Pam Garrison is a relatively well-known artist and craft blogger: you may have seen her work in the Somerset family of magazines, or over at her blog.
Recently, Pam wrote about a decorating project she'd done in her own home: she made over the closet in her art room by papering its interior and adding shelves.
There's nothing so unusual in that, but the paper is entirely vintage (and vintage-style) wallpaper scraps, put up in a patchwork style. The effect is a cheerful and pretty collage. She credits the inspiration for the project to Alicia Paulson of the popular blog Posie Gets Cozy, who has done a closet door in a similar style.
Read more about how Pam did it, along with some further suggestions of my own, after the break.
Pam and her husband began by stripping the closet to its barest bones: they took off the doors and removed its organizing system. Pam then took her time using wallpaper paste to put up rectangular wallpaper scraps in different sizes all over the walls.
If you don't have access to a lot of vintage wallpaper, I suspect that you could probably get away with using carefully-selected, high-quality scrapbooking papers and other ephemera, though you'll have to put a waterproof sealant over them after you've affixed them to the wall. Some of Pam's readers agree. (Pam used real wallpaper, with a few photos and book pages in the mix, but did not seal the top of it; in fact, she deliberately distressed it in areas.)
After the closet was papered, Pam's husband helped her install bracket-supported shelves, which Pam covered with pages from an old book; the brackets were covered with lined ledger paper. Once the shelves were installed, she filled them with a lovely, artistic mix of supplies and flea-market finds.
There are some potential objections to this project: what if the house is sold? One of Pam's readers suggested using oil-based primer prior to using the paste, so that the paper would be easier to remove.
My own suggestion is that, if you're concerned about the walls, you begin by creating a shell of MDF or plywood for the interior of the closet... perhaps even one that hinges so that it can be removed when you're ready to leave. But I think a closet makeover this interesting is more likely to be a selling point than a hindrance.