Stepping on the leftover bubble wrap from your moving boxes, peeling off that painter's tape to reveal a perfectly straight edge, popping a champagne cork to celebrate your new apartment — settling in to a fresh nest is brimming with little satisfactions.
But no part of the process is more satisfying than turning what was once a bunch of empty space into a home, even if you’re only renting. And as a renter, the PIXMA printer family will help you do just that without leaving gaping holes in the walls that will cost you upon move-out. Get started with these six inspirations that'll keep those walls — and your security deposit — totally intact.
1. Tape Up Your Space
For a super simple project that'll make the space yours in no time — and won’t make a single hole — fill a wall with photos and DIY taped picture frames. Use the Canon Print App to send your favorite pics to your PIXMA printer wirelessly (choose matte photo paper for rich colors sans reflections) and go with a matching series, like blacks and whites or your best nature snaps. Just use double-sided tape to hang up your prints, then surround them with bold combos of Japanese washi tape, metallic duct tape, or austere black electrical tape. The best part is, you’re not constrained by the shapes of regular old frames — go wild with double frames, overlapping frames, triangles and multi-colored patterns to embolden your space right when you move in.
2. Upcycle Those Bottles
Everyone has old bottles (and if you don't have them yet, save the ones you empty during your housewarming party). To make an eco-friendly transition from recyclable item to style statement, scrub the labels off of used glass bottles and jars and replace them with vintage labels printed on sticker paper. Make things easy by printing multiple labels on a single 8.5 x 11-inch sheet of blank sticker paper, then peel them off and stick them to jars filled with rice, dry beans, multicolored noodles or red wine vinegar for functional decor.
3. Dive into Decoupage
You're going to need something to rest your books and tired feet on, so hit up the thrift store for an end table that won't break the bank, even after your moving expenses are covered. For a practical touch that doubles as a conversation starter, sand down the table's top and plaster a series of photos over it with craft glue and sealer. Use your all-in-one PIXMA printer to make copies of snappy magazine ads, group photos, artsy design swatches — anything that says you. Rip the edges of the photo copies as you glue them down to add a little texture, then seal the top with another layer of glue sealer and polycrylic protective finish to make your creation completely coffee-cup-proof. For a weathered look, soak the photo copies in a mix of water and instant coffee before decoupaging.
4. Make a Window to the World
Windows aren’t just for looking through — their frames are the perfect way to add character to your oversized art. Using a large-format printer like the PIXMA iP8720, print sheets of eye-catching maps on matte paper — 13 x 19-inch sizes should give you plenty of room to work with. Upcycle a weathered old window frame — with or without the existing glass — by pinning the maps to the rear of the wood and trimming the excess with a craft knife. You can mount your worldly creation with a few picture-mounting nails, or rest it on a mantle to add a unique focal point to your space.
5. Beautiful, Meet Practical
Here's a way to customize your space, keep your walls pristine, and get organized all at once. Just mount a cork board in your office space and string some rustic twine from one end to the other, allowing it to sag just a bit. Pick up some brass clips from your local craft store (and some stylish pins, while you're at it) and mount a rotating series of photos from the clips — printers like the PIXMA MG7720 print right from social media, so your message board photo collection can always stay up to date. Below the photos, use your crafty pins to post up everything from interesting scraps of arts to thumbnail sketches to grocery shopping lists.
6. Vinyl = Everything
Now that you've got your furniture, storage and decor covered (and kept your landlord happy), turn to adhesive vinyl printer paper to personalize...well, just about everything. Want to make an accent wall but don't want to drip paint on the new floors? Use your PIXMA PRO-100 printer to create professional-quality, large-format prints of silhouetted birds or henna-style designs, then cut out the shapes and stick them up to make any blank wall into a striking accent mural. Or, if you’d rather design a piece of furniture, print out wood etching templates on translucent vinyl and stick them to your old dresser (or coffee table, or hutch, or TV stand) to give it new life. And when life takes you somewhere new, peel the vinyl right off. Lots of style, no residue.
- Love Grows Wild: DIY Photo Clipboards
- Mr. Kate: Art Book Decoupaged Photo Table
- Robb Restyle: Window to the World: DIY Map Project
- Design Sponge: DIY Tape Picture Frames