DIY wallpaper template

I’m taking my time with deciding how to decorate each area of our home. I’m still up in the air about a lot, but one thing I sporadically did on the weekend when Cora was having lunch was make a wallpaper template and quickly paint a small wallpaper-style pattern on the peek of wall under our stairs.

I painted this section burgundy during my lunch break a few weeks ago. I think I did it to make myself feel like I was making an update to our home [I currently have hundreds of ideas, but there are so many moving pieces and things have to be done in a certain order, therefore I’m getting nothing done].

I then had the idea to paint a faux wallpaper effect*, just to see if it’s something I’d like to do. Using an empty cereal box, I cut out a square template. I folded it in half each way to find the center of the square. I marked the center and four corners with a pencil and then I laid the cardboard template on a folded up kitchen cloth and used my drill to carefully drill 5 holes. Yes, I could have used something else to make the holes, but it was literally within reach and there’s nothing I love more than being lazy.

Then I simply used my template to mark lightly with a pencil the pattern on the wall. Once you do one row, simply line up the template with existing pencil marks to make sure your lines are consistent. That’s it! It was so easy and fast to make. I painted little gold hearts as my pattern. They’re super imperfect, but I like that.

And yes, I’m hoping to paint our entire hallway like this. Because I’m a glutton for punishment.

*I’ve been seriously thinking about wallpapering our hallway for some time, but I cannot decide on a wallpaper. I’m way too indecisive. Plus, wallpaper is expensive and we’d need a fair amount to go up the stairway. So I’m going to try my hand at painting some.

Our Victorian pantry – after!

Updating our pantry was not only my first project this year, but the first project I worked on in our new home. It was the perfect small project to get me back in the swing of DIYing; it was a small space, it didn’t take long to complete, looked absolutely atrocious beforehand [which always ensures an excellent after] and cost me around $15 to update.

As a reminder and in case you haven’t seen any decent horror movies recently, this is what our pantry looked like before

… Followed quickly by what it looks like now! I started updating our pantry by first of all, scrubbing it thoroughly. I used warm, soapy water with a bit of vinegar to clean the walls and underside of the stairs. When I removed the shelves, I found mouse droppings on the little shelf ledges – they most likely ended up there when the shelves were wiped over the years. I can confirm that as much as I love mice, we don’t actually have any in our home and the little poops are from some time ago. Still, as soon as I discovered said poop, I resorted to the bottle of Lysol wipes left by the previous owner and wiped the shelves, shelf ledges, stairs, walls and floors thoroughly. Because food.

After a thorough clean, I removed the extra nails, filled the holes and the many gaps of all shapes and sizes. To show that my ‘before’ pictures are not entirely exaggeratedly yellow, above you can see my first round of filler [first round of many in some places], which itself is off-white. Our pantry really was a nondescript shade of children’s nightmares.

I ended up giving the pantry 3 coats of semi-gloss white paint. I decided to keep the original shelves as they were already the perfect size and I figured it would be wasteful to replace them. They already worked perfectly, so it would have been frivolous to replace them. I cleaned them via chemical warfare with Lysol then covered them in my go-to faux marble contact paper by d-c-fix [I’ve used contact paper on a lot of projects. If you’re curious, you can see them all here. From kitchen counters to coffee tables. Also, you can see my tutorial on how to easily apply contact paper here!].

I am so pleased, and dare I say proud, with how my first project in our home turned out. However, I’m not completely finished with this space. I want to update the pantry door as well as get the sweet little pantry light working again [see more about me rescuing it from a life of paint on my Instagram here].

Our Victorian pantry – before

Despite our new home being a Victorian, there’s no area of our house that needs to be worked on or upgraded with any urgency. Our home is very livable in it’s current condition, which is what gave me some design paralysis since moving in in September [nothing was urgent but I have 100 ideas for small-to-medium projects but how do I prioritize them when none of them are urgent, okay I’ll just sit here and overthink everything until I spiral out of control]. Aside from the basement, the only space in our home that was questionable was our kitchen pantry.

I will now take you on the grand tour that is the most murdery pantry you’ve ever laid eyes on. In preparation of viewing our pantry, I suggest acclimatizing yourself by first watching The Blair Witch Project, then The Thing quickly followed by Hereditary and you will find yourself in the right mindset for our pantry.

I trust you have gone off and watched said suggested movies.

You are now acclimatized to view our pantry:

It’s the only section of our house that hasn’t been updated [or cleaned, it seems] since 1948. It is a very functional little space under the kitchen stairs and we used it right up until yesterday morning, when I woke up and decided that was the day I was going to update it.

The shelves are supported by the bottom of the back of each step. I have no intention of replacing the shelves as they’re perfectly functional and I think it would be wasteful to get rid of them. Each shelf is made out of old floorboards, which at some point were covered in contact paper. I’m hoping to update them by simply recovering them in a new layer of contact paper.

As for the rest of the pantry, I will work on filling in all the cracks and gaps, removing the horror-movie array of nails and giving everything a fresh coat of [washable] white paint. Or seven.

I’m hoping to finish updating [and scrubbing and cleaning] our pantry by Monday morning, when I return to work after the Christmas holidays. Because I have achieved absolutely nothing over the Christmas holidays other than eat my own weight in soft cheese and chocolate while entertaining friends and family. This is the equivalent of me starting an essay the night before it’s due. Look! I was productive! See!