberspace walls in here!

You may have noticed the other wallpaper art I have in this space. Years ago I added a gorgeous white and blue floral wallpaper to a little hallway near our kitchen: 
floral wallpaper small hallway

I later used some of the leftover wallpaper as art in the dining area: 
blue floral anthropologie wallpaper

Both papers are such pretty, understated touches that I love!: 
cyberspace dark blue Sherwin Williams

Way back in the day before I actually used wallpaper on the walls...I created this DIY wall art with wallpaper and canvases
DIY wallpaper art on canvases

I've gathered some other fun and unexpected ways to use wallpaper scraps to share with you! 

Angie did a similar project to my dining room art, but framed coordinating wallpaper samples instead:
wallpaper sample art

You can order samples from most online wallpaper shops for a few bucks each! 

This gorgeous little girl's bedroom has a framed accent wall -- adding that trim makes it look giant art and I love it!: 
framed accent wall with wallpaper

That wall uses more than scraps, but you could create a similar look on a smaller scale. 

Framing it out with trim is the key!

wallpaper accent inside wardrobe

You could do this on a smaller scale by wallpapering the sides of your dresser drawers or make your own pretty drawer liners like Maria did: 
DIY drawer liner with wallpaper

I love using wallpaper in unexpected places, like the stair risers Cindy covered
wallpaper on stair risers

This project would be easiest with a pattern with no to little repeat so you don't have to match up the design down the stairs. 

Or you can apply it to the back wall of a closet -- this is another spot that wouldn't have to match up perfectly since the shelves break it up:
wallpaper on linen closet wall

You wouldn't need much leftover to do this cool wallpaper backsplash idea behind the stovetop
DIY backsplash with wallpaper

Either glass or acrylic on top makes it so it's easily cleaned!

This is the cutest pet idea I've seen in awhile! Not only is the built in dog crate awesome, but the adorable dog wallpaper inside is the perfect finishing touch: 
built in dog crate bookcases

And if you use a decoupage medium on wallpaper, it will hold up to liquids and can be cleaned -- this floral wallpaper works beautifully on this table: 
decoupaged wallpaper on table

A few more fun ideas for using leftover scraps of wallpaper: 
  • Stick it on the top of your photo mats for a pop of color on your gallery wall. 
  • Cover a drum lampshade with scraps (a cone shaped shade won't work well for this).
  • Use it as a background to dress up basket or shelf labels.
  • Wrap it around a simple, flat mirror frame or picture frames. 
  • Save to use as pretty wrapping paper for small gifts.
  • Cover your switch plates for an unexpected accent: 
wallpapered switch plate

Have you tried any of these ideas with wallpaper remnants? This post actually gives me some ideas for future projects! :) 

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  1. OMG, thanks for the cardboard/foam board tip! I recently installed a closet system and was too impatient to wait for the wallpaper samples to arrive so I went ahead and put the shelves and drawers in. This tip means I won't have to remove them once I pick the wallpaper!!!

  2. I use it all time for the drawers when I refinish furniture or the back of bookcases. I love a pop of color!

  3. I love all of these creative ideas using wall paper! Thank you!!

  4. I like the idea of covering cardboard to place on shelving wall, this will help me solve a problem I have with changing the view of the shelf back. Do you have a favorite source for peel and stick wallpaper that won’t break the bank?

    1. Yes! Target and Wayfair (and even Amazon) have great options. I share a few of my favorite peel and stick options here.

  5. I love your wallpaper ideas! Just finished wallpapering the back of a closet in my home, and may try one of these projects with the scraps.
    I have been looking for window blinds similar to the type you have over your window seat. Can you share where you purchased those? Thanks for the inspiration!


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