Create your own wallpaper for under $50

Wallpaper is a great addition to a room. I’m actually a HUGE fan of it when it’s the best option for your design needs – like a bold or intricate pattern. But what about a wall that just needs a little ‘oomph’ added? I then thought, what if I just paint my own pattern? And so my newest project began…

Below you’ll find a step by step tutorial of how I perfected my pattern, kept it straight throughout the whole wall, and successfully painted my own wallpaper.

First things first – you don’t have to be an artist or designer to pull this DIY off! Although it looks daunting, if you follow the steps, it’s hard to mess up. So if you are crafty and find DIY’s relaxing, then this is the project for you!

Supplies Needed

  • Paint – I used Sherwin Williams, Jetstream 6492
  • Painter’s Tape – pictured is Scotch Blue, Original Multisurface
  • Paintbrush – I recommend an angled brush if you are going for a lined pattern like mine, but it will be good to experiment with a few different styles and widths if you have multiple. I ended up choosing a Trylon Filament 2 inch Short Angle.
  • Laser Level – My all time favorite tool! The Ryobi Air Grip Laser Level is my go to. This laser level grips to your wall so you can use it hands free.
  • Large poster paper for practice patterns – Anything will work, just make sure it has some thickness so your paint doesn’t soak through easily. I grabbed a pack at my local Staples.

Step 1 – Pick a pattern, practice, and perfect!


Pinterest is a great resource for this project. I looked at several accent walls, wallpaper designs, and other hand painted walls to get an idea of what kind of pattern I wanted to try. When picking your pattern, the most important thing is to choose a design that is imperfect. Choosing a design that doesn’t have exact angles is the key to this project. A pattern that can have organic brushstrokes will allow you to be more relaxed when painting and leaves less room for error. I also recommend keeping it simple. Choose a design that can be easily made by a simple paint stroke and using just one side of your paint brush. I chose to do short and long vertical strokes with the narrow side of my paint brush.


Once I chose a pattern, I practiced it several times on large sheets of paper. I experimented with various brushes and paint strokes. This is such an important step! What I thought would look great in my head is not what came out on paper my first few tries. Above, you can see how thick and blocky my first practice rounds were. I switched to a smaller brush and relaxed my hand more, resulting in the ends being more tapered. I replicated this one more time to make sure I had the rhythm down and then headed upstairs to start the real deal!

Step 2 – Create reference points on wall

Step 2 is by far the most important step! Although you’re going for a pattern that is ‘imperfect’, you do want to make sure you maintain scale and alignment. To make sure you keep your pattern straight, use a laser level (I highly suggest the Ryobi Air Grip Laser Level) and tape a vertical line all the way down your wall and about 2-3 feet out from the corner to start (the distance really just depends on your comfort level). To maintain your scale, tape your finalized pattern next to the tape so you can reference as you go. You’ll then repeat this step as you move down the wall!

Step 3 – Start painting!

Painting a pattern is all about getting a rhythm going. Turn some music on, get comfortable, and get started! Start slow with your first few strokes. I like to start at a top corner and paint directly across and below and then fill in. Once you get going, you’ll find the stroke will become more natural and comfortable. This wall took me about 3 hours to paint total.

Happy Painting!