High Heels and Training Wheels: DIY: Cheap and Easy Accent Wall for Under a Dollar



DIY: Cheap and Easy Accent Wall for Under a Dollar

Winter is upon us. Well not per the calendar exactly, but mother nature seems to think it is. November 16 and we're salting the roads already. And cold weather for me = no bueno. I huddle down like a hermit in my house. I'm fully considering acquiring a Snuggie. Don't judge me. But my "fashion" blog ends up really only being a fashion blog for about 8 months of the year. The other 4, I'm wrapped in a blanket.....or soon too be a Snuggie.

So, since I'm like an animal and I pretty much hibernate, I usually start some indoor DIY projects to keep myself busy.

And since this is a relatively new home for us, there are plenty of blank slates waiting to be DIY'd upon. And when I say blank, I mean completely stark, bare, nothingness type blank. There ain't nothin' goin on on these here walls....except for maybe the seam between drywall panels because the previous owner was hasty in his renovations. Hey, what do you expect from a house built in the 1940s?

And while I want a minimal, monochromatic look for this room, this was just a little tooooo minimal. I wanted the walls to stay white; in fact, I purposely painted them white. But it needed something. And just like all other aspects of my life, I always stay true to my frugal nature. So I've created an entire focal wall for....wait for it....88¢! Yep! Less than a dollar! Of course, I can't take full credit for the idea. I originally found it on, you guessed it, Pinterest. The original blog post I found used washi tape but it was black....and so is electrical tape. So in my money saving endeavors, with a dollar and some willpower in my pocket, I headed to the hardware store and thus my accent wall began.

All you need is

  • electrical or washi tape
  • scissors or a utility knife- I preferred cutting with scissors, my husband preferred the utility knife
  • a ruler or a tape measure
  • a pencil- with an eraser

I started by mapping out a grid on the wall. I wanted my "+" to be 10" apart but to keep my lines more uniform and to make sure things lined up properly and I didn't end up with crooked lines, I went ahead and marked every 5" down the wall. I started from the floor up and I ended with some awkward space up top, so I recommend starting at the ceiling and working your way down instead. I just wrote with pencil directly on my wall because you couldn't see any marks once I erased it. You might want to test this to make sure it can be erased on your wall. I have a fairly glossy paint so I had no problems but if pencil marks won't come off your wall finish, you could try using chalk. A chalk line would be great for this project, but I didn't have one and was trying to keep this project as cheap as possible. If you felt like opting for one though, this job could go much quicker.

Then I flipped and marked every 5" going across the wall. I just noted where my vertical marks met up with my horizontal marks to know where the tape would go. Then I went back through and erased every other mark, so my tape would go on the 10" marks instead of the 5" marks. 

I really had to zoom and enhance for the pencil marks to show up so excuse the photo quality on this one!
This probably sounds more complicated than it needs to; you can see in the picture above which marks I'm referring to. You could really just mark every 10 inches instead of messing with the extra marks but the first time I tried that, things didn't line up properly and my measurements were off.

Once I had all of my marks mapped out, I started cutting my tape pieces. I cut mine to 2 inches. It seemed a good size but you could really make these as big or small as you like. I didn't count, but it seemed like a billion pieces. It's easy, mindless work but it is time consuming. The husband and I just cut them while  watching TV.....Ripper Street in case you were curious. My pieces aren't perfect; some are too long, some too short, some crooked. My daughter wanted to help too and who am I to deny her fun? They still turned out though, so don't worry too much about perfect pieces. 

Once you have your pieces cut, you'll start adding them to the wall by placing your first piece vertically over your mark. 

Then place the horizontal piece in the center of your vertical piece. Continue a thousand times until.... Ta da! Accent wall for under a dollar!

 What a difference a dollar makes, huh? You probably didn't need a blow-by-blow on how to do this; you cut some tape and stick it to your wall. Not exactly rocket science. But....well....I had already taken all the pictures. Might as well use them, right? :)

This is really great for a big impact on a small budget, but it would also be great for renters. I had to move and remove some of these pieces a couple of times and the tape comes off easily and leaves no marks on the wall. You can easily take them off, change them out, whatever. You might initially think it's a little janky to have electrical tape on your wall, but how different from those vinyl decals is it really? I looked up an identical vinyl design online and it was $30 for 90 decals. I didn't count exactly, but this is way cheaper, for sure!

I hope I inspired you to do a little frugal DIY while you're holed up this winter! Until next time....
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