DIY: Magazine Box Decorated with Scrapbook Paper

Here’s the “After” glamour shots:

Can you believe it originally looked like this “Before”:

It’s a cardboard box from JoAnn’s. It was to hold a gift of scrapbook supplies and pretty papers. I think we can all agree that this box is not gift-worthy nor display-worthy.

Here’s the makeover process:

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Travel Memento: Old Key Framed with Scrapbook Paper Scraps

During a vacation in Tuscany, we strolled along the cobblestone streets of an outdoor weekend market in the village of Radda in Chianti. And there, we found this key. When we returned home I wanted a reminder of Tuscan villages so I could revisit them in my memory every day. And here is the reminder:

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How to Make Affordable Scrapbook Paper Wall Art

DIY Scrapbook Paper Wall Art

If you have a big blank wall, and you want to decorate it affordably, here’s your solution: scrapbook paper wall art! I’ve seen similar sets of wall art selling in retail stores and catalogs for $250 and even more! But today, I will show you how to make this wall art with your favorite colors, for far less money.

Scrapbook paper is a cheap way to get professional quality patterns, in any color you want. Each sheet of paper costs only 50 cents to $2 at the most. Very affordable! So how to turn the scrapbook paper into wall art? It’s as simple as this:

Scrapbook Paper Wall Art Supplies

Scrapbook Paper Wall Art

 

HOW TO MAKE SCRAPBOOK PAPER WALL ART

Here’s the steps to make this wall art:

1. Choose nine coordinating but contrasting scrapbook papers. For help, visit my Guide to Where to Buy Scrapbook Paper. The paper is usually 12″ x 12″. Use thicker scrapbook paper. Thin scrapbook paper tends to wrinkle much easier.

2. Get nine 12″ x 12″ panels. I used American Easel Wood Painting Panels from Blick Art Materials. Below, I show more options for you that cost only a few dollars.

3. Paint the edges of the wood panels or canvas. I painted with black acrylic paint. You can paint any color you want.

4. Brush a layer of glue on one panel. In the past, I used Mod Podge or Aleene’s Tacky Glue. Now, I use Golden Mediums to minimize wrinkles.

5. Apply a piece of scrapbook paper to the panel. To smooth the paper onto the panel, use a brayer, ruler, yardstick, whatever flat edge is handy. Sometimes I use a credit card because it’s easy to handle. Start smoothing paper from the middle and push out toward the edges. Here are instructions from Mod Podge to get better decoupage results.

6. Glue paper to the remaining 8 panels.

OPTIONAL. Seal the papers. You can leave the papers unsealed, or brush a layer of Mod Podge or Aleene’s Tacky Glue over them. I accidentally smeared Mod Podge on some papers, so I brushed a layer of matte Mod Podge over all of the papers and this hid the smears.

The Finished Result: SCRAPBOOK PAPER WALL ART

My office had a huge wall that was covered with a big legislative map for a state. But the law we were lobbying for passed (yayyy!!! it was a law to help teen drivers be safer) and so I took the map down, then I had a huge blank wall. I wanted some color but didn’t want to spend a ton of money to cover a wall. This project added a big grid of color and pattern to my office wall, and this makes me happy, creative and inspired at work. This project is great for any big space where you want big affordable wall art. It covers about a 3-foot by 3-foot space:

Scrapbook Paper Wall Art

How to Make Wall Art with Scrapbook Paper

Wall Art Made with Scrapbook Paper

 

How to Prevent Wrinkles in the Paper

Many people have written with questions about how to avoid wrinkles in the scrapbook paper. Wrinkles are not always terrible. Some people embrace the wrinkles and make them part of the design, and that’s great! It’s all personal preference. If you don’t want wrinkles, read on …

My #1 suggestion is to not use Mod Podge or Aleene’s Tacky Glue for decoupaging paper.

I know, I know!! Who doesn’t use those? I did! I still do for certain things but not for paper any more.

What else do you use? Well, while I used Mod Podge when I did this wall art project back in 2011, now in 2017 I use Golden Medium with the COAT – DESIGN – HEAT technique for decoupage. See my DIY tutorial on how to use this technique to decoupage without wrinkles. That tutorial shows the only way I know to get a great result, 100% free of wrinkles.

If you must use glues, here are some tips, but for me these still don’t 100% eliminate all wrinkles:

  • Try Aleene’s Tacky Glue instead of Mod Podge. Aleene’s Tacky Glue is more tacky, less wet. Paper wrinkles when the wetness of Mod Podge soaks into the paper. Sometimes I notice wrinkles before I even glue the paper to the board, so this is a clue that the glue is not quite right.
  • I’ve also had better success with Mod Podge for Fabric. The formulation is thicker and less wet.
  • Let the glue sit for a few minutes before applying paper, so the glue is less wet.
  • Try spray adhesive instead of glue, such as Krylon Spray Adhesive. Spray two coats of adhesive for good coverage. Follow the spray adhesive directions. Some spray adhesive is repositionable so you can peel the paper off and adjust it. Other spray adhesives apply the paper permanently immediately, so you gotta get it right the first time. I like the repositionable adhesive even though it can cost more. It gives you room for errors, and I’m really good at making errors!
  • Use thicker paper. As you handle scrapbook papers, you’ll find some papers are very thin and floppy, and others are heavier and stiffer. To minimize wrinkles, use the thicker, heavier papers.
  • If you want to use thinner papers and inkjet print-outs, here’s a tip from the Mod Podge Rocks blog to minimize wrinkles: Spray the paper with a clear acrylic sealer. Spray both sides and allow to dry. Then use Mod Podge to glue the paper to your surface.

Aleene's Tacky Glue and Krylon Spray Adhesive

12″ x 12″ Boards and Canvas

Here are the American Easel brand wood panels I used from Blick Art Materials to make my scrapbook paper wall art. They cost more than canvas, but I like the professional look of thick wood panels:

American Easel Wood Panels

Blick Art Materials also sells canvas value packs. You can get many canvases in different sizes including 12″ x 12″. This is the cheapest way to get many canvases:

Blick Art Materials Canvas Value PackMost craft stores like Hobby Lobby, Joann, and Michael’s sell 12″ x 12″ square panels made of wood or canvas. Plus, every day there are coupons available for 30%, 40%, sometimes even 50-60% off in stores and online. Just check the store websites, sign up for email lists or use an app on your phone.

Michael’s, Joann and Hobby Lobby all have phone apps with coupons on them. Download the apps onto your phone, and check the app for coupon codes before you go to the checkout counter!

You can also cut inexpensive 12″ wide wood boards from Home Depot, Menards or Lowes into 12″ x 12″ size. If you don’t have a saw, sometimes they will cut the boards for you at the store.

 

Wondering where to buy scrapbook paper?

Where to Buy Scrapbook Paper

Things to Do With Scrapbook Paper


This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage of compensation at no cost to you if you purchase after clicking the link. I post affiliate links when I have purchased from the company or used the product, and I can confidently share the company or product. This helps offset the cost of running this blog for you! For more info, see Disclosures & Policies.






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