How to Make Removable Wall Decals

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Instead of painting graphics on a wall, create a removable version using contact paper or removable wall vinyl. Either material may be layered with additional colors to create multicolored removable wall decals.


Things You'll Need

  • Craft paper or printout of decal design

  • Pencil

  • Permanent marker

  • Scissors

  • Craft knife

  • Contact paper or removable wall vinyl in desired color(s)

  • Painter's tape

  • Plastic gift card or plastic spatula

Step 1: Make the Design

Sketch out a design for your decal on craft paper using a pencil. Once pleased with the design, go over the outline with a permanent marker. If you like, use clip art instead and print out the desired image on regular paper. The image on paper must be the same size you intend for your decal.

Step 2: Cut Out the Template

Cut out the paper decal design using scissors. For tiny detailed areas, make the starting cuts with the tip of a craft knife for better cutting control.

Step 3: Trace Your Design

Flip the contact paper or vinyl over so the back shows. Flip the paper template back-side-up onto the back of the contact paper so it will come out forward on the decal. If the design looks the same from the front or back, such as a symmetrical heart shape, there's no need to flip the paper template over. Trace the paper template onto the back of the vinyl using a permanent marker.


Step 4: Cut Out the Decal

Cut the decal shape out carefully using scissors. Use the tip of a craft knife to cut out tiny details when necessary.

Step 5: Position the Decal

Hold the decal up against a clean wall in the desired location. Place a piece of masking tape at the top of the decal to hold it in place temporarily.

Step 6: Applying the Decal

Peel the backing paper away from the top part of the decal while the tape is still in place. Flip the decal up temporarily to reach the backing paper. Smooth several inches of the decal down at a time, peeling more backing paper away as you work. Use a plastic gift card or plastic spatula to smooth the decal in place, preventing any ripples and air bubbles.


Layered Designs

In some cases, your design idea may involve more than one decal; for instance, <ahref="http: 2010="""" jessicasheekgeek="" diy-wall-vinyl-decal-tree"="" target="_blank"> </ahref="http:> a tree with leaves and several birds sitting upon branches. Place the largest or background decal up first, such as a tree trunk or a large vine, adding individual leaf decals. Create layered designs by adding smaller bits atop the background of another color, such as black dots and head atop a red ladybug shape.



Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.