Introduction: DIY Cardboard Wall Hanging

About: My name is Eva and my life revolves around drawing , painting and making crafts. I always try to help others by giving my own tips and always eager to know new things from others. I also manage my YouTube chan…

Are you looking for wall decor ideas to refresh your space? Then I will say you are landing in the right place. In this Instructable, I will show you how to make Indian traditional wall hangings by using cardboard.

Not only it is cheap but it is really fun to make. I have completed the tutorial with step by step with enough photos, you are going to love looking at these before you even make them.

These traditional wall hangings will instantly add life to a plain wall, and reconnect us to the thousand years old Indian tradition.

I know you can find beautiful wall hangings at the stores. However, they usually very expensive, for a budget-friendly option, you can try this DIY wall hanging and make your own.

Here I have used 4 different Indian motifs in my wall hanging. A motif is the most basic unit from which a design is formed. It is generally developed from different combinations of geometrical shapes. Motifs are repeated in different ways to create a pattern whereas patterns are repeated to create designs. Therefore a motif has a distinct identity of its own in a pattern or a design. Indian motifs have their own heritage value and are closely linked to natural, cultural, religious, and socio-economic factors prevailing in Indian society. Most of the traditional motifs are often inspired by nature.


1. Cardboard

2. Hot Glue: Amazon

3. Craft Glue: Amazon

4. Acrylic Colours: Amazon

5. Gold Acrylic Colour: Amazon

6. Air-dry clay: Amazon

7. Scissors: Amazon

8. Clay Cutting Tools: Amazon

9. Pencil: Amazon

10. Knife: Amazon

11. Glass Mirrors: Amazon

12. Dowels: Amazon

13. Double-Sided Tape: Amazon

Step 1: Prepare the Cardboards

I am going to make four different wall hanging pieces and going to mount them together in one place. Here I am taking these four cardboards of equal size for making the base part of the wall hanging. If you want to make a single piece of these, then you can do it also.

Usually, whenever I take cardboard to do the craft, I suggest covering the open gaps on the edges, but here we need not cover the edges as it is not going to visible on our final products.

Step 2: Draw Patterns

Ok, coming to its dimension part. I am taking 19.5*19.5 c.m. cardboards to draw the basic drawing.

First, I took 5c.m. margins from both sides of the cardboard and draw two parallel lines of 13c.m. perpendicular to that 5c.m. margin point (on both sides).

Ok, I must tell you one thing here that I am going to draw a Toran Gate here. Toran Gate is one kind of gate with engraving features and it is being taken as a symbol of the traditional gate in Indian culture.

So, for the upper section, I am going to make it like a temple head structure, and for that, I have joined the endpoints of two 13c.m. lines. Then I have drawn two parallel lines one below the corresponded line with a gap of 2.5c.m. and the other one above with a gap of 2c.m. And then joined them with the middle line with half circles (please do refer the figures, if you are finding any confusion).

And now on the most top portion, I made it a temple top structure like a flower petal. But when you are doing this part just take a half-centimeter gap from the top edge.

Now the drawing part is complete, just repeat the same pattern if you are also going two make four pieces like me.

Step 3: Frame Making With Dowels

Now, its a stage of framing. If you wish you can do framing as you usually do to frame something. But here I am adopting an easy method and I did not want to spend money on framing. So, I thought to keep it easy and simple so that anyone can try this.

Here I am simply taking wooden dowels of length 15 c.m and glued them on the each side of the cardboard with hot glue. I have already mentioned earlier that each side of the cardboard size is 19.5 c.m, you need an additional 4 c.m of dowel piece to complete one side. You can easily do this by cutting another dowel.

Previously, I told to keep a half-centimeter from the top, it just because we need to have some space to put dowel. This is how I have completed the framing part.

Step 4: Prepare the Clay

In this part, I am going to do some clay work. Here I am taking air dry clay.

The packet comes with two small pouches, one is resin and another one is a hardener. You have to take an equal amount from both the packets and mix them together, and it's ready to use.

Keep it in mind that the clay mix starts to harden after half an hour, so you have to mix the adequate amount that you actually need.

Step 5: Roll the Clay

After mixed it well, I just left it for 2 to 5 minutes, then started rolling.

At this stage, you can not handle the stickiness of the clay, so to prevent the stickiness, I am using talcum powder here. I have put some powder on the surface, where I was going to roll the clay and some talcum powder on my palms.

I started making rolls. And the procedure is very simple, you have to take a tiny amount of clay and roll it on a leveled surface. And when you start rolling, you must roll it from the center to outside. By this, you can get an uniform roll with a constant thickness.

This is how I made rolls and now its time to stick the clay-roll over the cardboard quickly.

Step 6: Clay Work

To stick the clay on the cardboard surface, I am using craft glue here. I simply apply glue over the cardboard and glued the clay along the marked lines. And to cut out the clay, you can use a clay cutting knife or any paper cutting knife (just touch it softly if you are using a paper cutting knife).

Where you need to give it a sharp point, you just have to squeeze the clay with two fingers as shown in the above picture.

Step 7: Design With Air Dry Clay

Now, I am going to make some designs for the side part. I just kept it simple, because it will give a beautiful look.

Ok, but for now I just giving it a cross pattern look with clay. I have to roll the clay and kept it on the cardboard with a cross pattern.

I have put the clay in an overlapping manner, and this is how I have completed the design.

Step 8: Clay Engraving

As I told you, Toran gate is a gate having engraving features, so to recreate it on the clay, I just simply took a sketch pen cap, because I found the cap head has a very beautiful flower-shaped design. You can take anything alike, you can use a pen refill also to give it an engraving design.

I have engraved when the clay had on its soft stage, otherwise once its harden up, you can not make a single design on the clay.

I have completed all the four cardboard and let it dry at least for 4hours.

Step 9: Coloring ( Step-1 )

Now moving ahead to the coloring part of the base.

First I started to color on the clay work area with white acrylic color except for the middle portion.

Then I colored the middle part with white acrylic color.

In both cases, I have used a flat brush. And while coloring, you have to touch each and every corner.

And putting the colors, you have to leave it at least an hour to be dried up completely.

Step 10: Draw the Motifs

Now, its time to put some traditional motif into the prepared base frames, and for that, we need to prepare these. First I have drawn all these figures, which are commonly known as traditional motifs in Hindu Indian culture and it's being found in every state on their traditional stuff.

I simply took a piece of paper, it's not mandatory to take any specific paper sheet, You can take a normal kind of A4 or A3 size paper sheet. Then I started drawing over these.

I am going to make four different motifs like Fish (Maschya), Peacock (Mayur), Wheel (Chakra), and Lotus (Padma). On bracket, I am mentioning all of its Sanskrit names, which are commonly used in India.

If you want to follow the drawing, then please do watch the video.

Step 11: Cut Out the Motifs

After that, I cut the papers with the scissors and hobby knife.

It's very very easy to cut, as you have to cut only the outlines.

But if do not want to cut, then also it's fine. U can tear off the extra paper after the clay wark hardens up.

Step 12: Make the Motifs With Clay

Now, we are going to play with clay here. So we have to take a tiny amount of clay, make it an oval shape with our figures and then, you need to squeeze it one hear to make it petal shape. And this for the lotus middle petal. For the side petal, you just take a small amount of clay and do follow the lines and spaces you have already drawn over the paper.

If, you find excess clay, just remove it simply with the help of your fingers and leveled the surface with talcum powder or water.

Likewise, I have done this clay work over all the motif drawings. And now it's like to engrave on these as we have already drawn.

And to stick the motifs well, I am using craft glue here. I would like to suggest craft glue too, do not place the clay directly over the surface. As we are using the Air dry clay, after getting contact with air it will start to detach itself from the base.

Step 13: Engrave the Motifs

For featuring out the motifs, you can use clay tools. But here I am using the sharp head pencil only.

All the details, you can find on video tutorial as its difficult to explain all the engraving section here with words.

Then after this part finished thoroughly, I have kept it untouched over an hour or two.

After it's dried off completely, You can tear off all those extra unnecessary papers. Or you can simply cut them out.

Step 14: Coloring ( Step-2 )

Now in the meantime, these also got dried off too. So in the middle parts, where we have given white color and now we need to put our selected colors over that. The motive of putting white color is just to highlights all our favorite colors because the white color is a very kind color which gives all the other shade to pop vibrantly.

I have used here, Chrimson Red, Chrom Yellow, Light Green, and Violet shades (later, I have changed violet to Ultramarine blue, as I did not have much color to put) here.

I have given just double coats of each shade, with the help of a flat brush, and let them dry completely.

Step 15: Add Antique Touch to the Frames

Now by the time, the motifs got dried up , I have put black acrylic color over all the motifs and let them dry too.

As I wanted to give it a traditional antique look, now its time to give them an antique touch.

For that, I am taking Gold acrylic color with a tiny amount over a pallet. Then by using a dry brush, I took a very little amount of color then, wiped off the brush over a tissue paper once or twice, then brush it over black cloured part. You just hold the brush with light pressure and swipe smoothly over the black colored part. You should not have to touch each and every part. You just have to give a smooth swipe and automatically, your engraved parts will feature out itself.

If you are doing this for the first time, I would suggest you to use your finger. It's very easy to apply antique touch with fingers too. You just have to take a tiny amount of Gold color, dab it over a tissue paper first and then swipe over the black colored surface, that to just over the projected parts of the clay not all over the black surface.

But to color the dowel part, you need to put a sufficient amount of Gold acrylic color and cover fully with this color. Because we are taking the dowels as framing material, it should be colored as gold and covered fully.

There is no thumb rule to put Gold Acrylic color, you just apply with a light hand, it will give a very pretty antique touch. Just do not take much amount of color.

Step 16: Add Antique Touch to the Motifs

Like the way we did over those black surfaces, we need to do this also over the motifs too.

But after the motifs completely dried then only you can put Gold acrylic color with the same procedure.

Now all the cardboard bases, as well as the motifs, are ready. Kept it untouched an hour. After that, we will move to the next step.

Step 17: Apply Clear Varnish

Now when all the colors got dried well, we have to apply varnish all over the cardboard bases as well as over the motifs.

Whenever you are using spray varnish, then never use it with a closed chamber. Always use it outside the door on a well-ventilented place.

Step 18: Stick the Motifs

Its time to stick all the motifs over the cardboard bases individually.

Here I am using Hot glue to stick them quickly.

Step 19: Decorate With Glass Mirrors

You can keep the cardboards as these are now. If you wish, you can put some mirrors also. I have put some glass mirrors of small size here, only to enhance its beauty.

I just have put the mirrors within the cross pattern sections with the help of the craft glue.

Let it dry now and it's ready to decorate then after.

Step 20: Decorate the Wall Hangings

After completion of the 4 wall hangings, now it is time to mount on the wall. I have used double-sided tape to mount these wall hangings. Here I have shown in a square pattern, but you can arrange them to form a different pattern as per your choice. The final outcome is really awesome, I hope you must like it.

If you make these wall hangings, please share the pictures in the comment section.

This project is an entry in Rainbow Contest, please vote for me.

Thank You.

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