How to create a home, even while in a rental

INSIDE : Learn how to create a home, even while in a rental with simple removable cross wall decals! Perfect to add interest to your wall, but easy to take down.

Make a Rental Home a House with Minted Art,

This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure.

This post has been updated since it’s original November 2015 publish date.

I have lived in a rental home for three months now.  I’m sure there are plenty of war stories about landlords and leaky faucets, but I am here today to share a little rental home inspiration!  I’ve partnered with one of my very favorite companies, Minted, to share how to create a home, even while in a rental!

One of the biggest things that often is neglected in a rental home are the walls.  Because we often can not paint them and nail holes sometimes are allowed but other times are not, the walls which are the biggest open space of your home, often feel blank and lack interest.  Let me introduce you to make it yourself wall decals!

Check out some of my other Rental Home posts:

If I owned this home, I would have loved to install a picture ledge the entire length of this wall.  Since we are only renters, I decided to create my own wall decals to visually mimic a picture ledge.

What supplies do I need to add renter friendly wall decals?

  • White Contact Paper or Removable Vinyl
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Cross Template cut from cardboard
  • Level
Minted Art Rental supplies

How to make white cross vinyl decals-

When deciding on what shape to add to my walls, I took a few things into consideration.

I liked the simple pattern of the white cross because –

  • It’s clean, geometric and a modern design.
  • These were very easy shapes to cut out! You can use a fancy cutting machine or just use scissors! 

Using a ruler, I made a template out of card stock and cut about 40 crosses out to go across my roughly 12′ length living room wall.

Minted Art Rental steps

Since walls are not always straight nor plum, a level was key to keeping my line at the correct height.  I learned this the hard way when I was about halfway through sticking them to the wall.

I did some testing after all the crosses were applied and the contact paper peeled right off the wall with no issue at all, score!

Adding art to your rental home

Now that my visual picture ledge was up, the next step in creating a more homey feeling was to add artwork!  I measured and taped up brown kraft paper to act like that art, so I could get the spacing correct on the wall.

Minted Art Rental steps2

After the all Minted artwork was hung, the room instantly looked so much better!  

It’s amazing how adding color and interest to the wall really bring a room to life!  One of the things I especially love about Minted is that they  connect you with amazing independent artists.  Their art selection is fresh, unique, and you won’t find their home décor anywhere else.

Minted Art Rental Home gallery wall

Adding color with pillows and plants

From there, I layered in additional color inspired by my new art using throw pillows and plants.  I was thrilled to find a green pillow to pick up on the green from the Emerald print.

Minted Art Rental Home sofa wall

I love the simple pattern and color this Abstract Triangles brings to the room.

Minted Art Rental pictures
Minted Art Rental Home wall detail

If you are interested in checking out the prints I used more closely, you can see the sources below.

16″ x 16″ Emerald Print in a white frame
11″ x 14″ Nice Work Print in a white frame
11″ x 14″ Stacks Print in a white frame
16″ x 16″ Abstract Triangles in a white frame


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  1. That was a very smart idea to create the little plus signs as a ledge. Very visually pleasing. And there is no need to say how much we all love the Mint artwork. Can I ask how you hnug up the frames? Did you use command hooks or something else? We are in the process of trying to hand something that is about 10 pounds but we don’t want to put nails in the walls. Any suggestions?

    1. delineateyourdwelling says:

      For the two end pictures I used nails and the two inside pictures, I used command hooks. I had planned to use command hooks for all of them but realized I only had two for heavy weights. I was looking online and they have about a million different heavy picture hanging Command hook options! Good luck with yours!

  2. That looks SO good — contact paper architecture – brilliant!

    1. delineateyourdwelling says:

      Thanks so much, Amy! Easy peasy, just like I like it. 😉

    1. delineateyourdwelling says:

      Easy and big impact, there isn’t much that’s better! 😉

  3. I LOVE the decal idea! It’s really really fun. And these pieces you picked from Minted are really great. Love the color palette!

    1. delineateyourdwelling says:

      Thanks so much! We got the sofa about six years ago at Bassett Furniture. I think they have closed most of their locations now, boo. I’ll take a peak at your Etsy shop, thanks.

  4. I love how this changed the space without damaging the walls. Does the contact paper stay put long term?

    1. delineateyourdwelling says:

      I’ve had mine up for about a month and so far it’s not bubbled or lifted at all!

    1. delineateyourdwelling says:

      Thanks so much, Marwa!!

  5. Way to put your own personal and creative touch into your rental! That is always such a challenge, but you’ve done a great job!

    1. delineateyourdwelling says:

      Thanks for the comment, Lisa! Renters need to know there is hope in making their space great.

  6. I feel your renter woes but those decals are the bomb! And your art selection is fantastic. Love the space!

    1. delineateyourdwelling says:

      Thanks so much, Bre!!

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