adventures in wallpapering

Many of you have been asking for pictures of the baby room, and I’ve decided to wait to do a big reveal once the room is complete. Lucky for you all, we’re almost there, we just need to hang a couple things on the wall and then we’re ready to share it with the world! 🙂

But, I will show you the fun Hannah and I had putting up the wallpaper in the little one’s room. As you might remember from my inspiration board, we used Orla Kiely’s Multi Stem Wallpaper for the wall that the crib is going to live on. Our room is very small- only about 7 feet wide- so I really wanted to squeeze out the whole wall with one roll of paper. It ended up working out, but it definitely didn’t give us much extra wallpaper to play around with.

We painted the other three walls with Martha Stewart’s Ballet Slipper Pink, a subtle peachy pink.

I prepped the wallpaper wall with sizing before hanging the wall, but I did not use a lining paper as the Orla Kiely directions had recommended. It might be worth it if you’re doing a whole room in this paper, but I decided to forgo this step since it was such a small space.

I had been looking online for tips on how it was to hang this wallpaper, but I couldn’t find one, so I apologize for the detailed directions I’m going to share, but hopefully someone else will find it useful.

This is the best method we came up with for hanging this particular wallpaper.

1.) Measure the wall and divide that measurement by the width of the wallpaper to determine how many strips you will need to hang. We needed almost exactly 4 strips. It was very helpful for us to draw out a picture of the wall.

2.) Measure out your plumb line using a level mark with a pencil. We drew the whole line down the wall. We decided we wanted the middle panels to be full panels and to trim the right and left panels, so we measured from the middle of the wall and out to the right and left.

3.) We knew we needed a bit of overage for the length of the wallpaper so we could match the pattern and allow for a clean line along the trim. We were super nervous to cut the paper so we laid the whole roll down the hallway to make sure we could match the pattern. You know what they say, measure twice, cut once.

4.) Once we had our strips measured we cut them using a scissor and straight edge. We numbered our panels, just for good measure, I’m not sure if this was actually necessary.

5.) This particular paper was not pre-pasted, so we had to apply the paste in order to hang it. This is where we had our troubles- we applied paste and bookmarked the paper as the online tutorials told us and when we went to hang it, the paper wouldn’t stick to the wall! Well, as we soon found out, this paper needs the paste to be applied directly to the wall and then it will stick. This is a very important step.

6.) Once of us would hold the paper to the wall using the pencil lines to make sure it hung straight and the other one of us used a clean paint roller to smooth the paper down the wall. Another important note: when we used the traditional straight edge or wallpaper brush to smooth down the paper it started to take scratch some of the pattern off the paper. This must be due to the delicate print process of this paper. The  paint roller worked great.

Make sure you have a wet cloth to wipe off the extra paste that squeezes through the seams.

7.) Trim the paper using a straight edge and Exacto knife. We used a new blade halfway through hanging the paper to make sure we got a clean cut.

8.) Repeat with the remaining strips taking care to match up the pattern as you’re hanging as well as getting your seams as close together without overlapping.



This is the other side of the room. Yikes!

So that’s the long drawn out “How to Hang Orla Kiely Wallpaper.” It was pretty easy once we figured out our method and I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out. I think this is my favorite room in the house by far. I can’t wait to share the rest of it with everyone!


6 responses to “adventures in wallpapering

  1. Clare

    I love it! I’ve been thinking about you SO MUCH recently!! I keep wondering if I’ll be getting a call that baby Louws is here!! (I think it’s a safe time) So so SO excited for you guys!!

  2. Brandon

    Nursery looks good – I particularly like the trim around the chalkboard! Was that a B-J design?

  3. rachelmarie4384

    Brandon, the chalkboard was actually an old frame I spray painted and then added a piece of wood I painted with chalkboard paint. BJ did the hanging, though! 🙂

  4. Chad Syme

    What brand of paste did you use on the Orla Kiely paper? We have bought the same paper and are looking for an alternative paste. We live in Seattle and cannot easily purchase the Harlequin brand paste as recommended. If you can also let me know they type of paste that would be a huge help.

    – Chad

  5. Jimjam

    Thank you so much for posting this. I recently hung some Orla Kiely birds egg wallpaper following your instructions.

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