Tutorial: Contact Paper Chevron Wall

>> Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Like many city dwellers, we live in an apartment where we are not allowed to paint. At first, I was a little thrown off about what I could do to make the apartment unique and fun without painting. During that same time I had been searching high and low (unsuccessfully) for a navy blue chevron fabric to use for pillows on my sofa. This past fall I was on a big chevron kick. Then the idea came to me... I'll do a chevron on the wall with contact paper! The entire process was very easy, 1 hour start to finish.

1 roll of contact paper
measuring tape
painters tape
exacto blade
optional: architectural triangle

1. Measure the width of your wall.
2. Roll out contact paper to that length, add 2 inches.
3. Contact paper is gridded on the back, so if even if you do not have a triangle, you can figure it out. The triangle made it VERY easy. I aligned it with the bottom of the paper and drew one triangle. Then I took my quilting ruler (you could use a regular ruler) and drew a parallel triangle.

4. Cut out your first chevron and tape, centered, on your wall. Leave the extra inch in the crack of the wall on each side.

 5. To apply to the wall, peel one triangle at a time, ripping the paper off of the backside and smoothing to wall. This is the part that takes a little patience. Once you get it smooth, take your exacto blade, score both ends in the corner, and peel off excess contact paper.

6. Once you get your first one on the wall, measure from the bottom points to where you would like your next row to start. Measure every point and mark with a pencil. This is how you will align your next row.

7. Do the same for the rest of the wall.

 Two people would have made this project easier.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned that in both houses I have tried this in (I did birds in my last house), the walls are lath and plaster, not drywall. Some people have commented that this does not do so well on drywall, so please proceed with caution!! The birds were up for two years and peeled off no problem when we sold the house.

Also, BIG thanks to Design*Sponge for featuring this tutorial! That made my day.


AlliT January 5, 2010 at 9:44 PM  

GREAT idea!! I have been looking for something for a wall in my son's bedroom!! I LOVE this one!!! So I am stealing it... Congrats on a gorgeous room!

And.... Where did you get that deer mount? I have been obsessing over one... HALP!!!!!

LindsB January 5, 2010 at 10:24 PM  

Its even prettier in person! I just LOVE this wall and this idea- you are so smart Mrs Sabbe!

Miss you! xoxox

Emily January 5, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

Bless you for having the patience to do this! It looks awesome. I feel like everytime I try to put contact paper in drawers or cabinets, I have a fit so hopefully this went well for you.

Okay, now you need to give me advice about purchasing a sewing machine...for a beginner. Maybe i'll sign up for your class!

Rebecca January 6, 2010 at 3:02 AM  

It looks so elegant and not too bold as the colours are subtle. You are very good at these tutorials!! I've never seen this kind of paper in England. I've used sticky-backed plastic but I'd love to try some self-adhesive paper. The photo of Zoe made me smile, with her little paw out ready to bat the piece of tape.

nataliecarmen17 January 6, 2010 at 8:33 AM  

I LOVE this idea! Thanks so much for an awesome and inexpensive idea. I've always liked the chevron pattern.

P.S. I "stumbled upon" your blog yesterday and it's one of the most inspiring ones I've ever seen. I'm thanks for all of the pretty and creative ideas!

(^_^) Natalie

Lauren January 6, 2010 at 8:41 AM  

You are so stinkin creative, girl! I love it! And looks like Zoe is enjoying some relaxing time...after her big "help"! :)

Blueprint Bliss January 6, 2010 at 9:12 AM  

Stephanie- such a creative idea and it looks so great!

Peck Avenue January 6, 2010 at 10:16 AM  

So excited you posted this! Im mildly obsessed with chevron and this is definitely on my list of projects to try :)

Nicole Runde January 6, 2010 at 10:21 AM  

found this through design sponge--this is great!! will the contact paper come off without hurting the walls? because i seriously want to try this in my apartment!

Lauren Pressey January 6, 2010 at 10:23 AM  

This is fabulous and it actually looks as easy as you described. Wow!

Emily January 6, 2010 at 10:31 AM  

Just stumbled on your blog - Love it! This idea is just fantastic. one question for you, do you think the contact paper would come off the wall without damaging it? I live in a rental with beige walls and would LOVE to consider doing a similar design on one of my walls. Thanks!!

Lauren January 6, 2010 at 10:35 AM  

This looks so great - what a clever idea!

Jolleen January 6, 2010 at 11:11 AM  

found you via Design*Sponge. this is perfect inspiration for me! i'm moving into an apartment that I can't paint the walls. :( I'd love to try and do a houndstooth print! thank you so much!

Amanda Wright January 6, 2010 at 11:12 AM  

This is *awesome* now I just have to figure out which of my walls is begging to be chevroned!

Mackenzie January 6, 2010 at 11:42 AM  

this is AWESOME! what a great idea. found you via design*sponge and love your blog!

Elizabeth January 6, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

What a great idea! Thanks for the instructions :)

stewart and james January 6, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

wow! great job! it looks fantastic! -a

Sally Fienup January 6, 2010 at 12:17 PM  

Looks great, SS! Love the deer, too!

paula January 6, 2010 at 12:26 PM  

eek! It looks fabulous. I must try this somewhere.

jodi January 6, 2010 at 12:36 PM  

this is absolutely fantastic!! (saw on design*sponge)

jenelisebeth January 6, 2010 at 12:43 PM  

You're on Design*Sponge!!!!

The Home Ec Teachers Daugter January 6, 2010 at 12:57 PM  

Great idea! Ill have to try this out in my apt. hate that i cant paint the walls.

Jen January 6, 2010 at 1:06 PM  

Great idea - love it and adore the color combo with deer! and family models on the couch. Thanks for sharing.

Jaime January 6, 2010 at 1:08 PM  

Wow I am totally impressed- bravo! It looks amazing!

emmy-ray January 6, 2010 at 1:11 PM  

I'm re-decorating every room in my house so thanks for the creative idea. Also love you're deer head, I have one myself.

kelly January 6, 2010 at 1:13 PM  

oh my goodness, it looks wonderful! I think you've inspired me to take the plunge and do the same thing! Did you just use the cheap-o white kind of contact paper?

Also, I'm new to your blog so forgive me if you've covered this before, but where did you find your deer head on the wall?

Southern Exposure January 6, 2010 at 2:39 PM  

I'm on a chevron kick too! I love this - great idea! Thanks for sharing!

thislovelycity January 6, 2010 at 2:52 PM  

Brilliant! It looks wonderful! XO.

Lisa January 6, 2010 at 2:54 PM  

Love it! Thanks for sharing.
(saw on Design*Sponge)

Justine January 6, 2010 at 4:11 PM  

This is great! I love the idea and I have that exact futon so double yay!

Rachel@oneprettything.com January 6, 2010 at 5:44 PM  

Wow, that's beautiful! Thanks so much for the how-to, I'll be linking.

Anonymous,  January 6, 2010 at 6:36 PM  

Yikes! I completely ruined a wall in an apartment with contact paper. The repair bill was intense. Be careful!!!

Cindy January 6, 2010 at 6:49 PM  

wow! I love that idea, and I CAN paint my walls in my apartment! great job!

Katie (Refresh Design Studio) January 7, 2010 at 12:17 AM  

Very cool idea! I love it. I would try it in a heartbeat but I'm worried that it might mess up my drywall. Looks so good in your house though!

Hänni January 8, 2010 at 11:12 AM  

I saw this on design sponge. Fabulous! I can't wait to try this in my living room!

carlee January 8, 2010 at 12:02 PM  

i'm so obsessed with chevron right now...i need to do something like this asap! you are so creative..

and to all...it is gorgeous in person!

Jaime January 8, 2010 at 2:08 PM  

Hey there- I am going to feature this in my Fri Faves! Posts later today :)

Happy weekend!

Martinis or Diaper Genies? January 9, 2010 at 6:42 PM  

this is totally incredible. LIke really.
thoughts on this in a bathroom with real life paint?

Ms. Bright February 4, 2010 at 8:25 AM  

love it love it love it.
thank you for the tutorial.

MyLittleHappyPlace February 4, 2010 at 10:12 AM  

Stephanie, this is one of the most brilliant DIY projects I've ever seen!!
You've turned my nursery ideas on their head - and that's a GOOD thing! Can't wait to try this!

pk @ Room Remix February 9, 2010 at 12:31 PM  

I saw this on Design Sponge and I love it! You did such a great job. I'm featuring it in my post today.

Rachael Anne February 16, 2010 at 9:19 AM  

Luck may have it that I have plaster walls. I'm dreaming of my contact paper project already. Plus, I have a deer mount. I like the way it looks in the middle of your wall. Currently, mine is above our main entryway. I found you through Little Green Notebook and will be posting your project on today's post about chevron.(http://thelovelylifestyle.wordpress.com)

Rene March 21, 2010 at 7:41 PM  

I know you didn't paint the wall its original color, but I really like it with the white chevron. Do you by any chance know what color this is?

She + Him Photography April 10, 2010 at 3:47 PM  

I love this idea!! it looks really great. I'm local in western mass and i photograph alot of interiors. If you ever need any help let me know. here's my blog...


CourtneyOutLoud August 1, 2010 at 6:48 PM  

I just found this post as I am looking to paint a chevron wall in my home. Thank you for the tutorial. This is simply amazing and so creative.

lala October 22, 2010 at 2:55 AM  

Thanks for your post and welcome to check: here

rgoddard April 8, 2011 at 5:56 PM  

Hey! I'm the "unknown source" whose picture you featured with the black walls with the gold painted Moorish Trellis from Royal Design Studios. Love the other work on here! I'm an all white girl,too, so I know what you mean.


Pretty City Things May 16, 2011 at 11:41 AM  

Love this! I'm blogging about decorating rentals without paint so I will link to this for sure!

Anne May 18, 2011 at 10:26 AM  

I've used contact paper for several projects. LOVE the stuff - check out what I did:


BW Captures July 13, 2011 at 3:49 PM  

So funny! I was browsing some other blogs for design ideas for redecorating my apartment and made it back to your blog. I was reading the instructions and scrolling through, then suddenly I'm like "I recognize that guy..." hmmm :) Great work.

Stormy August 18, 2011 at 4:52 AM  

Ah! Wish I would have seen this before I started painting....looks FAB!

Anonymous,  October 14, 2011 at 4:38 PM  

Your photos aren't showing up! :( HELP!

Matt and Ashley October 19, 2011 at 6:17 PM  

Your photos aren't showing up! I'd love to be able to see them, I have a wall in desperate need of chevron inspriation!!

HarleyLikes October 26, 2011 at 5:17 AM  

No Photos ! :( Can you repost, am DESPERATE to try this out! you are the answer to all of us renters' misery! xx

Anonymous,  February 15, 2012 at 3:40 PM  

Saw this on pinterest :). Where did you find your deer or ___ with antlers?

Amanda @ Burlap and Denim March 13, 2012 at 4:48 PM  

LOVE this! Amazing. I love the subtle colors. I'm hosting a chevron link party on my site, I'd love you to link up!

Mike October 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM  

I love how you took a boring wall and made it pretty without painting. You are brilliant. The moose head just adds to it and gives it flare.

Bradrrxd November 1, 2012 at 11:32 PM  

Very cool idea! I love it. I would try it in a heartbeat but I'm worried that it might mess up my drywall. Looks so good in your house though!

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stephey baker January 31, 2013 at 12:20 AM  

This is so simple - TALK ABOUT CREATIVE GENIUS! Thanks for sharing this! I've been searching for chevron wallpaper for my bedroom and it's pricy - love that I can get what I truly want (white pearly back ground w/silver chevron) for a fraction of the price! Can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing, it truly inspired me. :)

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