Printing With Wallpaper


In my quest to use up the large stock of materials I have at home I have spent most of today – since early morning – printing lots of large pieces of fabric. I have used simple, inexpensive materials to produce a big batch of useable prints, which I hope to make good use of in a variety of projects.

For this technique I used several patterns of vinyl wallpaper – the type that was popular in the seventies under what was the brand name Vymura. I think you can still buy similar products now, my label says ‘luxury textured vinyl’ – you just need to be sure that the wallpaper has a high relief design, almost ‘foamy’.


For this project I have used cheap, low quality paints – the garish colours often found in The Works or Hobbycraft. It needs to be inexpensive paint, in large bottles, as you require a large amount for this technique and you need to be able to splosh the paint around with gay abandon! I found it easy to cut off a large chunk of paper from the roll, lay it on the table and then squirt the paint directly on top. I then used rollers to spread it around the paper – work on an old fabric cloth and then you can clean the roller in between each colour spread (if you want to) directly on to the table next to you.


After applying the paint, lay your fabric directly on top, applying pressure with your hands or the roller if you prefer. I used a white polycotton for most of my first prints, but then followed up with a piece of nylon curtain net for the second take. I ran between the table and the line each time, pegging up for the pieces to dry quickly in the wind.


All the pieces of fabric today were unplanned bar one – which after hanging on the line looked a little bit like a landscape. So on that one I printed some wallpaper ‘flowers’ and it looks as though it might have a bit of potential. The remainder are all patterns, in mixed colours, some overprinted, others just as they peeled off the original wallpaper.



So here is the spread of the polycotton prints, all ironed and ready to use. Of course, these cannot be washed! They are for decorative purposes only – useful for backgrounds, book pages and covers.


And here are the nylon net versions. I am really excited about using these for layering, as the colours are really murky and gentle but the pattern stills shows through. Below are the selection and underneath a close up of a piece laid on a white fabric so you can see the potential of using them as a background.



And as a bonus I have finished the morning with a nice batch of coloured papers!




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