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DIY: Learn How To Make Your Own Wall Border

Is your living room lacking that finishing touch? Or perhaps your kitchen just seems to be missing something? Well, one of the best ways to add style and bring a room together is by adding a wall border. Though many of us associate wallpaper and borders with our grandparents, wall borders don’t have to be dowdy looking. Instead, there are many unique colors, designs, and materials that can be used to liven up your walls and ceilings. And most wall borders are inexpensive and easy to install! Here are some tips on how you can design and create your own wall border.

Types of Wall Borders
There are many different types of wall borders to choose from, so whatever your style, you will be sure to find one that’s perfect for you. Some of the most popular types of borders include:


  • painted borders
  • stamped borders
  • wallpaper borders
  • stone borders
  • wood borders and molding



Wallpaper Borders

Wallpaper borders are timeless classics that are easy to install and very inexpensive. Wallpapers are perfect at ceiling height, chair rail height, or when paired with crown molding!

What You Will Need


  • self-adhesive wallpaper border (one spool per wall)
  • wall prep (helps wallpaper stick to walls)
  • straight edge or knife
  • ruler and level
  • sponge and bucket of water
  • chalk
  • vinyl glue


How To Make the Border


  • Start at one corner of the room. Measure your wall border with two inches extra on either side.
  • Using your sponge, wet the wallpaper border. Water allows the adhesive to activate.
  • Hang the wallpaper, allowing two inches extra overhang on the other wall. Using your damp sponge, smooth out air bubbles and remove excess adhesive.
  • Overlap strips by half an inch.
  • When doing the corners, allow the border to overlap the corner by 1 to 2 inches. Using your knife, cut away the excess and glue down the edges with your vinyl glue.
  • Remember to try and plan ahead to be sure that you match your patterns and seams.



Chair Rail Border

A chair rail runs around the walls of your room at about chair-height. Available in a variety of materials and colors, including a number of natural woods, chair rails add that perfect finishing touch to living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens!

What You Will Need


  • chair railing (measure the linear footage around your room and add 10%)
  • miter box
  • coping saw
  • finishing nails
  • hammer
  • safety goggles
  • wood putty
  • chalk
  • measuring tape


How To Make the Border


  • Begin by measuring exactly where you will place the chair rail on your walls. Chair rails are typically installed 32" from the ground. With your chalk, mark this height every two inches around your walls.
  • Begin to measure your chair railing. Try to choose long pieces of chair rail so that you can use a single piece along each length of wall.
  • Put on your safety goggles. Cut at a 90 degree angle using your coping saw.
  • If you need more than one piece of chair rail for one length of wall, cut the ends of the two pieces at 45 degrees, so they meet neatly.
  • In order to make neat corners, cut the very ends of your chair rail using your miter box. This will measure a perfect corner angle. Cut using your coping saw.
  • Install the railing using finishing nails. Hammer the nails in along the chair rail, being sure to attach them to studs in the walls.
  • Measure and install chair railing for all of the four walls.
  • Paint or stain as desired.



Potato Print Border

This border is great for adding simple but fun borders throughout your house! It’s great for a kid’s room or recreation room!

What You Will Need:


  • one medium-sized potato (which acts as your stencil)
  • one felt tip pen
  • yardstick or measuring tape
  • craft knife
  • paint, in your choice of colors
  • pie plate
  • chalk


How To Make the Border


  • First you need to decide where you would like to place your border. Measure and mark off the width that you want your border to be. Just draw small dots along the wall and then connect these dots using your yardstick and chalk.
  • Cut the bottom third off of your potato.
  • Wash your potato and let it dry.
  • Decide on the design you want to use for your border. Designs should be simple but bold – try squiggly lines, hearts, or moon shapes for the best impact. Using your felt tip pen, draw this design on the cut surface of your potato and then use your craft knife to cut the design out.
  • Wash off the felt tip pen markings and allow potato to dry.
  • Pour a small amount of paint into your pie plate.
  • Dip your potato, design-side down, into the paint. Blot off any excess.
  • Apply the design, much like you would a stamp, to the marked off wall space.
  • Work quickly too avoid drips and smudges.
  • Feel free to mix and match colors. All you need is a few extra potatoes and pie plates of the paint!


Many craft stores carry fun, ready-made stencils that you can also use to create a whimsical wall border.