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

5 Materials
1 Hour

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.

To wallpaper the metal the bin above all you need is some PVA glue, wallpaper paste, wallpaper, and scissors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more photos and wallpaper upcycling ideas check out the blog link at the end of the post.
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.

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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  • Lisa West 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 Beti Baganda on May 02, 2019

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

  • Tiffany Sweeney Tiffany Sweeney on Nov 11, 2019

    Where did you purchase the wallpaper that you used on the trash can?

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  • Susan Severino Susan Severino on Aug 17, 2021

    Cool never thought of the trash can idea. But got vg to mention this, you have. Alot of nice wallpaper designs dont think I've ever seen those. Reminds me of the ra ! Which I love. Thanks60s

  • RClaire RClaire on Dec 12, 2022

    The can looks great!

    I’m thinking vinyl contact paper (peel and stick) would work. It’s washable and won’t need a sealant. Limited designs available, tho.

    • Claire Armstrong Claire Armstrong on Dec 12, 2022

      Yes, contact paper will also work, but as you say, limited designs. I did this five years ago, and the bin is still going strong.