Learn to paint wallpaper borders

Painted wall borders can add personal decorative touches to almost any room. Playful borders done in cookie cutter shapes give brightness and color to children’s rooms and play areas. Designs and shapes cut from potatoes can give a uniform, comfortable feel to dens and living rooms. Instead of reaching for expensive wallpaper border, try designing your own.

Measure a Border

You can measure a room border using several different methods. The easiest perhaps, is to use a yardstick or tape measure and mark off the desired height of the border. Once this is done, use a yardstick and pencil (or marking chalk and string) to mark the line uniformly on the walls to be painted.
Free–form borders are those which are not entirely uniform. Free form borders are perfect for play areas and children’s rooms. Splash designs in diagonal patterns, zig-zags, or any pattern you choose. You won’t need to measure free-form borders, though it’s a good idea to at least chalk a general pattern on the wall before you begin.

Cookie Cutter Borders

Common household cookie cutters can be used in more rooms than just the kitchen! Use cookie cutters to add color and playfulness to children’s rooms, bathrooms, or play rooms.

What you’ll Need

• Cookie cutters
• Acrylic paints
• Flat craft paintbrushes
• Pencil

1. Measure and mark your border. Cookie cutter borders can be done free-form, as well, adding to their playfulness.
2. Using a pencil or marking tool, trace around cookie cutter so that it leaves a visible mark on the area you’ll be painting. Continue tracing until you’ve covered the entire border area to be painted.
3. Using your paintbrush, paint inside the shapes you’ve just traced on to the wall.
4. If desired, outline each shape with a separate color or paint the color in between cutter shapes.

Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

Glow in the Dark paints can be used to paint stars, moons, suns and other shapes on a child’s bedroom ceiling.
USE different cookie cutter shapes to create a theme in a room. For example, a combination of hearts, hands, and gingerbread men make a nice touch in a nursery area.
Potato Print Borders
Potatoes provide creative minds with an inexpensive way to add design and flair to any room. With a little imagination, a few tools, and a couple vegetables, you can quickly become a seasoned interior designer. Potato printing is best done on flat surfaces, including walls, bookshelves, frames, and similar surfaces.

What you’ll Need

• Potatoes
• Felt-tip or craft marking pen
• Exacta or craft knife
• Flat dish

1. Measure and mark your border.
2. Cut a potato in half and clean thoroughly with warm water. Dry with paper towel.
3. Use a craft pen or felt-tip pen to draw a design, initials, or similar item on to the flat edge of the potato. If you make a mistake, simply trim away 1/2-inch of the potato with a sharp knife and begin again.
4. When you are satisfied with your design, use an exacta or craft knife to cut your design into the potato.
5. Pour your paint into a flat bottomed dish, such as a glass pie pan or paint lid.
6. Place the potato into the paint gently, so that the paint covers your design.
7. Try stamping a few “samples” on to a piece of paper first to make sure you’re satisfied with your design.
When you are, lightly stamp your design on to the wall using firm, even pressure and equal amounts of paint.

Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

You can also use pumpkin carving tools to design and scoop out your pattern from the potato.
USE stencils to trace intricate designs on potatoes.
You can make your own stencil by creating it on paper first and then pinning it to the potato. With a craft marking tool, trace and cut through your outline.
Designer Sponge Paint Borders
Household sponges can be used for more than just mopping up spills. The unique texture of sponges makes them an easy way to add a colorful border to almost any room!

What you’ll Need

• Sponges
• Pen
• Scissors
• Flat dish

1. Mark and measure your border.
2. Add warm water to a clean sponge and wring out so that it is only slightly damp.
3. Use a pen and make a design your sponge stamp. You can make a shape, initials, or multi-level pattern.
4. Cut the design from your sponge using a craft knife or scissors.
5. Pour small amount of paint into a shallow dish, such as a pie plate or paint cover.
6. Gently push your sponge into the paint. (You may want to practice applying your design to a sheet of paper first. When you’re satisfied with the appearance and technique you’ll use, continue.) Using a firm hand, gently push the sponge on to the wall in an even manner. Repeat around the entire border until you are satisfied with the appearance.

Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

USE a cookie cutter to cut fun shapes from sponges for children’s rooms, bathrooms, or play rooms.

1. Measure and mark your wall border.
2. Place small amount of acrylic paint into a shallow dish.
3. Gently push rubber stamp into paint.
4. Apply gentle pressure to the stamp as you place it against the wall. Firm, even pressure and a small amount of paint will ensure a uniform appearance.

Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

THE LARGER the stamp pattern, the easier it is to stamp your border.
Paint the inside of the stamp to add even more color and design to your border. Use acrylic paints and small craft brushes to detail stamp patterns.