“temporary” wallpaper

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For the last few weeks I have been looking forward to sharing how to hang permanent wallpaper in a temporary way. I did a lot of research, considered the options, and decided upon the best plan of action that would not only allow us to easily remove the wallpaper, but also reuse it in a future home.

We even brought in the professionals, Kim and Scott, to help us with our mission. (No, they are not actually professionals, but they are as close as you come.)

After combing through dozens of (mostly) half baked ideas on how to hang wallpaper in a rental, we came upon the most sane solution that didn’t require us to wallpaper an entire wall of foam boards/plywood or nail it in place. 

I know that many of you might also be scratching your heads wondering why I didn’t just pick a sticky, temporary wallpaper to begin with. The truth is that I have been in love with Oh Joy’s Hygge & West Petal Pusher in my all-time favorite color combo, white and gold, for years. In fact, my canvas art that got me on the Nate Show was inspired by her wallpaper.

And the idea of turning our ho-hum 9’9″x12′ master bedroom into something other than a white, bland box was irresistible. Seriously, it was looking a bit blah.

The room is so small I have a hard time capturing the wall we wallpapered without a wide angle lens. But this gives you a pretty good idea of how boring the space was originally.

The best temporary tape to use with wallpaper, that would also not show through the paper, and was most likely to not stick to the wall permanently was Frog Tape’s Delicate Surface. It’s light yellow, made to remove from wallpaper easily, and is the lightest stickiness level of painters tape.

I even told the team at Frog Tape about my plan and they were so excited to see the results they sent us a few boxes of the tape to use for the project.

Things were looking good.

Last Saturday Mr. Lively, Kim, Scott, and I assembled as a team. We had our game plan set, and our supplies ready.

Kim and I measured each piece of wallpaper to line up with the next (a tricky business with the bold flower outlines). We decided on a vertical stripe pattern.

While we worked on the papers, the guys worked on outlining the wall in Frog Tape, too.

Once they had the tape stripes in place, they layered on the double sided tape (we got ours from Uline).

Though this looks simple, this took us hours to do.

After trying the vertical stripes, we realized smoothing was going to be a major problem.

So we switched to a horizontal repeat instead.

This meant we had to remove the tape on the wallpaper and the wall. Thank goodness we had the yellow Frog Tape, it stuck when we needed it to, and peeled easily away when we needed to start over.

And after five hours of hard work we had two strips in place.

But as you can tell, no matter how hard we tried to smooth the paper down perfectly on the tape, bubbles inevitably popped up.

Someone even mentioned that the installation made it look like cheap wrapping paper.

Which was devastating after getting so pumped to ‘finally crack the code’ to hanging permanent wallpaper temporarily.

So we took it all down and lived with it for a few days.


And found a really, really great husband and wife team that hang wallpaper beautifully. The traditional way. (Email me if you’d like their Chicago info!)

It turns out that removing this wallpaper is as simple as heating the wallpaper with a blowdryer and slowly removing the strips.

Who knew it would be that easy all along.

So I really am sorry, guys. I thought I would be able to share an easy way to hang wallpaper temporarily, but at least I’ve tried a way that I would not recommend for large walls or reflective wallpaper. I suppose that’s a win, right?

Plus, the end result is still beautiful, regardless of our failed attempts. And that’s really all that matters.


I’d like to thank Hygge & West for their support and Frog Tape for donating their tape for this endeavor! 

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  1. I was following along with Kim and Scott’s Instagrams and pretty much fist pumping the air in support all along!!! Even though Plan A didn’t quite work as planned, Plan B is stunning, sophisticated, perfection…Well done!!

  2. ohraq

    How did you find people willing to install it this way? (for someone not chicago-based?)

  3. Taylor

    I love it!!!! But what I love just as much – are those gold lamps – where are they from???? I need!!!!!!!

  4. kelsey

    ha! i love your efforts here. sorry it didn’t work out they way you had hoped, but it seriously looks awesome!

  5. Everything about this space is gorgeous. I love the bedding, the headboard, the lamps. And I agree, the wallpaper looks infinitely better than the plain white walls! I’m sure it was frustrating to spend that much time on something that didn’t work but the end result is amazing!

  6. Helena

    I have that wallpaper in blue and white but we haven’t hung it yet because I love it so much and am not sure where it should go. That’s probably kind of silly (why own something you can’t use??). I need to hang it, so I may have to ask you for that hanger recommendation.

  7. Gloria

    Wow, what a valiant effort! It stinks that it didn’t work out, but the end result looks fantastic 🙂 I’ve had my eye on that Oh Joy wallpaper for quite a while now!

  8. Jess

    Ohraq: Thanks so much for your comment! I found someone who does traditional wallpaper with paste for the final results. I found him specifically based on a friend’s referral who had used him in the past.

    The temporary taping option was something my friends Kim and Scott helped us try, but did not work out for us.

    Taylor, they were from Ballard Designs, I believe. A year and a half ago. : )

    Helena, just sent you his info!

  9. Oh man, what a bummer that the temporary attempt didn’t work, but I’m so glad you were able to hang it one way or another – it looks amazing! I like Tempaper but they need some of Joy’s amazing designs!

  10. Lauren

    Wow it looks gorgeous. It looks like it makes a huge difference in the room.

  11. Hanah

    Jess, how many rolls did you use to wallpaper one wall? Thanks. It looks great

  12. Jess

    Hanah, I think we used 2.5 but that is because one strip got tossed… so it might have been possible to do with just two rolls if we were more careful. The wall is 12′ L x 8.5′ H, and all wallpaper is different sizes/lengths. But that’s what we used!

  13. Jill

    Jess, this is SO beautiful and definitely worth all the hard work! I would love to put wallpaper up in our home, but I have serious commitment issues with home stuff and never pull the trigger on it! 🙂

    May I ask where the headboard is from? Very pretty!

  14. Jess

    Jill, it’s from West Elm -Tall Grid Tufted Headboard. : )

  15. Nova Fiana Lillie

    Hey Jess, I love your taste! I have been eyeing on this wallpaper since i moved but turns out the new house has textured wall. Do you think I can still do it on a textured wall? 🙁 I would really want to avoid a sanding work for a wall. I would like your input if you have any experience in this area.


    1. Hmm… my gut reaction is no, it won’t be a good idea to put wallpaper, especially shiny, reflective wallpaper on a textured wall.

      But you could always try calling a professional in your area and asking for their pro opinion. : )

      1. Raejon Makonnen

        Jamie can you give me the link to that blog please!! Your results are awesome

        1. Jamie

          Thank you!! I don’t have a blog. I just followed her instructions 🙂

  16. Ves

    What do you think about wallpapering an old ugly flat door? Do you think the Frog Tape would stick? I’ve been avoiding hanging it the traditional way for a year now. I’ve done it before and hated every minute!

    1. I think the Frog Tape would stick, but I don’t think that it would come out as smoothly as actually wallpapering the door, from what we experienced with our attempts at the wall.

  17. paula peterson

    I read your article about wallpaper and thought you might be able to help me find out what tape I could use to tape wallpaper when wrapping gifts. I tried all sorts of tape, but my packages kept opening up.
    Thank you very much.

    1. Hmm! I’ve never tried using wallpaper for wrapping presents that I can remember, so I’m not sure I have any official advice… but perhaps painters tape, like we used here, might work better? Or duct tape?

  18. Idriss Alabi

    Hi Jess,
    Can you please explain your methodology to cut the paper rolls without making a mess? Thanks

  19. gr8scott

    Hi Jess! Great job. One question…Exactly what products and instructions did the professional wallpaperers give you to apply your paper? I want to do this but missed the “how to” part. Please help!! LOL

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