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Think outside the frame with this DIY wall decal art

Go beyond what can be bought and make something that’s just right.

Go beyond what can be bought and make something that’s just right

(All photography by Lady Hayes)

We all have that one space on a wall we just can't figure out what to do with. I love a good framed photo cluster and shelf vignette as much as the rest of them, but for this space in my house I really wanted something different. After cruising the web for some inspiration I stumbled upon some wall decals you could purchase online. A lot of them were really nice but I just couldn't find one that I loved. That's when I thought I should make one myself! And to make it unique to my space I decided to use a simple gold frame as the anchor of this design, and have the decal surround the frame, inside and outside. I found the image I liked on a stock photo site. I chose to use something floral, obviously haha, but for this project you can really choose anything that suits your space. Simple colourful triangles, big monstera leaves, black and white illustrations of animals and even a phrase you connect with are just a few examples of ideas you can play with. Really, anything works! Now, time to get creative!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Frame - I used a 12 x 16 inch gold frame with the glass and back plate removed
  • Stock photo or illustration
  • Cloth for cleaning wall
  • Scissors
  • Nail and hammer
  • Putty knife

Here's how to do it:

1. I began this project by finding my frame first. I wanted a simple gold frame for this so I scoured a few thrift shops and found something for five bucks. If you don't love the colour of the frame, spray paint is your new best friend. Toss a few coats on it and you're ready to go.

2.  Next I searched a stock image site for something I liked. I found a really lovely tropical floral illustration that would fit my space and frame perfectly. Download the image in the highest resolution you can. I sized my image in Photoshop to fit the frame. If you don't have that software no worries, next step will sort you out.

3. Send your art to a printing house. If you don't have photo editing software at home, they are usually happy to size it for you. The printing house I chose to go with had my decal ready in a few hours and had it delivered to my house for $50.

4. Prepare your wall area by cleaning it with a damp cloth and then let dry.

5. My wall decal needed to be cut around the edges. You can use an X-Acto knife but I prefer small scissors.

6. Hold your decal up to the wall and mark lightly with pencil once in the perfect position.

7. Peel off one corner of the backing paper and press the decal against the wall in line with the marks you made in the last step. Slowly peel off more of the backing and keep pressing the decal down against the wall with your hands. Once decal is in place take a putty knife and smooth out any air bubbles. If you only have a metal one like myself, use a piece of cloth or paper on top of your decal to smooth out. This will ensure you don't scratch the surface of your decal.

8. Now it's time to hang our frame. Hold the frame in place over the decal and mark with pencil once you find the perfect spot for it. Hammer in a nail or use a screw for heavier frame and place on the wall. Or, if you can't find your hammer — like me — use a lemon press! It's that easy!


Lady Hayes is a designer, photographer and mama, known for her beautiful floral inspired projects and lifestyle. Her love of flowers shines through her couture crafted Flower Crowns and Petal Pop, her line of Floral Confetti with sun dried roses and gold confetti glitter. Stay connected! Visit Hayes over on her Instagram or visit her website to shop and say hi!

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