DIY Alternatives to Wallpaper

By Adriele Graham

September 9, 2020

Most homes have a wall or two that just feel big and blank. They are often in a tricky location that leaves you feeling confused with how to accentuate them. One of the most classic solutions is wallpaper; no, Not Your Grandmothers Wallpaper but fun, fresh, modern options. Although wallpaper has been a classic option for its high impact and beauty for centuries, it also has its drawbacks, like it’s permanent application and the often high price tag that accompanies it. If you love the idea of wallpaper but are looking for some alternative options, here is our list of DIY alternatives to wallpaper that can add style without breaking your piggy bank.


A strategic color block is so simple and cost friendly but can add a lot of flair. They are essentially painted shapes placed in strategic locations. You can keep it very simple or combine, enlarge, and overlap them to create an awesome custom mural.


If you are commitment phobic or a renter, vinyl decals are an awesome option for you. There are so many choices out there that can range from a few shapes on the wall to elaborate schemes that look just like wallpaper. The installation is pretty fool-proof since you can remove and reposition them. The best part is that when you’re ready for a change you can peel them right off of the wall.


Stencils allow you to create a consistent pattern and cover large areas at a very low cost. There are loads of patterns to select from and you have the opportunity to customize your space even further with the color(s) you choose to paint them in. Make sure to wipe the back of the stencil off every time and overlap the patterns as you continue.


The closest option to traditional wallpaper is removeable wallpapers. Traditional wallpaper requires a paste that is applied to the paper and then the paper is carefully placed on the wall. The removeable papers are ready to go up similar to vinyl and can be adjusted. Keep your wall texture in mind with this option since it will have a harder time sticking to a very textured serface.


There are so many fun options for mouldings that don’t require a carpentry degree. Some simple cuts and paint will go a long way! This option is definitely more permanent than vinyl decals, but mouldings tend to be more appealing than wallpaper when reselling and if you really want to take them down they should pop off way easier than removing an entire wall of traditional wallpaper.

Here are some examples…

Color Block

Image from Decoist

Vinyl Decal

Image from Lucas & Stellas


Rem. Wallpaper

Image from Walls Need Love


Image from This Giant Life

We love utilizing these treatments and others for our clients. If you’re ready to DIY a feature wall but just aren’t sure what would be right for your space, just reach out to us for some help. We love coming up with the designs and letting you implement them, whether on your own or with help. If you are looking for even more inspiration don’t forget to check out our Pinterest page where we pin loads of ideas.

Live your fullest!