A familiar material gets new life off the wall, creating appealing upgrades for practically every surface in your bedroom.

Wallpaper projects in bedroom

Cover an existing headboard with wallpaper or just create the illusion and the elegance of a shapely headboard without the bulk. Enhance a sheet of plywood or MDF with a complementary pattern and attach it to (or lean it against) the wall. Here’s how.

Headboard project materials

What You’ll Need

  • MDF
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Paint to match or coordinate with wallpaper; paintbrush
  • Removable wallpaper (we used Basilica from York Wallcoverings)
  • Drop cloth
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife and cutting mat
  • Wood screws

Wallpaper covered headboard

Trim MDF to approximate width of bed and desired height of headboard (ours is 48 x 64 inches). Trace a camelback shape on the top long side of the MDF panel. Cut the shape out with a jigsaw. Paint the front and edges of the panel and let dry (prepasted wallpapers adhere best to painted surfaces).

Cut a piece of wallpaper a bit longer than the center point of the MDF and lay it out flat and face up. Roll out another piece of paper and carefully match the motifs at the side of the first piece. There will likely be overhang on both ends of this second piece in order to match it correctly. Cut the second piece and trim to the same size as the first, maintaining the motifs in their matching positions.

Repeat with a third piece, matching on the opposite side of the center piece.
Mark where the edge of the first piece of wallpaper will be installed. Place a straightedge level on the mark and, using a pencil, strike a vertical line on the MDF the full length of the level.

Lay a drop cloth on the floor and place the first piece of wallpaper pattern-side down on the drop cloth. Activate the paste by spraying a fine mist of clean water on the pasted surface. Spray the length of the paper, making sure to thoroughly wet the entire back of the strip. Let the paper sit for two to three minutes, then apply it to the MDF and along the edge with the vertical level line.

Using a smoothing brush or sponge, gently smooth the entire strip to the panel. Work diagonally from the top down and center outward, removing all air bubbles and wrinkles. Wipe down the surface of the strip with clean water and a sponge.

Detail of wallpapered headboard

Follow the same steps to prepare the second strip and slide it into position on the wall with its edge butted against the edge of the first strip at eye level. Don’t overlap the seams. Follow the same steps to finish the installation and to apply the third strip. When dry, turn the headboard facedown on a cutting mat and trim any excess paper with the craft knife. Attach bed frame to headboard or secure to wall with screws or a French cleat.

Paper lined tray

Show attention to detail by dressing up accessories: Line a simple wood tray with wipe-clean wallcovering.

What You’ll Need

Cut a piece of paper to fit roughly inside the tray. Place the paper in the bottom of the tray and carefully cut it to size with the craft knife.
Peel the backing from one end of the paper and slowly apply to the bottom of the tray, smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles. Continue until entire paper is applied.

Nightstand before

For one-of-a-kind decor, it’s hard to top vintage, which offers almost endless opportunities for customization. And don’t let an unappealing finish like this lipstick pink put you off. You’re only a small can of paint away from your ideal color.

Wallpapered nightstand after

Besides looking great on a nightstand, wallpaper cutouts in a vintage-friendly blooming pattern can hide a multitude of flaws on a less-than-perfect surface.

Nightstand drawer with wallpaper cutouts

Cut out designs from wallcovering remnants apply to drawers, too. For instance, this unexpected nosegay on the side panel is a treat for your eyes only.

Nightstand top and drawer

What You’ll Need

  • Nightstand
  • Screwdriver
  • Latex paint in matching color
  • Metallic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Wallpaper scraps or samples (we used Fanciful #AF1901 from York Wallcoverings)
  • Scissors or craft knife and cutting mat
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush

Remove the drawer and unscrew drawer pull. Then, paint the pull in aged-brass metallic paint and let dry. Paint the nightstand and drawer with latex paint in coordinating paint color. (Our nightstand already had a white top surface, so we left that as is.)

Identify motifs in wallpaper scraps that can be applied to top surface, drawer front and drawer sides. Depending on your cutting skills, use either a craft knife and cutting mat or a pair of sharp scissors to cut out the motifs.

With a foam brush, apply Mod Podge to the backs of the paper cut-outs and place on drawer front, sides and nightstand top. Smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles and let dry. Apply a final coat over the drawer front, sides and nightstand top, let dry. Finally, replace the painted drawer pull and return drawer to nightstand.


Photography by Chris Hennessey
Thanks to our sponsor: York Wallcoverings

Kenitra robin’s-egg-blue hand-knotted wool rug from Dash & Albert, an Annie Selke Company, dashandalbert.com; Curtain from Anthropologie; Tray, basket and accent pillows from Ikea, ikea.com, Quilt, lamp and shade from Target, target.com.


© Caruth Studio

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.