How Can I Make My Own Wall Borders?

Written by veronica james
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  • Introduction

    How Can I Make My Own Wall Borders?

    Restricting yourself to store-bought wall borders limits your colour and design options when planning room decor Use your imaginative skills to create one-of-a-kind wall borders that incorporate paint, stencils or repurposed templates made from items you already have in the house. You don't have to be an artist to create interesting and novel wall borders; all you need is inspiration and a love of creative ideas to make your home a place that reflects your individual personality.

    Use your own ideas for wall borders by playing with colour and texture. (bubbles image by dowiliukas from

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    Ensure a Clean Outline

    Attach a length of string to one end of the wall with sticky tape. Reel it out to the other end of the wall and secure it with more tape. Lay a spirit level along the string in the middle of the wall and ensure that the line is straight. Move one end of the string up or down to correct as needed. Alternatively, buy a chalk line and shake the container to ensure even distribution. Reel out one end of the chalk line and either nail it to one end of the wall or ask a helper to hold it there. Extend the line to the other end of the wall and check the level of the line with the spirit level. When absolutely level, pull the line as taut as possible against the wall. Ask a helper to pick up the line in the middle of the wall until she feels the line tension, and snap it back against the wall. Whether you used string or chalk, run a length of masking tape along the line, ensuring that it adheres to the wall. Measure whatever border width you need along the line, using a ruler held vertically, and mark each point in pencil. Run another length of masking tape along the second line. When your design is complete, and the tape is removed, the edges of the border will be straight.

    Use string or a chalk line to map out your wall border. (Hemp Yarn image by Heero22 from

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    There are several methods you can use to apply paint to your wall in an interesting pattern. For example, load a paintbrush with a colour that matches or contrasts with the main colour in the room, and dab colour randomly along the wall between the tapes. Allow to dry, and repeat with a different colour. Use an old pan scourer or a piece of foam, dipped in colour and dabbed onto the wall, to add interesting texture. Dip a firm, dry paintbrush or an old toothbrush into the paint, and direct a fine spray mist of colour along the wall by running your finger firmly along the bristles.

    Use different colours for a strikingly colourful border. (paints image by max blain from

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    Make your own stencils from acrylic sheeting with a craft knife. Draw and cut out a geometric pattern on the sheeting; move the stencil along the wall as you complete sections to form a repeating pattern. Add fine detail, once the paint is dry, with a fine-tipped brush and careful hand-painting. Alternatively, spray paint lightly over the skeletons of dried leaves, leaving pale silhouettes when you remove the leaves, or create random patterns by spraying around geometric shapes. Another option is to use a stippling brush. Dip the end of the brush into the paint and dab it on a rag or paper towel; once the brush is mostly dry, dab the brush repeatedly onto your stencil pattern to create a semi-opaque paint effect.

    Make your own stencils to showcase a personalised repeating pattern. (libellule, dragonfly image by Lys from

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    Instead of experimenting with paint, buy bags of differently coloured glass beads of varying sizes. Glue the beads randomly along the border, or use them to create designs and patterns. Both curlicued lines and squares of beads are effective; experiment by designing patterns on paper until you find your favourite. Affix the beads with an adhesive that dries to a clear finish. Keep the section of wall to be decorated the same colour as the rest of the room or paint it a different colour before you apply the beads.

    The colour and sparkle added to a wall by beads make for an unusual and effective border. (multicoloured beads, background from beads image by 26kot from

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