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How to create a wall sconce with wallpaper

Habitat bright ideas with Fleur Thorpe – DIY projects

Build decorative wall sconces with leftover wood and wallpaper. Fleur Thorpe shows you how.

You will need


Step 1:  For this project you will need some scrap wood. Fleur used some from an old pallet. If you want to make two sconces, start by cutting two bits of wood 34cm long (Fleur’s was 10cm wide) – this is the main back board, and two bits at 9cm x 9cm – this is the shelf. (Photo 1).

Step 2:  To make a rounded top, cut a piece of paper to the same width as your backboard, fold it in half and use scissors to cut out an arch. Unfold your piece of paper, lay it flat on your backboard, and use a pencil to trace around the arch on to the wood. (Photo 2).

Step 3:  Use a jig or band saw to cut out the arch shape, and use a drill to make a hole for hanging the sconce in the centre near the top of the arch. (Photo 3).

Step 4:  Apply Resene Quick Dry to prime the outside edges of the backboard. (Photo 4).

Step 5:  Lightly sand the primer once dry, and then apply one coat of Resene Toffee, followed by two coats of Resene Magma metallic, allowing for each coat to dry before applying the next. Resene Toffee works as a base for the Resene Magma and means that the Resene Magma has a more intense colour. When the paint is dry, drill two holes 10cm up from the bottom of the backboard. This will be for attaching the shelf. It’s a good idea to countersink these holes at the back so that the sconce will sit flush to the wall without the screws sticking out. (Photo 5).

Step 6:  Place your backboards on the back of your Resene wallpaper and use a pencil to trace around the outside edge. Use scissors to cut the shape out. (Photo 6).

Step 7:  Use PVA glue to stick the wallpaper to the front of your backboard. Make sure you smear the glue out with your finger, particularly around the edges. (Photo 7).

Step 8:  For the shelf, round off the front two corners and cut out two supports. As with the backboard, prime these with Resene Quick Dry, lightly sand, then apply one coat of Resene Toffee and two coats of Resene Magma. (Photo 8).

Step 9:  Glue these in place and drill two screws into the shelf from the back. (Photo 9).

Step 10:  For hanging, you can either punch a hole through the wallpaper and use a long nail, or leave the wallpaper hiding the hole and use a shorter nail for a more seamless look.

Top tip:  If you can’t find just the right wallpaper design for your sconces, you can paint on your own design freehand or using a stencil with Resene testpots.

Project and images by Fleur Thorpe. September 2021.

Habitat bright ideas
Need to add colour, pattern or a little creativity to your place? Check out these easy step by step DIY project ideas created in collaboration with Fleur Thorpe. We hope you enjoy making and painting these bright ideas and bringing colour to your home inside or out.

Fleur's projects | Habitat bright ideas


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