Turning ephemera into wallpaper
September 8, 2019 5:18 PM   Subscribe

The Circus Oz building in Melbourne has a very interesting design element on some of its walls - they've turned their posters and other paper ephemera into wallpaper. They didn't just stick them on the wall like you'd normally do with posters - they've managed to flatten it all into wallpaper sheets and put them up that way. Is there a way to replicate that with my own stuff, and if so how?

The Circus Oz building was professionally designed so I'm not sure I'd get any answers from their architects, and their solution would probably be too expensive anyway. They may have scanned and printed it all via a wallpaper-making service, I feel like I've seen those before but I'm not sure. Is there a way to do this affordably/more DIY?
posted by divabat to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
About eight years ago I took big rolls of contact paper, cut them into strips, painted them, and put them on the walls of my girls' bedroom to make trees. They're still up. If your ephemera is pretty lightweight (or could be scanned and printed onto lightweight paper) you could use spray adhesive or Mod Podge to attach it to contact paper.

Spoonflower has wallpaper printing services, but I think the pattern repeats eventually, so you couldn't use it to create a whole wall of completely unique ephemera.
posted by christinetheslp at 5:51 PM on September 8, 2019

Print on demand custom vinyl wall murals are expensive but not untenable these days. The hard part is getting an image that's of a high enough quality for the print. So if there's a scanned collection of images for the designer to source from it makes sense to collage them at zero magnification like that.

But my aunt and uncle also DIY wallpapered a walk in closet in their apartment with covers of the New Yorker back in the day and it looked super cool and similar. It was a combination of careful wheatpaste application and then after everything was dry they painted several coats of varnish over top. Because it was a closet it didn't take a million years for total coverage. Since the New Yorker collection was inherited and the other materials were very cheap, the cost was in the time and labor - it was evidently a fun summer project for them. So you could do the same if you found a source of images and had the time and physical dexterity.
posted by Mizu at 5:51 PM on September 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

My brother had wallpaper made about ten years ago using a repeating pattern from a photo he took. OK, it may only have been poster-prints on really tough paper, but it sure looks like wallpaper.

I was admiring it last summer and he still looked stung by the cost, but it's pretty damn cool.

If you're a little cost-insensitive, I can ask him!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:19 AM on September 9, 2019

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