An Easy Way to Spruce Up Your Garbage Can

updated Apr 30, 2019
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I have to admit, I’ve never once looked at my trashcan as a design opportunity. Now, thanks to Claire, I’m so ready to bring some pattern to my kitchen. Take it away Claire!

From Claire: Over the last few years wallpaper has come back in fashion and there are tons of fantastic designs out there. Wallpaper is not just for walls, you can decorate loads of things with it. As many great design houses produce their own wallpapers it can be cheap way of getting that designer look. Here I show you how you can transform a humble kitchen bin into something rather more stylish with wallpaper.

Skill Level: Easy
Time Required: A Couple of Hours
Project Cost: $20

What you Need:


  • Old Kitchen Bin to transform
  • A quarter roll of wallpaper
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Wallpaper brush
  • Wallpaper glue brush
  • Waterproof varnish
  • Ruler & Scissors


  1. Choose your wallpaper carefully. Make sure you have a design pattern that will fit. Bear in mind that a roll of wallpaper will most likely not be wide enough to go round the bin in one go and you will be using 2 or 3 pieces, so think about pattern join. We used an Orla Kiely Stem pattern for our bin.
  2. To make sure the wallpaper will stick to your bin you will need to key it first. To do this cover your bin in a 50/50 diluted mixture of wallpaper paste or white glue and water. Leave to dry.
  3. Measure the height of your bin carefully, and maybe add a couple of mm to be sure, as you can always trim the wallpaper later. Also measure the circumference of the bin, this will be the width of wallpaper needed. For this bin the circumference was 2 and a bit widths of the wallpaper roll.
  4. Cut each width of wallpaper you will need to the bin height. Make sure you cut it where the repeat pattern will match, this may involve cutting the piece further down the roll. One of your pieces is also likely to be only part of a rolls width.
  5. Cover your first width liberally with wallpaper paste, and place on the bin. You should be able to move it around quite easily to make sure it is straight ( a spirit level may help with this). When placing your first piece of wallpaper you may want to consider that there will be a join and ensure that this is at the back of the bin where it will be less visible. However I have found that the join is normally only noticeable if you look very carefully. When you are happy with the position of your paper use the wallpaper brush to remove any bubbles.
  6. Repeat until the bin is covered. Most wallpaper is wipe clean so you can leave the covered bin as it is, but if you want to make sure of better protection from spills I suggest you apply a final coat of waterproof varnish.

If you visit my blog you will see lots of different ways I have used wallpaper to decorate my home. I love using wallpaper in my crafts and DIY, it’s a versatile product that comes in so many fantastic designs.

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