Thursday, November 19, 2009


I wish I could say I came up with this idea, but I copied it off of a home improvement show way back before HGTV came into existence.   It is an easy way to "customize" the look of your room - without buying wall paper and wall borders. 

I did this in my bathroom when I living in beautiful, hilly Pennsylvania (just a bit homesick at the moment).  Most of my home is done in wildlife and outdoors.  I've always loved the outdoors for decorating - ironically, I spend most of my days indoors.  I wanted one room of my house that was not decorated with some kind of deer/moose/bear.  I have been to the ocean many times and love all my vacation memories of the Atlantic - along with the many treasures I either gathered on the shore or purchased in a boardwalk shop.  So I decided to decorate my bathroom in an ocean decor.  

First, I painted the walls white, then took a Caribbean blue color, dipped a damp old t-shirt in it, then proceeded to "wash" the walls with the blue.  I used swirly motions and zig zags - all to achieve a look of whimsical blue ocean waves.  It was awesome (just don't ask Dan about it).  Then, I found some cute material at Walmart to sew a simple curtain with (you can see the curtain in the photo).  I bought some extra and cut out the fish individually.  After cutting many, many fish out, I poured some fabric starch (the blueish stuff in a small jug) into a bowl.  I dipped each fish in, thoroughly soaking it, then placed it on the wall, dabbing at the excess with a cloth.  They stick like magic!  After they are dry, they will not come off - no matter how much steam is in your bathroom - until you peel them off.   They will never leave a mark on the paint or peel the paint at all.  Actually, when I moved to Wisconsin, I peeled them all off and redipped them to use in my bathroom here.  There was no evidence that they had ever been on my walls in PA, and they look great here in WI.  I placed them randomly around the top of the walls at different heights - to make them look like schools of fish swimming around a lagoon.

I also did the same thing to Levi's bedroom.  We wanted a sports theme, but we have textured walls on every square inch of this house.  Wall paper borders DO NOT WORK, neither do "wallies".  I found material that had a nice pattern of baseballs, gloves, bats, basketballs, footballs, etc.  I cut them out and placed them on a "border" that I painted on.  They worked well, although be careful with small children - he pulled them off when he was still in his crib and tried to eat one!  I took them off the wall for awhile and have since replaced them.

This can be done with large sections of wall also.  The tv segment I saw actually showed them "wall papering" the entire room with panels of material.  This is good for renters, they said, because you can just take it down when you leave and never hurt the wall.  If you wall paper an entire wall, you need a roller and lots of the blue starch, but it works!


In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.-Aristotle


  1. I always thought your bathroom in PA was the most awesome bathroom I'd ever seen. Have you recreated it in WI? I hope so!

    Hmmmm-I've been wanting to do something with these dining room walls and I love fabric........

    I might have to go buy me a couple gallons of starch!

    Thanks for the idea.☺

  2. Yes, I actually did recreate it here - Dan does not like the paint job, so I may have to change that in the future, but I think it looks "whimsical".

    Oh, you could wall paper your walls with vintage sheets! Oh my, how adorable that would be!

  3. I "wallpapered" my backsplash in my kitchen using fabric and liquid starch probably six years ago after I moved to this house. I wanted brick, but couldn't find anything cheap so I found material that has big checks on it and used it for wallpaper. You really don't need that much liqid starch because you squeeze the excess out before you hang it. I could even take it down and wash it if I ever felt the need, but so far that hasn't happened. I have even covered the front of my dishwasher before to give it a new look.