As you might have read for the new studio we decided to not paint the walls or do anything permanent to anything, partly because of my commitment issues, partly because we had 2 weeks to finish and there was NO way I was going to be able to decide the perfect wallpaper in that short of time, but mainly because we wanted the flexibility of white walls for shoots. So for the party I wanted it to be really exciting and colorful – with lots of wild patterns – for real life I think we are going to pair back to just a few of the colors/patterns to keep it a bit quieter.
Anyway, so we hung a ton of wallpaper panels on gator boards and hung them on different levels from the ceiling. Now this isn’t normally something that you’d do at your home, but enough of you asked how we did it that we figured a post about it couldn’t hurt.
2. Grommet Kit: We picked ours up from JoAnn’s Fabric but they can be picked up at any craft store or online. Ours were brass (obviously) and 7/16″ in size.
3. Hooks: These are just standard ceiling hooks that we picked up from Home Depot, again we went with brass color.
4. S-Hooks: We looked for these in brass as well but could not find them, but as they hang behind the panel you don’t see much of the silver color.
5. Drill Bit: You will need a drill bit that is slightly smaller than your grommet kit so we used a 3/8″ drill bit.
6. Chain: We picked up our brass chain from a local hardware store, but it is also sold at larger home improvement stores and even some craft stores.
8. Wallpaper: This is the most important and funnest part of it all. We used a bunch of different patterns and colors and then mixed them around to see what we loved best next to each other. You can also use fabric, contact paper, veneer, or whatever else you come up with!
9. Gatorboard: (this is what everything is sitting on in the above picture) Basically it is the same as foam core but much more rigid and more strong (and more expensive). We decided to go with Gatorboard because it does not warp as much as foam core would and it is still very light. We sourced ours online but it can be picked up in large sheets from your local craft or arts store.
Now that you know what you need, here is how its done. Once you have adhered your wallpaper, contact paper, fabric, or veneer to your panels here is how you will attach grommets, chain and hang them to the ceiling.
Make Template: Trust me when I say that making this cheap little template will save you tons of time measuring. You can use any scrap piece of paper or cardboard and then measure in 1″ from both the top corner and the side corner, then cut out a hole approximately the size of your drill bit. Once you have made the template you can use it for each corner and just flip it over when you use it for the opposite corner. It saves you time from measuring out each hole and makes things much quicker if you are doing lots of panels like we did.
Trace Template Hole: Just make sure that you line up the corner of your template with the corner of your panel and then trace the hole. When you go to trace the other corner of the panel just flip over the template and repeat the same process. Its not rocket science but you’ll be glad you did it.
Drill Hole: Using the right size drill bit, drill right through the gatorboard. It will drill through very easy so don’t apply too much pressure and then end up drilling right through your floor, or finger, or leg. (PS. don’t every use your leg to prop up the gatorboard – it won’t be a pretty picture)
Assemble Grommet Kit: When you buy your grommets you have two options: 1. A grommet kit, or 2. grommets. You will only need to purchase one grommet kit which includes the tools you see above for attaching the grommets together. You can then purchase the rest of the amount of grommets you need and use the grommet kit to attach them together.
Hammer Pieces Together: There are very easy instructions on the back of your kit but basically you will sandwich your gatorboard between the anvil, eyelet, washer, setter, and hammer. (and yes I did have to look on the back of the box to give you all those fancy names in the correct order. Once they are all lined up you have to give it a few good strikes and then your grommet will attach itself to the gatorboard and you are good to go.
Once you have your pretty brass grommets in all of the corners of your panels, you will attach an S-hook to each of the corners and then whatever length of chain you need to each of those S-hooks.
The last and final step is attaching your panels to the ceiling. You will do this by screwing in your ceiling hooks and then attaching each of the panels up in whatever order you want. We decided to overlap our panels, and hang them at different heights and depths from the wall and ceiling.
Oh, and while I rarely recommend wallpapering things yourself in this case it’s actually pretty easy because its such a simple surface and a lot of these wallpapers came wide enough that we only had to lay them flat and not even worry about matching the pattern. You lay them flat, paint the paste on the gator board, get a friend to help (it’s easier with two people), and then roll out/lay the paper or fabric on top and then smooth it out. You can even use decopauge.
Other options – maybe you want to paint chalkboard paint or magnetic paint onto a panel and hang it on the wall in your family room – less commitment than painting on the wall. And this works with fabric as well – not wood, I don’t think but fabric, cardboard, foam core and gator board.
Any questions, folks?