This soft, sophisticated wall treatment mimics the rich color and texture of suede.

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For the Flannerys' office and guest room Rebecca gave new life to the most ordinary items, such as newspaper and jeans. By copying her simple technique, you can obtain the sophisticated look of suede by recycling an everyday household item: grocery bags.

Materials: 

  • brown paper grocery bags
  • wallpaper brushes
  • a burnisher
  • white glue
  • water
  • a bucket
  • a razor blade

Instructions:

  1. Start ripping your brown paper bags in irregular, but large, pieces. The final look will resemble suede, not bags, so make sure all the bags you are using are logo and print free. You will need enough paper to cover the walls.
  2. Mix your wallpaper paste in a large bucket by combining equal amounts of water with white glue.
  3. With your paintbrush slather a generous amount of the glue mixture onto your wall. Lay a piece of brown paper bag on top of this wet glue. Paint more glue on top of the paper bag to seal it. Make sure that the glue you buy dries clear.
  4. While your glue is still wet firmly scrape the wall with a wallpaper burnisher (the flat-edged plastic tool for smoothing paper). This will push out any excess glue so that your bags will lie flat against the wall without any air bubbles.
  5. For the Flannerys' room Rebecca added a chair rail, though it is not essential. You can always paper the entire room, but if you do choose to add a chair rail or to only work on a portion of the wall, cut any excess paper off with a razor blade using a ruler or straight-edge to guide you. Common materials and a little imagination are all you need to create the sophisticated look of suede in this project.