How To Sharpie Faux Designer Wallpaper

Bathroom mirror and light

Wallpaper can be beautifully expensive, which is funny because 10 years ago, if someone found out you were putting wallpaper up, you were met with an insincere “huh, like real wallpaper? Can you even buy real wallpaper? Wowww, okay good luck”. Now, if you were to tell that same person you’re putting wallpaper up, a likely reply is “Me too! But I can’t decide between the green palm fronds or the blue & white cranes, or between peel & stick or pre-pasted, or between grass-cloth or linen, or between…”. You get my point. Wallpaper is on trend. Which is why it’s pricey. However, I have a wallpaper hack that I’m only sharing with my closest internet audience, and it has saved me a ton of money, so read closely: don’t buy wallpaper. Buy office supplies instead. I’m going to show you how I made my own Faux Designer Wallpaper using just a sharpie.

This post includes affiliate links. If you purchase from these links, I may get a small commission from the seller. But the great thing is, this doesn’t cost you any extra money!

My Faux Wallpaper vs Their Faux Wallpaper

This wallpaper is $157 a roll. I would need about 2 rolls to cover a typical sized wall.

Geometric design

This sharpie is $2.49. I would need about 3 sharpies to cover a typical sized wall.

gold sharpie

I just saved myself $306 that I can now go spend on more sharpies.


This project can easily be done in just a few hours.

Faux Designer Wallpaper – Method One

The first sharpie wall I drew was in the pantry of my brother’s house. I was planning on building a cabinet, so I didn’t need to cover the entire wall, only what would be seen. They had just painted the pantry a stark white, and I knew the metallic gold would contrast beautifully with the wall.

I started at the left top corner of the wall and penciled in a little upside-down V mark 6 inches down from the ceiling and 3 inches to the right of the corner, then made another V 6 inches down from the pervious V but only 3 inches to the right of the corner, and then one last V 6 inches down from the previous V and 6 inches to the right of the corner.

finger pointing at point of diamond

After that was done, I measured 6 inches to the right of each of my 3 starting marks, and made additional V marks every 6 inches until I had done so down the width of my entire wall.

When you’re done, your wall look like this –

arrows in a row pointing up

And for reference, my V marks were tiny because I was only using them as a guide and they needed to be easily hidden by my sharpie line.

Now that I had my reference points, I took my level and made a sharpie line, connecting the point of the Vs, down the wall, towards the right.

From that point, I lined my level up exactly on my previously drawn line, and working from left to right, I continued my sharpie lines down the width and length of the wall and knocked all those lines out.

I then did the same thing but reversed, and worked from right to left this time, connecting my level to the bottom of the Vs, and making sharpie lines down the width and length of the wall.

The final result looks better than the expensive wallpaper –

woman sitting on cabinet in pantry

Faux Designer Wallpaper – Method Two

I used a piece of wood rather than a level for method #2, and it was super quick. And rather than a gold sharpie, I used 3 of these inexpensive gold paint pens from Hobby lobby. These gave me thicker lines, which I liked although they are a little more finicky.

I basically made a template out of wood rather than using reference marks. Plywood would be best for this because it’s lightweight.

I took a 6 inch wide x 5 foot long board and cut a 60 degree angle at one end. The length of the board is totally dependent on the height of the walls. I set the angle plumb against my vertical tile shower wall, and drew a sharpie line down both sides of the wood. If you don’t have a starting point to lead from, just draw a very level vertical line up your wall.

woman using wood to draw a straight line on bathroom wall

I moved the board down a bit, matching up the sides of my board with my previously drawn line, drew another line, and continued until I had a line drawn to the floor. I continued this process all the way around the bathroom. My board was long, so not every line could be drawn , especially because bathrooms have so many obstacles in the way, but I’ll explain my workaround for that in a minute.

I then did the opposite and flipped my board around and made my way back around the bathroom, placing the angle so it was plumb with either my tile shower or a wall corner, and drew my lines the opposite way, down the wall.

woman using wood to draw a straight line on bathroom wall

After I had drawn all the lines I could using that length of board, I trimmed it down so the board would fit in the smaller areas, and I continued drawing lines around the room. I trimmed more each time to accommodate the area I was working on, until my board was small enough for me to draw every line.

woman using wood to draw a straight line on bathroom wall

During both methods, I had to darken some of my sharpie lines because some were fainter than others. I also used painters tape and paint to touch up any lines that went a bit haywire.

Woman painting bathroom wall white

I think the final result looks pretty sharp!

Beautiful remodeled bathroom

Have I peaked your interest in how I built that butlers pantry from above? I have all the tutorials on my website!

This is the How to build a Butler’s Pantry Part 1 where I explain how to build the cabinets, and in the Butler’s Pantry Build Part 2, I explain how to do all the frame and finish work.

Check this post out if you like that Herringbone Counter.

These are the floating shelves I built for all the appliances that need quick access.

And do you see the drawers? Learn how to build super easy sliding drawers here.

And lastly, if you’re a visual learner, all of my stories for my projects can be found in my highlights on my instagram account @crystelmontenegrohome.

I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment if you’ve given this wallpaper a try and if it worked out for you. If you have any questions, I’ll be sure to respond.

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  1. Khay says:

    This is GENIUS! I love when something is done or solved by doing less! I’m sure it was work, but worth it.

    How do you handle touch ups over time?

  2. Abigail says:

    Hi! I love the stain that you used for the wood there. Can I ask what the color is and what brand?? Thanks!

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