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How to Make a Beautiful Wall Mural With Waste or Upcycled Materials

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As an art and craft teacher by profession, most of my articles are related to art and craft ideas.

Make your own waste material painting with this easy-to-follow tutorial. Here is my own wall mural from waste materials.

Make your own waste material painting with this easy-to-follow tutorial. Here is my own wall mural from waste materials.

Waste Material Paintings: Repurpose to Make Something Beautiful!

Help reduce the amount of waste in the environment by saving your resources! I know my contribution with this DIY project is very small, but I hope to inspire many people to also reuse and repurpose old stuff lying around their homes. The piece you see here is made up of mostly waste material. It's so strong that nothing can destroy it, and I know it will add beauty to my home.

I never thought that ice cream sticks, old cardboard boxes, and pieces of old tiles could be turned into a beautiful art piece. Learn how I did it below!

What You'll Need

Many of these items can be found around your home.


  • 3'x4' plyboard
  • Fevicol or strong adhesive
  • M-seal
  • Acrylic paints
  • Scissors
  • Hammer

Upcycled Materials

  • Ice cream sticks
  • Cardboard cartons
  • Newspapers
  • Felt cloth pieces
  • Foam sheet
  • Broken tiles
  • Jute rope
  • Small piece dori

Note: Popsicle sticks are easily accessible and very inexpensive, so you can buy them if you don't have them. However, I suggest always trying to collect the sticks whenever you have ice cream. I used the corrugated part of the cardboard cartons to reveal the wavy part.

Draw a sketch using charcoal or pencil.

Draw a sketch using charcoal or pencil.

1. Draw the Sketch

I used a charcoal stick to draw the sketch on the plyboard. It can be a rough sketch because you don't need to create some of the details yet.

M-seal once mixed

M-seal once mixed

2. Prepare the M-Seal

Prepare the M-seal by mixing both the packets inside the pack. Do this until it becomes white. You can skip this if it's not available and substitute it with something else. I used it because I already had a small packet lying around.

M-seal paste applied

M-seal paste applied

M-seal paste applied

M-seal paste applied

3. Apply the M-Seal

Apply the M-seal on the butterfly's body and on the flower leaves. M-seal doesn't need fevicol because it sticks on its own. Use a comb or a fork to press the seal down and create a design over the paste. It is only possible while it is wet.

Carboard with the corrugated part revealed

Carboard with the corrugated part revealed

4. Reveal the Texture

For the big leaves of the tree, you need to prepare the corrugated part of an old carton. Open the carton from all sides and carefully remove one inner layer. Cut the pieces for the tree leaves in a way such that they create a perfect leaf shape with nice v-shape lines. Paste these accordingly using fevicol or another adhesive.

Create the shapes and build the foundation of the piece.

Create the shapes and build the foundation of the piece.

5. Create the Trunk

Initially, I used plastic straws on the tree trunk. However, I found that they don't stick well on my mural and wouldn't be durable, so I substituted them with ice cream sticks and removed all the straws.

  • Paste the popsicle sticks on the tree trunk. You can also cut the sticks using scissors wherever necessary.
Use popsicle sticks to create the sun!

Use popsicle sticks to create the sun!

6. Add Details

Use popsicle sticks to create a sun. Paint the background in shades of orange and yellow to create a beautiful sunset.

Paint the cardboard leaves.

Paint the cardboard leaves.

7. Paint the Leaves

Add color to the cardboard leaves to bring them to life! To add extra details, use more than one color of green and incorporate other colors like blue and yellow to add hints of life and light.

Here's a photo of the project in progress.

Here's a photo of the project in progress.

8. Check Your Progress

Here is what the project looks like with the popsicle sticks glued and painted to look like a tree trunk.

9. Apply the Tile Pieces

I had pink and blue color tiles, so I broke them into small pieces using a hammer. Paste the pink ones in the two flowers seen in the water, and glue the blue ones in the s-shape seaweed. I used fevicol again, and I suggest wearing gloves so you don't get hurt while picking and pasting tile pieces.

  • This requires a lot of patience and planning to fit the pieces correctly. However, the end result is a mosaic look that is stunning.

10. Apply Jute and Circles

Using old newspapers, you can easily roll and make bamboo sticks. Press and turn them around a round pen or object and paste the ends. This way, you can make many pieces of paper beads.

  • Paste them on the one big section of the bird's body. Make sure to fit them properly.
  • Take a jute rope and paste it over the other two sections of the bird body left. You can spread the fevicol or adhesive first. Starting from the center, keep pasting the rope round and round.

11. Apply Acrylic Paints

Keep applying acrylic paints, as seen above. You can choose to apply colors at the end or apply them while making the mural.

Colors I Chose

  • Blue in the water
  • White for the shading
  • Yellow and orange around the sun
  • Brown and black on the trunk
  • Yellow and green on the leaves
  • White and purple on the leaves above the bird
  • Yellow and blue on the leaves before the bird
  • Maroon on the tiles to get two shades in the flower

Also, paint the butterfly in a pearl color and M-seal flowers in purple.

12. Apply Foam and Felt

Cut foam sheets into small pieces. Paste them wherever necessary:

  • Flower stems
  • Grass
  • Bird beak

Foam sheets can also be substituted with any other material if you don't have them at home.

  • Cut and paste small pieces of felt in two or three colors to make the butterfly. Since I had few options left, I used only three colors in the butterfly.
  • Cut circles from white felt, some small and some big. Paste them all over the head and neck area of the bird.
Put the bird together with upcycled materials.

Put the bird together with upcycled materials.

13. Last Check

Once all of the above is done, check for any loose pieces by flipping the mural over. You can also do a final coat of varnish for shine and to increase the project's durability. Get the framing done and fix it on the wall. Your mural is ready, so enjoy looking at it!


Magnif on December 19, 2019:


Devika Primic on December 05, 2019:

I like the idea and a creative way to make a wall look beautiful as you have here.

shiri on November 11, 2016: