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6 Creative Ways to Use Leftover Wallpaper for Dramatic Effect

An interior decorator offers her tips on how to get creative with wallpaper, whether you are trying to find a use for that last scrap of wallpaper from a project or just want to give a bespoke look to a piece of furniture.

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Photo: Sally Smallwood

Wallpaper Isn't Just For Walls

Savvy DIY-ers and crafters hang onto their leftover materials. They know they'll find a use for that half-empty jar of paint or remnant of ribbon. Leftover wallpaper deserves a spot in your storage closet, too. Sally Smallwood, of Toronto-based Studio Smallwood, is an interior decorator and a furniture, decoupage and collage artist. For the projects shown here, she used leftover wallpapers and smallpapers (miniature, scaled versions of wallpapers that can also be used for model scale homes and dollhouses) from wallpaper company Fine & Dandy Co.

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Photo: Cameron Agile

Clever Repurposing of Wallpaper

Fine & Dandy Co. wallpapers draw from historical architecture and feature a cheeky, whimsical sensibility. Custom-made and commercial collections reimagine Victorian, midcentury, Art Deco and gothic designs. Sally hand paints, distresses, decoupages, waxes or lacquers furniture and other objects to give new life to old pieces and add character to newer ones. For these projects, she used wallpapers and smallpapers with a commercial-grade substrate, or backing, so they did not need a sealant or topcoat. If you use papers without this kind of substrate, you will need a sealant or topcoat unless Sally's instructions indicate otherwise.

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Photo: Sally Smallwood

Make Some Unique Coasters

For a quick and easy introduction to wallpapering, use small scraps of your favorites to cover coasters. You don't need decoupage experience, and you don't have to worry about glue and bubbles. Two designs from Fine & Dandy Co., Paradis - Orchid with Patina and Serpentine - Boa, were used here.

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Photo: Sally Smallwood

Coasters How-To: Materials and Supplies

You'll need these materials and supplies to make the coasters.

  • 1. Wallpaper scraps
  • 2. Self-adhesive cork coaster backing
  • 3. Cutting mat (optional)
  • 4. Pencil
  • 5. Nylon craft brush or sponge brush
  • 6. Clear topcoat (optional)

Scraps of Vapour - Dawn were used for these coasters.

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