Fun Christmas Crafts to Make Out of Old Wallpaper
What Is Wallpaper?
Wallpaper is a material used in interior decoration to decorate the interior walls of domestic and public buildings. It is usually sold in rolls and is applied onto a wall using wallpaper paste. Wallpapers can come plain as "lining paper" (so that it can be painted or used to help cover uneven surfaces and minor wall defects thus giving a better surface), textured (such as Anaglypta), with a regular repeating pattern design, or, much less commonly today, with a single non-repeating large design carried over a set of sheets. The smallest rectangle that can be tiled to form the whole pattern is known as the pattern repeat.
What Is Wallpaper Made Of?
The most important thing to consider when choosing which material you will use for your Christmas craft wallpaper is its sustainability. Remember, that different material has different concerns. As always, it is better to simply reuse your old wallpaper instead of buying new wallpaper for your Christmas crafts. Here is a breakdown of the different types of wallpaper.
Paper wallpaper is one of the most popular types of wallpaper out there but where is the paper it’s made of coming from? Of course, trees are a renewable resource but, irresponsible clear cutting can destroy ecosystems for generations. Simply look for the FSC certified mark; this means that the Forest Stewardship Council has certified that the paper is coming from a responsibly managed forest.
What is non-woven wallpaper made of anyways? Non-woven material is basically some sort of fibers that have been felted or pressed together to form a sort of fabric. Due to the strong yet flexible nature of this material, it is widely used across many industries including the medical industry, fashion and as of recently, wallpaper. Recent innovations have allowed the leaves of pineapples to be sustainably used as a non-woven material. But usually, non-wovens generally refer to a pressed product made from a mix of cellulose fibers with polyester or vinyl fibers, i.e. plastic. And remember that vinyl and different types of plastics cannot be recycled.
The concerns relating to vinyl wallpaper mostly have to do with the fact that petroleum (i.e. valuable fossil fuel) is required to make it and then, that VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) will be emitted throughout its lifetime.
While, technically, vinyl is a less green option for wallpaper, it is important to note that it has made huge amounts of progress in the last decade or so. Vinyl is the most widely used plastic on the planet. But it does use less petroleum than any other plastic, and while over the years there has been an increase in its production, there has also been a decrease in the amount of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) it emits. VOC’s are actually found in just about everything from paint to deodorant to freshly baked bread. And when they mix with the air, they produce ozone. Ozone is a good thing when it’s up at the ozone layer blocked harmful sunrays from the Earth, but down at ground level, ozone just contributes to smog and hurts farming crops.
The worst offenders of VOC emissions are the automotive industry and manufacturing, however, among all consumer goods, architectural coatings (including the more offensive product - paint) contribute to a whopping 9% of VOC’s emitted.Lastly, in vinyl’s defense, it is an incredibly durable material with a longer life cycle than any other material and it requires half the amount of energy than what is needed to produce a paper product. Furthermore, there is very little waste associated with the production of vinyl as it is completely standard in the industry to reuse almost all pre-consumer waste in the making of more vinyl.
Old Wallpaper Craft Ideas
DIY Christmas Origami Lampshade:
Wallpaper is such a versatile medium. Can you believe that this hanging lamp is constructed from leftover wallpaper? It looks as if it came from an upscale store with a hefty price tag.
Christmas Wall Art:
Do you have some empty space on your wall and an empty pocketbook as well? Not to worry, wallpaper to the rescue. Take some leftover wallpaper strips and arrange them on your wall as seasonal art.
Stair and Lampshade Christmas Up-cycle:
Wallpaper makes for a wonderful spice of Christmas color over your standard and Christmas lacking lampshades.
If you have stairs are lacking Christmas spirit, revamping them with wallpaper packages is a great way to add a nice Christmas flare.
Christmas Wallpaper Covered Radio:
Wallpaper can be applied to almost any vertical surface as long as the surface is clean and dry. You can even give an old radio new life with some old-fashioned floral styled wallpaper. A perfect look for those that love the Christmas style. If your radio gets lots of use you might want to give your wallpaper a coat of polyurethane or Mod Podge to seal it and keep it fresh.
Wallpaper Flower Wreath:
Many wallpaper rolls have beautiful flowers printed on the paper as part of the design. Make a Christmas wreath by cutting out the paper flowers and arranging them in a circle. Add some natural eucalyptus as filler, and some ribbon and you have a great Christmas wreath.
Christmas Wooden Tray:
Add some color and Christmas spirit to an ordinary wooden tray with some leftover wallpaper scraps. Measure the bottom of the tray and cut a rectangle of the paper to size. Then apply decoupage medium to the bed of the tray. Attach the wallpaper cutout to the bottom of the tray and dry.
Wallpaper Photo Backdrop:
Wallpaper Photo Backdrop from Blue Eyed Yonder
Make a photo backdrop from leftover scraps of Christmas style wallpapers.
Christmas Wallpaper Flower Pots:
Make your flower pots into pieces of Christmas art with leftover wallpaper. Your deck or patio will look beautifully decorated with these crafty beauties.
Wallpaper as Gift Wrap:
Wallpaper can be recycled into many things, but none is more useful than turning it into wrapping paper. Cover your gifts with leftover wallpaper, and you will have an economical yet stunning presentation. You could also wrap your gift in plain old butcher or freezer paper and decorate with wallpaper cutouts as in the photo above. Save your money and save the planet at the same time by recycling.
There are so many uses for that old wallpaper that you are considering removing. But before it heads off to the trash, take some time and consider the possibilities for that wallpaper. Try to reuse as much as you possibly can before you never see it again. So when the time comes for you to remove your old wallpaper, come and look at all of the fun things that you can use it for this Christmas season.