In our last exhibition ‘Progress’ we used this oldie (not too old) to cover a wall dividing the exhibition hall in two. Using the potato wallpaper instantly gave a homely feel to the big space. We decided we needed to revalue this piece of paper and give it a well-earned spot on the website.
DIY Free Potato Wallpaper was printed in Magazine Apartamento in 2009. Unfortunately this issue of Apartamento is not available anymore. Off course we want to make the wallpaper accessable to every single one of you. From today on you can download DIY Free Potato wallpaper from the website. If you use it, do share your pictures with us!
Original article in ‘Apartamento’ (an everyday life interiors magazine – issue #04): The free potato wallpaper
Well…free…okay…so you have to buy the paper and pay for the copies yourself, but the design is free.
I like the idea of giving away stuff for free. I have always liked making presents for birthdays or other occasions. There is something innocent about presents that makes them better tan stuff bought for money. I think the main reason for that is that it is so much less pretentious when it is for free. The same goes for almost any DIY project that you do yourself.
This project is meant to be anything but pretentious so please treat it that way. There is allready enough pretention in Design as it is today.
When my intern, Charlotte Dumoncel d’Argence (who worked a lot on this project) came up with a picture of a potato, I just couldn’t refuse it, because it was so ‘nothing’ and would have the right low-key-innocent-ridiculousness to it. The wallpaper on the grey A4 papers has been in my private office now for almost a month now and it has really transformed into a place where I like to be.
SOME TIPS FOR APPLYING THE DIY POTATO-WALLPAPER:
To make your own potato wallpaper you have to enlarge all four A5 potato prints from the magazine onto A4 paper. The pages in this magazine are a bit bigger than A5 and it is quite important for repetition sake to have it enlarged properly. Take one corner of the A5 that is also the corner of the magazine as a reference point for the enlargement. Most copiers have a standard enlarge from A5 to A4 button, some have one that enlarges A4 to A3 well...this is the same button. If yours doesn’t have a button like that just enlarge it by 141 percent (141,42 percent to be more precise). There is usually a marking on the copier itself that explains where to put the A5 to make it A4. If copied properly, the A4 copies can be used both ways, hence also upside down. This way you can make the wallpaper in a way that doesn’t make it feel like a repetition of only four A4 papers. Using all 4 versions randomly also helps a lot. Feel free to copy the potato patterns on the following pages on any colored paper you like. Personally we think grey is the best of all the attempts we did. Pink, light green and other pastels also work quite nice. Full colours, like bright green or red are very dominant and white doesn’t really ‘gel’ that good. It just looks to much like a photocopy… but if that is what you like, you can also try that. The good thing about grey is that it is a perfect background color… and since it will be in the background in most views…
To paste the wallpaper onto the wall use normal wallpaper glue. Most wallpaper glue that you mix yourself from dry powder needs a few hours to be at its best. It would be good to prepare the glue first and then run off to the copy shop. When you glue the paper onto the wall, put plenty of glue on the paper, we did two layerson the back side and one on the front (image) side. All glue was applied with a normal big fat paintbrush. The paper should be very wet when it goes onto the wall. This is good, because then it is slightly swollen end when drying, it will shrink and leave a smooth result. It even wouldn’t hurt to let the paper soak a little inbetween putting glue on it and putting the paper on the wall. When the paper is on the wall, we used the same brush to give the whole wall another coat of wallpaper glue on top of the images. Whatever you do, don’t put glue only on the wall and stick dry papers on to it… it simply doesn’t work.
if you don’t want to go to the copycenter to copy your wallpaper but want to get it from your printer make sure your printer is a laser printer. Inkjet printers will deliver a non-waterproof print that will be destroyed with the first touch of wet wallpaper glue. All in all it would not be a bad idea to make a few tests on your own wall. As a guidance we marked the wall with one horizontal stripe in the middle of the wall that was perfectly level and started from there. Another tip for putting up any wallpaper: always start at the windo or the biggest lightsource. It sounds silly, but that way when 2 pages accidently overlap a bit the light will shine into the gap on will not cast a shadow and it will not accentuate the overlap. This tip came from my dad, who is a house painter, and wallpapered many walls for a living all his life.