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Do you want to cover you walls in pattern or color? Wallpaper isn’t your only solution. Check out these 7 techniques and wallpaper alternatives.

How to cover your walls in pattern and style, without the mess, hassle, or expense of wallpaper.

How to cover those bare walls in pattern and style, without the mess, hassle, or expense of wallpaper.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

A note from Aimee: This blog post first appeared on The Crazy Craft Lady in February 2019. It has since been updated to bring you the best, most current creative content.

I do love, love, love wallpaper, and browsing the vast selection of options available. But, for various reasons, it may not be a good option for you… or just for a particular room. Renters need removable damage-free decor options.

Even if you own, many traditional wallpaper choices can be REALLY expensive. Seriously. Go online and do a bit of browsing. It’s not uncommon so see wallpaper that costs several dollars per square foot. That can add up fast!

So… I’ve gathered a variety of different wallpaper alternatives for you. Some are DIY techniques and others are products that you can buy. Now, go make some beautiful walls to add a little bit of pattern and style to home.

Related: If you’re looking for more wallpaper inspiration, pin along with me on my wallpaper Pinterest board!

Wallpaper Alternatives and Creative Solutions

1. Book Pages

DIY Wallpaper Alternatives Book Page Wall Covering

Source: Country Living

Artist Amy Duncan covered the whole wall of this tree house with the pages of vintage maritime and bird-watching books. “It took about a day to install. We just love it. It’s weathered incredibly well”.

wallpaper from book pages and sheet music

Source: Ikea

Here’s another option. This wall has a variety of book pages as well as sheet music. Just lovely!

2. Cover Walls in Old Maps

DIY Map Wallpaper

Source: DIY Map Wallpaper from In My Own Style

Create a unique accent wall in your home with DIY map wallpaper! The cheapest way to achieve this is to purchase online an entire map collection on sale.

This blogger put her maps to good use and shares all the tips and tricks needed to get a smooth and durable application for your map wallpaper.

3. Vinyl Decals – a great option for apartments!

Inspiring Wall Decal Feature Walls - the perfect rental friendly solution for decorating your walls

Source: The Crazy Craft Lady

Wall decals are basically giant stickers, and they’e one of my favorite ways to update a room without making a permanent change. They are a perfect design solution for renters or for anyone wanting to try a new look before fully committing. Here are my favorite feature walls to inspire you when decorating. 

4. Fabric

wallpaper alternatives - fabric and liquid starch wall covering

Source: Fun Cheap or Free

Add texture and pattern to your walls with fabric. Apply using liquid starch for a temporary application.

fabric and liquid starch freature wall

Source: Mustard Seed Interiors

Would you believe that this wall is covered in fabric? So gorgeous! If you’re going to pick a busy pattern, the wall itself becomes the artwork and you can choose minimal wall decor (like those plain white dishes above) or nothing at all.

5. Gift Wrap

DIY Gift Wrap Wallpaper

Source: DIY Gift Wrap Wallpaper from The Crazy Craft Lady

Head to the dollar store and grab a few rolls of wrapping paper. You can easily add wrapping paper to any wall (like I did in the back of this closet) using a technique that uses both painters tape and double-sided tape for damage-free hanging.

This is such a creative and inexpensive way to create a colorful feature wall. And it’s a great solution for small spaces and even smaller budgets.

6. Bulletin Board Paper

How to Make a Faux Plank Wall

Source: Faux Plank Wall from The Crazy Craft Lady

You guys. This is still one of my all-time-favorite DIYs. The craft store sells rolls of wood patterned bulletin board paper. Normally it’s used by teachers, but you can also create a fun feature wall using it.

7. Temporary, Removable Wallpapers

Shop my favorite sources for peel-and-stick wallpaper.

 Do you love the look of wallpaper, but are afraid to commit? Fear not, because these temporary peel-and-stick wallpaper options are just the solution you need! Peel the sheets off the backing paper, smooth it over your walls, and peel it right off when you’re ready for a change. No mess, no fuss! Read this tutorial to see how I used temporary wallpaper.

Good News: peel-and-stick wallpaper is one of the most popular trends in home decor lately. There are a TON of color palettes and design options, and you can even buy temporary wallpaper at big box stores like Target and Walmart.

8. Hang a Tapestry or Oversized Wall Art

How to Hang a Tapestry

Source: How to Hang a Tapestry from Plaster and Disaster

If wall tapestries give you flashbacks to college dorms or cheap apartments, think again. This blogger shows you how to elevate these fabric wall hangings to make stylish, high-end decor.

Oversized Canvas Tutorial

Source: Oversized Canvas Tutorial from Bigger than the Three of Us

This large tapestry sure makes a big impact in this living room. Whether you have purchased a tapestry on your travels or you buy one online, this is such a great way to fill up an entire wall.

Creative Wall Painting Alternatives to Wallpaper

If you are a homeowner, or a lucky renter who has permission to paint, these ideas are for you. If you’re willing to get creative and put in the time and effort, you can save a TON of money by mimicking the look of wallpaper using paint.

1. Handwriting or Drawing with Paint

wallpaper alternatives - hand lettered script feature wall

Source: A Beautiful Mess

Described as “My favorite project ever,” by its creator, this hand lettered script feature wall with just a bit of black paint.

wallpaper alternative - paint pen feature wall

Source: Owens Olivia

See how this blogger used a paint pen to create a $5 “wallpaper” patterned wall. It’s pure genius, and it absolutely has the wallpaper look.

2. Rollers

Wallpaper Alternatives - Roller Stencil Wall

Source: Remodelista

Isn’t this wall lovely?

These paint rollers come in a variety of patterns and textures. With a little practice and paint, this is an extremely affordable solution for covering walls. Check out this video below or click here for full tutorials:

Shop rollers below:

3. Stencils

Wallpaper Alternatives - Farmhouse Stencil Wall

Source: Making it in the Mountains

Kristi couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was to stencil this feature wall in her master bedroom makeover. I’m loving the neutral tones – the difference in the two paint colors is so subtle. It makes for a lovely feature wall in this bedroom space.

4. Paint a Modern Mural in Bright Colors

Colorful wall mural and floral wallpaper in closet

This is actually a project that my daughter and I completed together in her bedroom. I didn’t make a blog post for it, because it was honestly just so simple. We grabbed some brushes and paint color samples from Home Depot, sketched out a rough design with a pencil, and got painting.

Don’t Forget to Pin these Wallpaper Alternatives for Later:

Creative DIY Wallpaper Alternatives

I hope you found these ideas to be helpful and have found some inspiration to go update a boring wall in your home.

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