Brilliant Ideas for Upcycling With Wallpaper (inc. Bin Tutorial)

5 Materials
$10
1 Hour
Easy


Wallpaper is not just for walls, you can decorate loads of things with it. As many great design houses produce their own wallpapers it can be a cheap way of getting that designer look. I'll show you how wallpaper can be used to transform furniture and fixings in your home.

If you want the wallpapered table tutorial you can get it here. However, I will show you the full bin tutorial below.

The great thing about using wallpaper is that not only does it come in thousands of cool designs it is quite robust and flexible making it easier to stick to objects than ordinary paper.


brilliant ideas for upcycling with wallpaper inc bin tutorial
To wallpaper the metal the bin above all you need is some PVA glue, wallpaper paste, wallpaper, and scissors.
brilliant ideas for upcycling with wallpaper inc bin tutorial, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
First, you create a key with diluted PVA glue to ensure that the wallpaper paste will stick to the metal. PVA is a what we call white builders glue in the UK.
brilliant ideas for upcycling with wallpaper inc bin tutorial, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
Whilst that is drying, carefully measure your bin and cut out your wallpaper. You will have to do this in 2 to 3 strips depending on the size of the bin. You will also have to ensure that your wallpaper pattern matches up.
brilliant ideas for upcycling with wallpaper inc bin tutorial, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
Then once you simply cover your strips of wallpaper with wallpaper paste and stick to the bin. The great thing about wallpaper is it is quite forgiving so you can move it around about as you stick it down so it is easy to position.
brilliant ideas for upcycling with wallpaper inc bin tutorial, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
brilliant ideas for upcycling with wallpaper inc bin tutorial, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
If you can't remove the handles you can just cut round them. You can will also need to use a brush to smooth out any air bubbles.
brilliant ideas for upcycling with wallpaper inc bin tutorial, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
Most wallpaper is wipe clean but it is advisable to add a layer of waterproof varnish to the wallpaper to give the bin extra protection.
brilliant ideas for upcycling with wallpaper inc bin tutorial, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
For more photos and wallpaper upcycling ideas check out the blog link at the end of the post.
brilliant ideas for upcycling with wallpaper inc bin tutorial, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
I've used wallpaper to bring to life old tables (like the Orla Kiely one above), made lampshades with it and even covered mirror frames. You can see these projects on the blog.
brilliant ideas for upcycling with wallpaper inc bin tutorial, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling


Often you don't need much wallpaper so it's a great way to use up leftover bits. Or if you are looking for a particular designer look you can pick up part rolls on eBay relatively cheaply. However, depending on your project you will need to consider whether the pattern of your paper is suitable. If you want to see my bold Marimekko wallpaper stairs transformation then click here.
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Claire at Pillarboxblue

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

20 questions
  • Linda Howarth
    on Apr 23, 2016

    I love the tables! Did you use pva glue on them as well? Or only on the metal bin?

  • Jennifer Thompson
    on May 29, 2016

    Your projects are gorgeous! They are fun and creative and I love your decorating style! I love those brown shoes, too -- please tell me, where did you get them/what brand are they?

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on May 29, 2016

      Thank you ! They are Clarks Janey June there is a link to them on the sidebar on my blog page the link tio which is above at the bottom of the article.

  • Jennie Lee
    on May 29, 2016

    What type of waterproof varnish do you use?

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on May 30, 2016

      A good crystal clear one. I just tend to use the stores own brand as its often the cheapest. Yacht varnish is great but a bit more xpensive.

  • Becky
    on May 29, 2016

    So PRETTY! Is there a reason for using PVA glue? Could Mod Podge do the same thing?

  • Luc3195298
    on May 29, 2016

    What is PVA glue?

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on May 30, 2016

      It's white glue, I think you call it Elmers glue in the US. We can buy it in our DIY stores buy the litre and it is cheap.

  • Emmawilliams1
    on May 30, 2016

    I, too am a wallpaper "freak" I bought rolls and rolls at a garage sale for $.25 a roll...Love your ideas and wondered as someone else asked,...Do you have instructions for the deer head wall hanging? Also, I use wallpaper to line shelves instead of contact paper...thanks for sharing your ideas...

  • Robin Magnusson
    on May 30, 2016

    Just wondering where you got Orla kiely wall paper I can't seem to find much on line or in stores, I find very few patterns of her stuff.

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on May 30, 2016

      I live in the UK where she is very popular, maybe it's not available in the states yet, but I'm sure it will be soon. If you look for retro style wallpapers you may find something similar.

  • Jill Ron Pike
    on Jun 15, 2016

    Do you have a tutorial for a lamp shade? I'd appreciate it..Thank you. All your projects are very unique :)

  • Pur2228412
    on Jul 25, 2016

    I have a small chest freezer in my small apartment but find it gives me extra space also. Was wondering if I could cover the lid with wall paper or a butcher block?

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on Jul 25, 2016

      Yes you could cover it with wallpaper, just make sure you varnish the top of the wallpaper to protect it from spills etc.

  • Barturner39
    on Mar 31, 2017

    Do you need to buy a special kind of wallpaper for outside?

  • Sandra Witkowski
    on Mar 31, 2017

    Could you do this with a plastic waste bin? Anything different to prepare the plastic? It looks very nice!

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on Mar 31, 2017

      I think it would work just as well with a plastic bin.

    • Debbie Blair Williams
      on May 30, 2018

      You can decoupage on plastic. You can also paint on plastic with DecoArt Multi-Surface Paint or with DecoArt Multi-purpose sealer followed by acrylics. Whatever you choose to do, finish your project by applying DecoArt Dura Clear Varnish for a durable washable surface that even holds up outdoors.

  • Betty
    on Apr 3, 2017

    Is wallpaper a good option for a 4 drawer, metal file cabinet? If so, would this be a difficult project.

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on Apr 3, 2017

      I think wallpaper could work well on a filing cabinet and it shouldn't be too dificult. I would divide into sections and wallpaper each section separately, such as drawer fronts, back and sides.

  • Denise Cordello
    on Jun 3, 2018

    Did you make the elk antlers? I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!!! Can you recommend where to get or would you sell one like that????

  • Jude v
    on Jul 25, 2018

    Hi can you wallpaper on bedroom closet door that have Mirrors on them . To stop the light coming

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on Jul 25, 2018

      Why don’t you try with removable wall paper and see how it looks first. Then it’s easy to change if it doesn’t quite work out.

  • Miss Daisy
    on Mar 12, 2019

    Do you have a pattern for the antlers ? Like everything you've done.

  • Marilyn Hale
    on Mar 12, 2019

    Will this work on a large rubber trash can that stays outside? Thanks

  • Diane
    on Mar 13, 2019

    Hello, someone has probably asked you.

    I'm getting ready to paint my dining room table and saw yours, I love it.

    My question is how durable is it, or how many coats of polyurethane should I use? You did a great job.🙂

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on Mar 14, 2019

      I just did 2 coats of varnish and it is pretty durable. Also it's very easy to change and redo when you fancy a different pattern.

  • Tiz Smith
    on Mar 19, 2019

    Have you tried peel and stick wallpaper? No glue and it will remove easily without stripper.

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue
      on Mar 19, 2019

      No I haven't. However you are limited in designs with peal and stick wallpaper. This was a left over bit of roll in a design that matched the kitchen.

  • Lisa West
    on Mar 19, 2019

    I never even though if wall paper on a trash can. I do agree with you on covering the paper worth easy to wipe sealant. As we all know yash can can get pretty nasty. Lol especially when you have kids and furbabies. Now on to lamp shades. Just glue and stick?

  • Beti Baganda
    on May 2, 2019

    If I put it outside on my porch will the wallpaper fade???

    • Claire Armstrong
      on May 2, 2019

      It depends on the wallpaper you use, you need to see what the manufacturer says about their wallpaper. However, if it is exposed to a lot of direct sunshine it will probably fade over time.

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