The sample books that wallpaper retailers use are frequently thrown away when the new lines come out from each manufacturer. Teachers especially find them a great resource to use in the classroom during craft time as most stores will give outdated sample books away for free; all you have to do is ask. Whether you get yours from a store's changing inventory or have various pieces left over from a home improvement project--there are many creative things to do with these samples.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Wallpaper samples or leftovers
- Picture frames
- Paper mache boxes
- Notebook or journal
- Craft supplies
Frame a piece to coordinate with your room decorations. Even if you didn't use wallpapers in your home, they can be great avenues of inspiration for putting together various colors in a single room. Framing the inspiration piece as if it were a piece of art can help tie the many items and colors together.
Cover a paper mache box or figure with cutouts or strips of the wallpaper as an art piece or storage option. Photo boxes are very handy to have around, but don't always match your room; covering them in coordinating patterns can take them from merely functional to decorative.
Weave together strips for unique coasters or placemats. Since most wallpaper is vinyl these days, spills should wipe right off. Reinforce them by attaching a non-skid backing or cork.
Make envelopes for cards or letters. Since most people get only bills in the mail, send someone a card or letter in a handmade envelope. Do make sure your creativity doesn't put you over the First Class stamp limit--the recipient's joy may be dampened by postage due upon delivery.
Cover a bare frame with wallpaper to coordinate with your décor, or use the wallpaper as a mat or embellishment. This is best when used against a wall with some color contrast--using the same wallpaper for the frame as you used on the wall it will hang on may give you eyestrain.
Collage both with and onto the samples. Wallpaper makes a great canvas--and with the addition of some of those border samples--can become an interesting art project.
Make a cover for a small book (handmade or store-bought) or paste some sheets in as end papers for an art journal. Pick a color or pattern that inspires you, so that every time you reach for that notebook or journal you're instantly in a creative frame of mind.
Create shadow or paper tole art by layering motifs raised with hot glue or foam tape. Placing these in a shadow box or deep frame will allow the layers to catch the light and show off their depth. Border prints are especially good for this.