A Little DIY

I am not a DIYer. I like the idea of it, but the execution is another story.

Our little flat in Edinburgh has some built-ins. I like the storage they provide, but they are dark, dark, dark and not a type of wood that I really like. I decided to try and lighten them up, without painting since we are renting and only here a limited time. I thought about wallpaper on the back since there are some really pretty wallpapers now, but that’s sticky and quite frankly out of my comfort zone, remember the part about not liking DIY. I then thought about contact paper, but again, the sticky factor and having to clean that up later. I settled on seeing if I could find some wrapping paper I liked and using double sided tape, not much stickiness to clean up and CHEAP.

Here is the before.

BEFORE: dark (and cluttered)
BEFORE: dark (and cluttered)

I was originally looking for paper with the color blue in it since for whatever reason, most of of the little vintage tchotchkes I have been finding here seem to be blue. I ended up finding this white and gold wood grain wrapping paper at TK Maxx (yes, like TJ Maxx, same company) for only 2.99 pounds per roll ($4). I used just over one roll. It is hard to tell from the photos, but there is a shimmer to the gold and the paper is called stone wrap, it is a thick wrapping paper so does not rip easily and is easy to hang since it has some stiffness to it.

Wrapping paper
Wrapping paper

Of course I do not have a ruler or any other kind of straight edge, so I just cut one piece to size and used it as a template for the rest.


It definitely lightened the whole thing up.

AFTER: lighter
AFTER: lighter

Here are some of the favorite vintage treasures I have gotten here. I found this book at a charity shop. It is a vintage copy of King Lear with “HOME” folded into the pages, 3 pounds ($4). I really love it and I like the idea of recycling old books. There are tons of ideas on Pinterest for book folding.

Booking folding
“King Lear”

I got this vintage print of abalone shells for 2 pounds ($2.60) at a junk market in Glasgow last weekend. I collect abalone shells and it works in well with the blue color scheme.

Vintage abalone print

Finally, my favorite vintage piece, also a charity shop find, is this WWI sweetheart pin cushion. These were usually made by wounded soldiers who were recovering from injuries for loved ones back home. This one was from someone in the Royal Artillery and on the upper left it reads “Think of me. When the golden sun is sinking and your mind from care set free. When of others you are thinking, will you sometimes think of me.”

WWI sweetheart pin cushion
WWI sweetheart pin cushion

There are a lot of ideas on Pinterest for using various materials for the background for bookcases, including wrapping paper, wallpaper and paint.

Also, sort of related to this, Jeff found this really interesting video on how wallpaper was made in the 1960s. I know it sounds odd, why would that be interesting? but it includes woodblock printing, how they got that flocking on wallpaper and even hand painting, pretty cool.

Well, I am exhausted from my tough DIY project, enough of that for a while!!

4 thoughts on “A Little DIY

  1. Well that is something that even I can do. I feel encouraged to find some cool small printed paper to cover a small section of window above my walll unit Air Conditionerforr a tad more privacy without putting curtains uo. I love asuch lifhr as possible. I have never liked too many dark woods in a small area.


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