Jamie loves writing about DIY projects, decorating on a budget, craft ideas, and creative ways to reuse and upcycle products.
Decorative Paper DIY Home Decor Ideas
I recently shared an article about different ways patterned papers—like scrapbook paper and others—can be used for craft projects. A few of them were home décor crafts but there are still so many things you can do with them, especially for home decorating.
For example, using pretty paper to update furniture and other decorative pieces can really help give things a fresh new look. A few other things you can do are use it to decorate candles, create beautiful wreaths, chandeliers, and lots of other decorative items.
Finding Paper on a Budget
Scrapbook paper is wonderful, but I know what you may be thinking: price-wise, it can be really expensive. But not always! If you need just a sheet or two, you can buy them by the sheet—usually for about $.25 a piece.
Look for sales, and you can use 40 and 50% coupons at craft stores. Sometimes you can get a whole book of beautiful paper for half the price.
Something else you can do is print free patterned papers off the Internet and just print what you need at the time. Just be sure to seal any paper you print from an inkjet first with something like Mod Podge to avoid runny ink. I am looking into getting a laser printer myself. I hear the ink is sealed when you use those.
You will see Mod Podge mentioned a lot in this article. Just in case you don't know, Mod Podge is basically like white glue but with a gel-like consistency. It will not only glue paper down, but you can brush it over the top of the paper and use it as a sealer.
It comes in matte and glossy finish and dries super fast and crystal clear. This stuff is amazing.
1. Make Art for Your Walls
- The first one is a gorgeous piece of wall art that I found at Jessica's Musings. It was made with a canvas that was painted black with pretty scrapbook paper cut in the shapes of leaves. I just love it. It's such a bright pop of color for a wall. What is really neat about it is I can easily see many ways you could personalize something like this to fit your own colors and décor.
- Over at Ali Edwards, I found the pretty framed butterfly art in the second photo. This was made using butterflies cut from paper using a paper punch. I have seen similar projects. One was a Valentine's decoration that was made pretty much the same way, except hearts were mounted inside the frame. You could make this type of framed art out of any paper punch shape out there. The possibilities are endless!
- Queen of Diy made the fabulous group of wall art you see in the third photo, and she shares a great tutorial with wonderful illustrative photos showing how you can make this for yourself from 12x12 scrapbook paper sheets and foam board! This is one of my all-time favorite projects out of all the things I have seen done with scrapbook papers.
2. Make Drink Coasters
- I love these square tile coasters, along with the tutorial I found at The Cottage Home. Square tiles of this size are inexpensive and can be found at any home improvement store. As beautiful as these are, you won't believe how easy they are to make, and wouldn't these make a great gift?!
- Vintage Image Craft has the tutorial for these lovely round coasters made from old CDs. I love this idea, and you really can't go wrong. You can use pretty vintage images like in the tutorial, or you can use bright modern colors. The possibilities are truly endless!
3. Make Bookshelf Decorations
Pretty papered covered books make beautiful decorative accents on bookshelves, tables, etc. I love these that I found at A Cultivated Nest. The books are first covered with pretty scrapbook paper and then stamped with rubber stamps. It is a beautiful effect and I know they would look beautiful stacked just about anywhere.
4. Do Furniture Makeovers
- Have a look at these amazing bar stools I found at Abernathy Crafts. Who knew that bar stools could look this fabulous? These were actually old bar stools that got a makeover, and I must say she did a wonderful job with them.
- I also found these cute decoupaged chairs at Mitzi's Collectibles. These chairs are adorable, especially the pink one with the patchwork seat. She actually used vintage wallpapers for these (which is darling!), but any kind of paper would work. I love the "shabby chic" style of these chairs. So cute!
5. Make Decorative Trays
This is an amazing DIY tray I found at Made By Girl. It is as beautiful as it is functional . . . this is such a clever project! It is made using a large picture frame with pretty paper inside and a couple of drawer pulls attached for the handles. She was gracious enough to share a wonderful photo illustrated tutorial as well :)
6. Make a Dry Erase Board
I am very excited about these DIY dry-erase boards I found over at Sister See Sister Do. This is such a neat idea! She turns a regular picture frame into a very cute dry erase board by adding paper, photos, etc. mounted inside the frame as a background.
7. Line the Interior of Your Cabinets
I love this cabinet makeover I found over at Modern Jane. The interior was lined with black and white patterned scrapbook paper and I just really love how it pops when the cabinet doors are open. I think this was a fabulous choice. To me it has a simple look, yet elegant at the same time.
8. Make a Cute Desk Organizer
Over at Interiorholic I found this cute wooden IKEA organizer that got a new face using some black and white patterned paper. I'm a sucker for black and white patterns and this one is no exception. Just like with the cabinets above, the contrast of black and white paper really makes this pop.
9. Decorate Suitcases
- These stackable suitcases are super cute! I found them at The Vintage Umbrella and they were made by mod podging squares and rectangles cut from scrapbook papers onto them. This would be a great project for your pretty paper scraps.
- Suitcases, especially vintage ones, are used for much more than just travel these days. People love to decorate them and use them for storage, since they stack so well. In the second photo is a small vintage suitcase makeover that I found at Design Sponge. It was covered with pretty wrapping paper. I love the big red flowers!
10. Give Your File Cabinet a Facelift
Do you have an old file cabinet sitting around that is just an eyesore? Why not give it a new look like this one I found over at Faith's Place? She simply took some Mod Podge and glued some pretty scrapbook papers on to the front of the drawers. I think it looks amazing and it sounds like it was so easy to do.
11. Make Decorative Balls
- These balls that I found at DCWV Diary (along with a video tutorial!) remind me of those decorative twine balls. I think they are very cute. All you need is a glue gun and some paper and they are really just so, so simple to make.
12. Create a Pretty Paper Wreath
- This is a nice wreath made from paper that I found at Fiskars project gallery. I love that it sort of looks fluffy and also that the ends of the paper is punched with a decorative punch. It makes it look like lace. It was actually made from book pages but you could use any type of paper.
12. Make a Gorgeous Lampshade
I think this paper shade is my favorite project out of everything here. I LOVE how there is a hidden element inside the shade that only shows when the lamp is on and the small punched holes.
I think the natural brown color of the paper is very nice but I also think any paper would look stunning, though you may not be able to see the hidden motif as well if it's too dark of a pattern. If you are interested, Shelterpop has shared a fabulous, photo illustrated tutorial.
13. Create a Beautiful Paper Chandelier
What can I say about this chandelier? There are no words! It's absolutely precious. It is made with white cardstock and vellum. You can use a die cutting machine or paper punch for the butterflies.
I think this would be very pretty in a girl's nursery or maybe out on a screen patio and most definitely would make a beautiful wedding decoration. I keep thinking this could look even more magical (if that is possible!) if you could somehow have some small fairy lights intertwined around the hoop and maybe hanging with the butterflies. I know they do have small battery operated LED's now. You could probably buy them with a white cord and they would blend in so well you wouldn't even see them.
This is one of those that you could very easily change up to suit your tastes, like using different colors or using a different punched shape. This is an amazing project. To learn more and see a nice tutorial go to Heartland Paper.
15. Give Your Clock a Makeover
Give an old clock a new life by changing its face . . . sort of like this one I found at Wonderful Joy Ahead. She bought a plain inexpensive clock at Walmart for a few bucks but it was the perfect canvas and she improved it drastically just by covering the face with pretty paper and adding some new numbers but you could do the same with any old clock you have.
I think this is such a great idea. It is a great way to match your clock with your other décor. I would have never thought of it.
16. Cover a Step Stool
- Look at this bright and pretty step stool I found at Pink and Green Mama. I love the colors on this stool. It's so fun!! She used Mod Podge to attach the scrapbook paper and it really is just gorgeous! Something she mentioned in her post is that she used outdoor Mod Podge because it's waterproof and I think that was an excellent idea. You may want to keep this in mind if you will be Mod Podging furniture in the future. Using the outdoor Mod Podge may be the best choice for your project, especially if it will be in an area prone to getting wet.
- Hearts are my favorite shape and I couldn't help but share this precious heart shaped stool I found at Two Girls Being Crafty. This one also is covered with a pretty scrapbook paper using Mod Podge. She also sprayed a clear sealer over the top of the stool for added protection. This stool is so cute. I just love it!
17. Give Your Bathroom Scales a Makeover
I swore off scales a long time ago but this project I found at Yearning to Create is very tempting! I have never seen a bathroom scale makeover, but what an awesome idea! This is a great way to update an old scale that still works great or to match your scale with your current décor. I love the paper that she used. The scale has a whole new look.
18. Embellish Your Light Switch and Power Outlet Covers
- Another way you can use paper to decorate your home is to cover your outlet covers with paper in colors and patterns that match your décor. Like this outlet cover I found over at Boospire . . . For Women! This is just one of many things they did in bedroom makeover and I think it looks fabulous!
- Here is a pretty paper covered light switch plate that I found at Jones Design Company along with a nice, photo illustrated tutorial showing how it was done. I think that pattern really pops and it looks very nice mounted on the wall.
19. Make Some Flower Cubes
These flower cubes at Favecrafts make a cute decorative touch to any space. Make your own by covering a Styrofoam block with paper squares in the color and pattern of your choice. These can easily be customized to match your existing decor.
20. Make Paper-Covered Candles
How About Orange shows how to make these neat cut-paper candle holders. What I love about this one is that it really doesn't matter what paper you use, you will still see the candle shining through. This is genius! Some paper may be too heavy to see the candle through it but if you do it this way, you could use paper you want and still see the candlelight. I love the textured look that the paper gives to the candle and these candles look great covered with plain white paper.
Another paper that is nice to wrap around candles in glass holders is rice paper, tissue paper and vellum. These come in different colors and they are translucent so you can see the glow of the candle through the paper. I am not sure if vellum is considered 'paper' but it IS in the scrapbook paper section of craft stores :)
Just a Few Tips
- If you are looking to cover something that is large with paper but just do not have enough paper that you would like to cover it with, use wrapping paper. It comes in a stunning selection of prints, colors and styles and will do the job beautifully. The best way to do it is to use something like Mod Podge to glue it onto the surface and then do a few coats over the top to seal it and help protect it.
- Regular Mod Podge is wonderful and provides a lot of protection to your projects, but for even more protection, especially for things in the kitchen or bathroom that will be around a lot of water, outdoor Mod Podge would be even better OR you could spray on a clear sealer.
- Don't forget tissue paper and crepe paper. Those can be used to decorate things too.
I hope that you have enjoyed this article and have found these ideas interesting and useful for you. Hopefully you are feeling inspired to use some pretty paper for decorating around your home.
Just remember to keep any eye out for sales and don't forget to use coupons. Half off craft store coupons can really make a difference. You can go right to their website and print one off or get one in the Sunday paper.
Happy home decorating with pretty papers!
Laura on July 15, 2016:
Thank you for all your help, I'm in the U.K. And wondering if I can buy Hodge Podge here?
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 03, 2015:
Thank you Kristen Howe...I appreciate it!
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on July 25, 2015:
I love all of these crafty and nifty ideas, Jamie. Voted up for awesome and two thumbs up!
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on April 12, 2014:
BeBop1005- You are welcome! Thank you so much for dropping by :)
Jennifer Klein from Oneonta, NY on February 21, 2014:
These are great ideas! Now I know what to do with all my leftover scrapbooking paper from creating my wedding album! Thank you!
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on July 02, 2013:
Toytasting- Thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed it :)
Toy Tasting from Mumbai on June 30, 2013:
Wow, these are some wonderful ideas. I really like the Switchboard and suitcase idea. Thank you for sharing this. Cheers :)
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on June 16, 2013:
IslandBites- Thank you so much :)
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on June 16, 2013:
condominium- You are so welcome! Hope your wife enjoys them :)
IslandBites from Puerto Rico on June 05, 2013:
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on April 14, 2013:
RTalloni- Thank you so much! Yes, I'm in love with those step stools... the possibilities are just mind boggling with all the different looks of decorative paper available.
RTalloni on April 09, 2013:
These are some great ideas for brightening up rooms and I'm keeping those step stools in mind!
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on April 03, 2013:
liesl5858- You are so welcome! Thanks so much for the kind words :) I really appreciate you dropping by!
Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on March 31, 2013:
Thank you for sharing your wonderful creations and ideas. Great hub Jamie Brock.
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on March 23, 2013:
Chrissieklinger- Thank you so much.. Both the stool and the dry erase board were two of my faves as well :)
Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on March 23, 2013: