Tag Archives | decor

Make | Rental Friendly Polka Dot Wall

DIY Rental Friendly Polka Dot Wall | Blackbird Darlin

If there’s one thing I don’t believe in when it comes to decorating, it’s minimalism.

I can’t even bring myself to post the “before” pic of this wall because it was so boring. (And depending on your humor, I either have really awesome or really terrible timing at snapping the above “after” photo) I’ve seen this done with paint, but I’m always reluctant to use paint since I’m a renter. Enter the always useful Contact paper! No damage to your walls, easy to remove, and inexpensive. A DIY trifecta of awesome. Here’s what you’ll need if you wanna makeover your own wall…

Materials Needed:

  • 1 roll of black Contact paper (I used the Chalkboard type…looked great!)
  • 1″ circle punch (mine is an old EK Success Paper Shaper)

Other Handy Things:

  • 1.5″ wide painters tape
  • ruler
  • level
  • Sharpie or pen
  • scissors
  • aluminum foil and/or wax paper to keep your punch from gumming up too much


Step 1) Punch out a crap load of polka dots. The number of dots needed will depend on the size of your wall. Mine is 7.25 x 10.8 ft and it takes approximately 630 dots to cover that entire area. Put a tv show on.

Helpful Hint- sometimes paper punches get fickle when cutting out stuff that’s not actually paper. Periodically punching through aluminum foil or wax paper will help to keep it working smoothly. Aluminum foil helps sharpen a punch, wax paper helps to keep it from sticking.

Seriously though, you will probably hit some snaggy circles at some point, just keep at it or use scissors to round them off a bit. Don’t be gentle or slow with your punching either, they hate that.

Step 2) Decide if you are going to apply the dots willy nilly or neat and orderly. If choosing willy nilly then ignore all but Step 8.

Step 3) Oh God, you’ve chosen neat and orderly. Don’t worry, it’s actually not that hard…the first few rows will be a bit tedious, but once I had several rows done, I got to the point of eye-balling most of my dot positions, and it moved a lot faster. Have the following items near you…


Step 4) Peel off the backing, and go ahead and stick on your first dot. I chose to begin at a top corner of my wall, 1.5″ down from the ceiling.

Step 5) Grab your painters tape and apply (horizontally) underneath your first dot. I was doing this by myself, so I tore off strips of tape a few feet or so long at a time. If you’ve got a buddy with you, or your wall isn’t that large, it’ll be easier to line the whole length of your wall. Use a level to make sure you’re not sticking the painters tape on the wall all wompy-jawed or your first rows are going to look like you did this drunk.

Step 6) Using your ruler and a Sharpie, mark where you want your next dots to go on the top edge of the tape. I wanted mine spaced 6″ apart, so I drew a line on my painters tape every 7″ since the size of my dots were 1″ each.

Step 7) Now do the same thing, but on the bottom edge of your tape and make a mark in between the marks on the top…if you’re using the same punch size and distance as me, then just put a mark 3.5″ in between your top markings. Here’s a picture that will hopefully better explain what I’m talking about…



Step 9) Repeat the painters tape process. If you’ve got a good eye, then just gauge where to place the next ones instead of measuring them out with your ruler. The great thing about this is that they’re repositionable, so take a step back every now and then to see how you’re doing.

DIY Rental Friendly Polka Dot Wall | Blackbird Darlin

DIY Rental Friendly Polka Dot Wall | Blackbird Darlin

Waiting to take off all the painters tape will give a much more dramatic effect to finishing your wall, but I only got about halfway done before I started peeling and squealing.

Now, go forth and polka dot your world.


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Make | Slide Pocket Mini Photo Holder

Slide/Coin Pocket Tag Photo Holder | Blackbird Darlin

This started out as a card, but then developed into something a bit different. I mean, technically, it could still BE a card, but I like it better as a…thing. A photo holder if you will.

I took a 6″ x 9 1/4″ piece of white cardstock and folded it in half (lengthwise), then added some polka dot and wood-grain paper to the front. From a slide holder sheet, cut out one row, and attach to the front with brads. A paper piercer is going to come in handy at the “insert brad” step.

Slide/Coin Pocket Tag Photo Holder | Blackbird Darlin

The tags are 1 5/8″ x 3 1/4″ so mini pics will work best. Trim them down to fit the tags, date stamp (if desired) and add ribbon to the top. The best thing about this is that it’s super easy to change them out, just make another tag and slide it into the pocket.

And there you have it! Something new for your mantel. Or to send in the mail to someone who likes pictures of you.


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