Recycling Wallpaper

You may remember that some time ago I had collected wallpaper samples to use in a collage project with children at Rabbit Ings.  The leftover samples have been bumbling around my craft space and annoying me ever since.  It was time to do something with them.

For some time I’ve been promising myself that I’d do some weaving. I’m going to point the finger at Irene Donovan for origin of the weaving idea.  Irene has produced some beautiful woven wall hangings, and ever since I saw them I’ve wanted to bring weaving into my little craft world.   There was something else I’d seen too.  Ages ago I went to Holmfirth.  I visited the Up Country shop and saw some amazing woven cardboard baskets.  I managed to get hold of some corrugated cardboard last week, but I wanted to try out the technique before cutting the cardboard.

I’d found this tutorial by The Frugal Crafter (Lindsey Weirich has some wonderful craft ideas).  I didn’t particularly want to have to get out the paints to cover newspaper at this point, so I looked for an alternative coloured paper that I could use.  I realised I could use up the wallpaper samples that were rolling around the house.  They were thicker than newspaper, would produce a sturdy basket, and I could select colour combinations from those available.  I wanted to weave square or rectangular baskets, something I could use in my pantry to hold the small bags of dried fruit, nuts and various sachets that tend to fall off the shelves.  A bit more searching and I found another tutorial by Lisa on cucicucicoo.com.

The wallpaper was cut into 4 inch wide strips.  Each strip was folded to produce a 1 inch strip (fold in half, open and fold the edges into the middle, then fold again so that each strip is 1 inch wide).  Then it was just a matter of weaving the base (the baskets are 6 x 6 strips) and gluing with pva along the way.  Three more strips were used to weave the sides (pegs are really useful for holding the strips while the glue sets) and finaly the top edge strips were cut to about 1/2 inch long and a final strip placed over the top of them.  These are the baskets I made:

woven wallpaper basket 1 woven wallpaper basket 2 woven wallpaper basket 3 woven wallpaper basket 4Thought the baskets are not perfect squares, they are perfect for the job I need them to do.  After a few trials the fiddly process became easier.  I’m still building up to using the corrugated cardboard though.

I also managed to complete a folder cover inspired by Anne Brooke.  Strips of torn wallpaper were glued onto a background of brown paper and stitched:

stitched wallpaper picture 1A layer of leaves were stitched onto the background:

stitched wallpaper picture 2And a second layer of leaves:

stitched wallpaper picture 3Flower petals were added and stitched:

stitched wallpaper picture 4Finally the piece was cut (about half an inch longer than the folder top to bottom, and each edge folded inside the folder by abouallowing about 6 inches) to fit a folder .  The edges were stitched, and the edges were again folded in and stitched in place so that it would would fit over a folder.  This is the front:

stitched wallpaper picture 5And here is the back:

stitched wallpaper picture 6Easy!

Thankfully my craft space and my pantry are a little tidier.  I’m now wondering what to do next.  Maybe it’s time to get back to the machine embroidery course.