Monday, 20 January 2014

Thrifty Snippets .. Wallpaper On A Shoestring...

Hello there ....
I wasn't going to post tonight ... I thought I had little to share with you ... we've just been working .. a bit 'same old'.

But I had a comment on the last post from Rosieposie asking to see more of my quirky wallpaper/wall covering/decoration.

So I grabbed the camera ... whilst the sausages were cooking ...
 not the best pic's but you too may want a peek at the weird and wacky walls... 

The story goes ... when I was very young I was brought up in a family who thought it was just fine to be yourself .. express yourself .. and of course all the Make Do and Mend ... Thrifty Living .. etc was par for the course.

As I grew older I began to find other people had similar interests and were living lifestyles similar to those of my parents.. 

In those days all information was in print...books and magazines .. my father never lived to see the advent of the World Wide Web .. he would have loved it .. always a man before his time .. a man with an enquiring mind.
So I have a collection of books .. Seymour ... Patrick Rivers ..On Next To Nothing ... many of you will have similar.

In amongst one of these books I read about someone decorating their study with old maps and newspapers ... because its all they had.

We too had very little when we first had the house .. the walls were rough and uneven .. 
What I did have .. from years of thriftiness was a collection of bits of old newspapers (I just loved their aged colour and texture)... vintage wallpaper (the odd roll might come in for present wrapping .. or something) .. old music ... wartime magazines ...and sundry bits and bobs ... I had rather a lot.

Its just the hallway and kitchen I have papered like this ... as you can see ... the hall leads into the sitting room ...who's that then ... having a peek at us? ... he doesn't miss a trick does he!

The ceiling was the most difficult ... the whole process took a long time .. I did it over months really .. as and when the inspiration flowed.

I would search through my stash of materials and rough tear 'patches' .. using watered down pva glue I would paste them onto the wall ... overlapping ... and give a good paste over the whole thing. A bit like the process of papier mache really.

Its nice to take a moment now and then and read some of the little quotes I have amongst the papers ... just a little something to muse over..
The whole thing has an old .. vintagey .. faded look ... its well sealed with the pva .. so its wipe-able ... and its lasted years. Maybe one day I will get tired of it and I will just paint over it .. the walls are so uneven it would be difficult to paper with a modern print...
and anyway ... 
this is more me ...

And back to tea ... what are we having ...
well .. nice fat sausages .. black pudding ... potato cake-y things (yesterdays leftover mash mixed with a little bit of stuffing and a handful of flour .. mixed and patted into cakes)...

 And a couple of our very own eggs ... 
we are getting one egg a day ... the Girls are looking good .. and Rocky is as perky as ever.

Hope wall paper is not too mundane a topic for you ...
hope you have had a good day ..

Has anyone any thrifty decorating tips ... it can be such an expensive thing.



  1. I once worked with a lad who had so many "final written warnings" that he papered the toilet with them, using PVA, then sealed them with a coat or two of varnish. He was a complete nut case but one of the most skilled and hard working people in the place. He ended up as general manager!

  2. Here in the states, they may be international for all I know, there are so many companies just begging to lend you money! Some of them even send you checks - you know the kind - easy credit, no risk, just deposit to your account, - like you would ever trust something that came with "no terms attached"! I threw the first couple away - and then I thought I'd see just how many they'd send - well there's quite a few now and I decided I'd paper my bulletin board with them when I hit a million dollars worth. That ought to make a conversation starter don't you think!
    I do love the idea of old newspapers - I have some from the thirties and forties but you damage them when you unfold them to read them - definately a wall in their future!

  3. I noticed in the picture , the one that your hubby is peeping through the door the large picture on your living room in the dark wood frame , i have one like it in black and white with children on the sea saw , i love it , i cant wait to put it up again xxx

  4. What an original idea! Couldn't do it here as TOO MUCH WALL!! I had a nosey browse of your bookshelf and we seem to share many of the same books too . . .

  5. Reminds me of a friends outdoor loo, with walls decorated with old seed packets! So pretty to look at when you're having a sit down!

  6. That's funny, I was thinking of doing the very same thing with the walls, ie old calendars (like old buses, trams, trains etc and music). However, my house is very open and it wouldn't really be suitable for the living room, in a modernish house. Will try to think of somewhere else, maybe the bedroom!

  7. I don't suppose you remember in the 'old' days, cutting off the border on wallpaper, before hanging it? That was my job when my dad did paperhanging. There was a narrow border either side of the wallpaper, which had to be cut off. What a tedious job that was.

    1. That bought back memories for me Campfire. That was my job too and I learnt that you need to look where you are cutting to, not where you are. This has stood me in good stead for all sorts of projects and cutting fabric in particular.
      Thanks for the memory

  8. That isn`t wallpaper, it`s Installation Art! I love the musical wall and the old eye test charts on the ceiling. So original ( and thrifty!).

    Like BB , I found a few familiar old friends in the titles on your bookshelf.

  9. I have thought of doing something similar, but have no stash like you used to fall back on. My hallway is just begging for something like this, just loved your photos!

  10. Wow, original and rather fabulous, I've be em inspired to do summat similar. Thank u for sharing. Xx

  11. I have a similar plan but with wallpaper samples that I have collected, I just need to move the doors that are leaning up against the wall I want to paper!!

    I think yours looks amazing.

  12. In the "olden" days we used to be able to go along to the local painter & decorator and get hugh books of wallpaper samples. I used them for all sorts of classroom projects when I was teaching back in the 1970s. The geometric prints and designs back then were so useful.

  13. Love it! my next house is going to get the same treatment (current house too high ceilings) I always worry if I could hang wallpaper but even I could decorate in this way and it looks so effective, thanks so much for letting us have a peek.

  14. When I was a teenager I decorated my bedroom walls with newspapers. We couldn't afford real wallpaper. In my second house I had a grotty wall in the living room. I had started to strip the wallpaper off, but lost interest. After getting fed up of looking at it, I covered it up by sewing squares of fabric from an upholstery sample book, into strips and pinning them up, all over it. It looked pretty good.

  15. Lovely to find someone who's bookshelf looks like mine!
    Like your unique wallpaper too.

  16. What great wall art - like it!!

  17. Years ago, when I first had moved into my council house I couldn`t afford new wall paints, so I asked around the neighbourhood and collected half used paint pots of all kind of shades, mixed a few together to get a pleasing colour and used that to decorate. I also cut stencils out of old card board to make a stencil boarder for the children`s rooms. When pockets are empty you get inventive, don`t you? Making do and creating something out of nothing much was all I could do then. As times are getting harder now for us I might well go back to those ideas again, soon.


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