Creating Faux Vintage Architectural Salvage Wall Decor


Hello Cottage Friends,

When I moved into my mobile home last year, I dressed my bed with a quilt and shams that I had purchased with a gift card several years ago. I never really liked that bedding. I thought it was okay when I first bought it, and it was, basically, free --  but by the time I put it on my bed here it just felt. . .wrong. The colors and the style just aren't me.


After hunting over a year for new bedding, I stumbled across a comforter set at -- of all places -- Walmart! This comforter set checked all the boxes: neutral colors, great pattern and style, and the price was very reasonable. There was only one left on the shelf, so I snatched it up and excitedly took it home. And when I put it on my bed I knew I had finally found the look I longed for.

My bed is queen size, but because it's extra tall (an 18" platform frame with a box spring and mattress) I needed a king size comforter. That means that the shams, which aren't sold separately, are king size, as well. I figured I could always deconstruct them and make them into queen size shams that would fit my bed. But then I discovered matching euro shams, and I purchased those, too. Since I don't have a headboard, the euro shams add height to the back of my bed. (I layered one of the king size shams in front of the euro pillows.)

Then came the question: what about that plain, blank wall above my bed? It needed something. . .special.

I've always been drawn to architectural salvage pieces used for wall decor. And although I thought a vintage piece would be lovely over my bed, I knew that my budget wouldn't allow for it. Also, attaching a heavy piece to the wall would be problematic, as there are no studs in that area to support such a piece. So, I put on my creative thinking cap and began to imagine what I could do.

I had picked up a pair of faux architectural wall hangings at a thrift store about a year ago for $4 each that I thought could be incorporated into a larger faux piece.

These pieces are very light, made of some sort of foam. And that got me to wondering if I could use foam board as a base for my own faux architectural salvage.

So I went to Dollar Tree and bought three 30" x 20" foam boards and a container of lightweight spackling.

I first glued the three foamboards together using Gorilla Glue, weighed them down with paint cans, and let them sit overnight. (Remarkably, the three glued foamboards were now the same thickness of my two faux wall hangings.) The next day I measured the height of my two matching wall hangings, transferred that measurement to the foamboard, and drew a cutting line on the top foamboard.

Then, using my utility knife, I cut my glued foamboard to the proper height. Several months ago I bought a decorative applique online. It arrived broken and the company sent me a replacement. Since they didn't want the broken one, I kept it thinking that at some point I might use it for a future project. Here was my opportunity.

I was able to glue the applique onto the foamboard so that the broken edges matched up. After letting it sit overnight, again weighed down with paint cans, I opened my container of spackling, grabbed my plastic putty knife and the fun began!

I added small amounts of the spackle to the foamboard and worked it around the entire surface and up to the edge of the applique, until I got the look I wanted. Basically, I was going for an aged plaster appearance.

After the spackle dried there were little pieces of loose spackle on the surface, which you can see on the left side of the photo below. I just brushed this off with my fingers, and that left a cleaner surface.

I wanted the edges of my faux salvaged piece to have a "broken" look, so I used my utility knife to randomly break off pieces.

Finally, I gave the whole piece a coat of Rustoleum Linen White chalk paint. I also painted the two faux wall hangings two coats to match the piece I created. Now I could hang everything on the wall.

Oh my! I love my faux vintage architectural salvage wall decor. It's pretty, extremely lightweight (so it was super easy to hang), and I don't have to worry about the whole thing falling down on me in the middle of the night. Just as important it cost about $10 total to make. Wallet friendly and one-of-a-kind decor. Just my style.

Have a great weekend!



  1. Your pretty original floral bedding does look a bit dated, but your new choice and lucky find at good old Walmart looks much more calming and peaceful. Actually how lucky was it to receive a broken art decal now that they replaced it and you were able to incorporate it into your headboard look. Even without worrying it could be heavy enough to fall on you, it must have been easier to hang lightweight. Once again your creativity comes to play. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, hard to believe it is almost upon us. Lynn and Precious XX

    1. Hanging those pieces was a piece of cake, Lynn. I had so much fun making the faux architectural salvage piece that I want to create more! Hope your Thanksgiving will be filled with blessings! xx

  2. Oh my gosh Nancy can I say Bravo!!! This is gorgeous. Love the bedding and the architectural wall decor. Beautiful. Happy Friday sweet friend. xoxo

  3. .....AND much safer in case of an earthquake!!!!....they are happening is diverse places now!!!
    Looks GREAT!!! Looks like the real deal. Good job!!!!
    Have a good weekend!!!!

  4. Nancy that is so AWESOME! Who would have thunk to use foamboard like that!!! I have a headboard/bookshelf thing at the top of my bed which I don't like and want to get rid of it, but have been wondering how I could make some sort of wall headboard to hang on the wall. I've thought of using plywood but that is so heavy. The foamboard is a great idea.... even if I wanted to cover it in fabric. Yours looks great and so real too! Great job! xoxo Marilyn

    1. Marilyn, you absolutely could cover the foamboard with fabric. In fact, before I decided to make the faux architectural piece, I had considered making a padded, tufted headboard using the foamboard and covering it with quilt batting and then fabric, and finally sewing buttons onto the board to create that tufted look. I may actually try this in my guest room when I finally get around to decorating it. :) Thanks for your visit and comments. xx

  5. Very creative headboard, Nancy. You can always recycle your old shams and bed quilt. Thanks for sharing your process♥

    1. Thanks, Susan. This was really a very easy project, and I enjoyed sharing it. xx

  6. Perfect! Absolutely perfect! You have such talent and always come up with the best DIYs. Your new bedding and 'headboard' are wonderful!

  7. The new bed set are perfect and look like you. Thank you for the DYI. I would not have thought of that. It also looks perfect with the bedding.

  8. Nancy you are super creative, a decorating engineer! I love the way the project turned out and the new bedding is perfect. I've been very pleasantly surprised by Walmart lately. They really do carry some very nice home decor. Hugs!!

  9. You have an amazing eye! I love it.
    Thanks for the tutorial.


Your comments bring me joy! Thanks for stopping by.