One of the Best Design Details in My Bedroom Cost $3.75 at the Dollar Store

published May 8, 2023
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Bed with green bedding, quilted floral headboard, colorful pillows, aqua wall with large rickrack green trim around top

Most of my harebrained design ideas are born out of my insatiable desire to have all the things — while still sticking to a budget. Not so long ago, I found myself smitten with this Ottoline scallop wallpaper border, and even though it actually was within my budget, the permanent wallpaper wasn’t an option for my family’s rental home. But I really wanted it in my bedroom! It takes a lot for me to give up on something I really want, so the idea of a scalloped border floated around my head for a while as I tried to find a way to make it happen.

Soon after, I happened to be at Dollar Tree and found myself in the school supply section. My eye immediately went to the scalloped border, originally intended for teachers to decorate their classroom bulletin boards. I knew in an instant I could make it work — or at least I knew I had to try. Each package contained 12 pieces that were 18 inches long, so I bought five packs. I only ended up using three packs for my bedroom for a total cost of just $3.75 with tax!

The install took about an hour by myself (had I waited for extra hands, it would have been up in minutes) and was literally as simple as adding tape to the backside and sticking it around the top of the wall. I installed it with regular Scotch tape, rolled so that the open ends of the piece of tape were on the top and bottom and not the sides (a hack my high school art teacher taught me while hanging up heavy posters — it keeps the tape from rolling down the wall!). The border has been up for four months now and I haven’t had any issues. However, if you’re nervous about the possibility of damaging your walls with tape, you can always try Wall Safe Scotch tape, which claims to be gentler on painted surfaces.

I was really surprised at how much I liked the finished look — it still has that school vibe, but I think the fact that it’s used as a border and not a frame helps it feel less “classroom” and more “intentional design.” The particular shade of green looks really fantastic with my wall color, and it’s up high enough that you really can’t see all the tiny seams where the pieces meet up. And the best part has to be that when I’m tired of it (or when we move out) the border will come down in seconds, with no sticky wallpaper adhesive to clean up. Not bad for a project that cost less than $4!