Making Over a Closet With Wallpaper

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Adding Wallpaper to a Closet

I gave the kids closets a makeover by bringing in better storage solutions and adding decorative wallpaper.

adding wallpaper to a closet

Disclosure: Murals Your Way provided me with this amazing removable Tiger mural and I’m crazy about it.

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Since we’ve moved into the rental a little more than a year ago, I’ve been tackling smaller spaces around the house. Arthur and Louisa share a very sweet room together and I’d already given them a little reading nook shown here and a space for Louisa’s doll clothes here.

Arthur and Louisa's Room After

But one area that needed some attention was their closets. We needed to put dressers into the closet for space reasons, and we used two old dressers we’d had for years. After months of Arthur and Louisa using these dressers, it was clear that both had issues and the room was littered with clothes as a result. So these had to be replaced.

closet before

There was also an old Closetmaid system in each closet, but most of the clips were broken so the wire shelving was pretty precarious. Obviously, given the rental… I couldn’t graduate to anything more extensive or upscale than the wire shelves and I didn’t really care to replace the broken clips. Ultimately the needs of the closets were more storage AND storage that the kids could easily access. So step #1 was a trip to Ikea to grab some new dressers and some new storage. I grabbed the Malm dresser, one of the Trofast storage units and then the hanging Skubb shelves.

adding Ikea storage to kids closet

With those loaded in place, the storage needs were addressed but the appearance of the closets was bland at best. One thing I’ve reached for a TON in the rental has been the instant pop of drama and fun that removable wallpaper brings. Murals Your Way will print not only custom murals but also adapt their existing removable murals to different sizes or layouts and these tigers were amazing.  

tiger mural from murals your way

The aqua background of this Crouching Tiger paper matched the rest of the room, but I also thought the tigers themselves were a fun detail. I checked with both Louisa and Arthur and they loved the tigers as well. I shared this post on removable wallpaper a while ago, but here are some of my tips:

Tip 1. Make sure you start with a level vertical guideline

I was lucky that the back corner of the closet was level, so I was able to install the wallpaper from left to right starting at the back wall.

wallpaper progress in closet

Tip 2. Work in small sections

This is my biggest tip and made this installation relatively smooth sailing. Peel back a small section of the backing paper and then rip it away from the wallpaper so you don’t have a bulky tail of peeled backing paper. Once you’ve lined up the pattern, peel and rip away another strip of the backing paper. For me I’ve always been able to smooth out the paper with no bubbles the easiest when I apply the wallpaper on the diagonal (versus straight up and down).

trimming wallpaper to size

Tip 3. Corners

Corners can be tricky but leaving the backing paper on the wallpaper before wrapping it around the corner will help a lot. I removed the backing paper and smoothed the wallpaper into the corner and then removed the backing paper and smoothed the rest of the wallpaper.

Tip 4. Have a sharp blade handy

Especially when navigating corners, you might find yourself with bubbles trapped under the paper that you just can’t smooth out. Make a small incision in the paper to release the air and you should be able to smooth out the wallpaper.

trimming the edge with a sharp blade

I removed the lower Closetmaid wire shelf and just covered the anchors with the removable wallpaper. I wanted to leave myself the option of reinstalling the wire shelf so I didn’t remove/ fill in the anchor holes. I chose to leave the top shelf so I installed the wallpaper up until the bottom of this shelf and then installed the top strip of paper separately above the shelf.

adding wallpaper mural to closet

I always *know* that wallpaper or paint will make a difference but it isn’t until I step back and SEE it that I realize what a huge impact it can have. The colorful tigers are a really fun surprise in each of the closets and because the rest of the room is somewhat neutral, this surprise bit of pattern is a wonderful finishing touch. Just for fun… let’s remember the before:

kids closet before

AAAAAnd the glorious after:

closet makeover after

wallpaper in the background of closets

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wallpapered closet

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