DIY:  Non-permanent Collage Wall

The teenager in me still loves a magazine collage.

I wanted to bring this element to my sewing/craft room as inspiration in the form of fashion and art/design images that I had been tearing out of magazines for years and collecting for just such a project.  However, knowing how my tastes change and not wanting to make a design mistake that I would regret for years to come, I decided to come up with a quick non-permanent solution to my desires.  It’s simple enough – I just used posterboard as the barrier between my collected pics, the adhesive, and the actual wall.  This gives me the flexibility to change out images as I get the whim or take out the installation altogether with little to no evidence of it ever being in existence.

Since there is a chair rail in the room where these were going, I decided to only put them on the bottom half of the wall (kind of like wallpaper).  I measured my wall and bought enough posterboard to cover it, taking into account that I’d need to overlap a little.

I then simply sprayed each tear-out with a spray adhesive and placed it on the posterboard in a manner that was pleasing to my eye, being careful to overlap everything and balance the composition of color, B&W, negative space, etc.

Posterboard collage

I did this until I had covered enough pieces of posterboard to cover the wallspace I had identified.  Once I had enough, I cut each poster to size.  I needed to cut a hole for an outlet, and I also had both an outside and inside corner.  I found that it was easier to place the poster directly on the wall where I wanted it, use a bone folder to crease the posters where I needed to cut them, and then move the poster to a safe surface cut with an Exacto knife.
After that I just used simple thumbtacks to attach each poster to the wall.  Now I just have to figure out how to mask that ghastly electrical box…

The entire project only took me a couple of hours to complete.  A couple of quick warnings I want to give, though:

  • I used repositionable mounting spray on my first go thinking it would give me the flexibility to move tear-outs around if I didn’t like their placement, but this proved to not be able to withstand our Florida humidity, so I definitely recommend using the regular spray adhesive instead.
  • Speaking of humidity, it can wreak a little havoc on your posterboard causing it warp a little, so if you live in a high-humidity area like we do, you want to take extra care to get your posters tightly attached to the wall in multiple places with your thumbtacks.
  • Also, be prepared to have super sticky fingers after using the adhesive spray.  This stuff doesn’t really come off after washing with soap & water either.  If this is a deal-breaker for you, you can just throw on some latex gloves while gluing.
  • Lastly, I recommend performing the gluing step outdoors since spray adhesive does have a habit of over-sharing its lovely stickemness (waiting for a call from Webster’s for that one!).  I just set up a card table outside and covered it with newsprint to protect it.

3 thoughts on “DIY:  Non-permanent Collage Wall

  1. Very cool and creative. JC Penney’s sells magnetic curtain rods which you could use to cover the electrical box, using a very cool and creative curtain, of course. Just a suggestion. Hey, have you considered going on one of the challenge shows on HGTV? You could be the next star! Really..


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