How to use wallpaper borders creatively in your decor

How to add creative wallpaper borders.

There is never the need to leave walls with just wallpaper. Imagine this wall spruced up with a panel, highlighting the color of the room and filled with an image which is personal to you. In this case, a delightful border using the darker colors could be placed imaginatively and a sepia toned picture added. Borders serve more than a decorative purpose. They add depth or width to the appearance of a room, and in this «How to», we look at the imaginative use of borders within the home, to enhance the overall look and style. All it takes is a little know-how, a beautiful border and paste and the rest is left to your imagination. Personalize your space and make it unique, using many of the borders available for all room sizes and shapes.


Step 1

To make a room look less tall.

Often a room looks tall and unwelcoming. Although high ceilings are great, what they tend to do is to make a room look colder. To add a great feature to a room which looks too tall, try introducing a border at traditional picture hanging height. The wall beneath it can be in color, and the wall above it become part of the ceiling color, thus making the room seem less tall.

Step 2

Make rooms look more traditional.

To make a room look more traditional, remember those rooms that had panelling at the bottom and were either painted or wallpapered above chair rail height? This is easy to achieve. Simply use a spirit level to draw a straight line around the room at the level required. Paint or wallpaper up to it, and then place your border. The most effective border hanging is performed by overlapping the border a little and then cutting through the edge of the border firmly, taking out the excess paper from underneath. This gives a perfect join.

Step 3

Try making picture panels.

For a picture panel, you will have to draw the picture rectangle onto the wall. Measure the border used from corner to corner, as the full length of sides will be needed. Paste the border rather than the wall, and place the first piece into place, carefully washing away excess paste. The second piece is added overlapping the corners. Place a metal blade across the corner at an angle from corner to middle and cut a miter with a nice sharp blade. Take out the excess wallpaper and straighten your miter join. Continue in this manner until the complete rectangle is finished. If adding a picture or panel of color inside the border, remember to do this before adding the border itself.

Step 4

Adding color accents.

Often over-doing borders is a bad idea. They can look tacky. Instead, choose a border which blends with accents within the room. Use this around light sockets. This is done by drawing a square around the socket and using the same miter technique described in the previous step.

Step 5

The Nursery.

In a nursery, everything needs to be ready for the newborn baby. Many of the borders available these days have wonderful patterns of animals, teddy bears or baby style pictures. These make an otherwise bland nursery wonderfully cheerful and the benefit of these is that they are not costly, and can be changed as the baby grows into a young child, whose tastes change.

Step 6

The kitchen.

Washable borders may be a great alternative to replacing tired looking tiles. If you regrout the tiling so it looks new and fresh, a water resistant border can be used above the tiling, with a great kitchen theme.

Step 7


A tall staircase can be made to look less daunting with the addition of a border at banister height, giving the impression of solidity and security. In days gone by, often an anaglypta wallpaper was used below this and painted in a gloss paint, as this is a classic look and relatively kick proof. The border is added just above this to give a classic look.

Step 8

Choices for applying paste.

Remember, you can apply paste with either a small roller or a brush. Fold the glued edge against glued edge in a concertina fashion so that the glue stays fresh as you apply the border.

You will Need
• Special border adhesive.
• Application brush.
• Damp cloth for cleaning edges when stuck.
• Scissors.
• Cutter or craft knife.
• Spirit level to measure line.
• Pencil to mark lines.

Tips & Warnings
• Avoid the use of wallpaper paste. The adhesive made for borders is a stronger adhesive.
• Always cut the borders neatly.
• Press down edges with a sponge to ensure good quality finish.


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