London-based French jewelry designer and stylist Emma Cassi sees unusual things with her stylist eyes—things that might pass the rest of us by. When her grandmother passed away leaving boxes of antique lace, Cassi transformed the lace into what has become her signature line of handmade jewelry. (The blogosphere is full of admirers, from fashion designer Pearl Lowe to London's Queen of Homemade Sania Pell.) Here at Remodelista we like the uses Cassi sees for wallpaper. We asked her to fill us in on how she transformed a lace-like fern wallpaper into a DIY headboard for her own bedroom. She insists it's easy:
Unless otherwise noted, photography by Emma Cassi.
- Paper to practice drawing the curved pattern of your headboard (plus a large roll of paper if you want to make a scale-size mockup)
- Scissors or a cutting knife
- Measuring tape
- Wallpaper (Cassi used a design by Cath Kidston that's since been discontinued. See below for similar patterns.)
- Wallpaper adhesive
Above: Cassi found the scrolling silhouette of her headboard in the decorative border of an old French book. "You need to find a nice curving pattern—or use mine. Practice drawing it on blank paper, so you're to be able to do it on the wallpaper," she says.
Above: Cassi has a steady-enough hand that after sketching the desired shape, she drew her headboard directly onto the wallpaper and cut it out in sections. For novices like us, she recommends first cutting out a small mockup of the design, shown here. In order to make sure your pattern is completely symmetrical, draw one half of the final shape on a piece of paper, layer it on top of another sheet of paper, and cut out the shape. (The concept is similar to drawing half a heart on a folded piece of paper.) Continue to do this for the outer edge pieces until you have a complete maquette.
Above: Lay out the pieces; the dimensions of your headboard will depend on the dimensions of your bed. Next, you can create a full size mockup of the pattern to trace onto the back of the wallpaper, or you can draw the pattern onto the wallpaper freehand, and cut it out. Note that you'll need to make sure that from piece to piece the seams in the wallpaper pattern match up.
Above: This is the tricky part: applying the wallpaper. Cassi recommends simply following the instructions that come with your wallpaper adhesive, and using a sponge to wipe off excess glue or paste. Pick up some pointers from Michelle in her recent Gardenista post DIY: Botanical Wallpaper—and be assured that this project is much simpler.
Above: If you look carefully, you can see that Cassi has lined up her seams to match perfectly.
Above: Cassi's wallpaper headboard adds another layer to the assorted textures of her bedding. "I chose a neutral wallpaper with a small pattern because our bedroom already has a lot of objects on display," she says. Photograph by Kristin Perers.
Above: For those of you who aren't sure about your drawing and cutting skils, Cassi suggests using Brooklyn Tins Wallpaper from Merci in Paris. "This could be fun as just a plain rectangle above your bed," she says. "I would also love to play with Piet Hein Eek wallpapers and find a good shape that could give an illusion of wood carving."