Looks Like Suede, But It’s A Recycled Grocery Bag

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Looks Like Suede, But It’s A Recycled Grocery Bag

Use repurposed grocery bags to make a beautiful wall treatment.
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This suede is really old grocery bags. See how you can replicate this cool look. http://3bl.me/p39rab
Monday, March 29, 2010 - 11:00am


While visiting my relations in Mississippi recently, my aunt showed me a project she had been working on. Fantastic suede-looking walls in her powder room made from some old grocery bags she was going to throw out.

I asked how she did it. She tells me, in the same off-hand, casual way you might describe making a bowl of instant oatmeal, “ It’s easy. It’s just old kitchen sacks. You tear ‘em up about this size and glue ‘um on the wall.”

Oh, is that all.

Now, you have to understand, my aunt (along with my mom and all her other sisters) are one talented group of gals. Two of my aunts, Kezzie and Polly, are decorators. One aunt, Boo, is a fine artist. My mom, Camille, is both.  Aunt Leanne was a decorator... until she “retired”, went all CSI on us and becaome the coroner for my hometown.

Any, when they say something is “easy”, I take it with a grain of salt. When I try these kinds of projects, it usually ends up looking like a monkey did it. And I don’t mean a smart monkey that has learned sign language. I mean the monkey that throws poo at you as you walk through the zoo with your niece and nephew.

But considering the frugality with which my grandparents raised my mom and her sisters, I’m never surprised when any of them come up with wonderful reuse decorating project.

So, from my aunts thin directions, and with a little help from Thriftyfun.com, here’s a reasonable to do list for this decorating scheme.

You’ll need:

Brown grocery bags (and in takes quite a few to do one small wall)
Wallpaper paste
Cheap paint brush and paint tray
Large damp sponge


1- Tear the grocery bags into several pieces about the size of a large dinner plate. Tear edges so they are ragged. Crumple each piece into a tight ball. Set aside for now.

2- Pour the wallpaper paste into the paint tray. Use the brush to apply paste onto a small section of wall. Only apply paste to an area you can cover quickly. Not bigger than about 4 x 4.

3- Now, uncrumple a few pieces of brown paper and press onto the wall. Don’t smooth out all the wrinkles. This will give a lot of texture to the finished wall. Lay down the next piece slightly overlapping the first piece, pressing down the edges with the damp sponge to remove the excess paste. Rinse and wring out the sponge occasionally to keep the paste from building up. Continue rolling on paste and applying the paper until the entire wall is covered. Dry at least 48 hours.

It will look like an expensive suede wall treatment when dry. No need to paint or stain it. I can tell you it looks great, especially in soft light. It might even look good if I did it. With the help of my monkey friends, of course.

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Keywords: art | bags | do it yourself | interior design | recycle | reuse | suede | wallpaper