Apartment Living: Blik Headboard Decal Edition

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As you may have gathered by now, we live in a little apartment in LA.  It’s little because apartments are ridiculously expensive here.  In college, I thought Atlanta was expensive, but in LA, they make you put down 2 major organs as well as first months’ rent as a deposit.

Heh heh.  All kidding aside, our place is little.  And our building is poorly maintained, and I’m kind of hoping we’ll find a dream apartment one of these days, with cheaper rent, a nice, friendly apartment manager who keeps our place from falling apart, a non-leaky bathroom, cabinets that close properly….

Anyway, as a result, we’re trying to keep our stuff to a minimum.  Partly so we can move everything relatively easily when our someday moving day comes, partly because we’re poor, and partly because we literally have no room to keep much.  As such, our bed is about the most minimal thing Ikea had two Julys ago when we moved in.  

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That’s it.  It looks so sad there.  When we bought it, there weren’t many options.  You could either get the $49 tinkertoy unfinished wood frame, or some crazy expensive ones that we couldn’t afford.  So the Engan it was.  It served us well, but is now separating at the seams in ways we can’t re-screw/wrench, so we fear its days are numbered [side note, does anyone have any recommendations for where to get a cheap, decent queen bed, able to hold a foam mattress?], but for now, it’s what we’ve got.

Ours didn’t look quite as sad as the ikea website stock photo, but it needed something.  I could never justify getting/building a real headboard because they’re big and heavy, and I think most are weird or kind of ugly.

Recently, I came across a blog post about one of the creators of Blik, a company I knew because they make removable vinyl decals, and I’d thought of getting some of their work in the past, but hadn’t found anything quite up my alley.  I jumped right over to their website, however, because the blog post mentioned that Blik made headboard decals.  I found this one, and was impressed.  So I ordered it, as mentioned in my previous post.

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Seriously, the artichoke.  I don’t even….

Anyway, here’s how it went:

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First, the packaging was cute.  It’s hard to see here, but I like the gold printing on cardboard poster tube.  Nice touch, Blik.

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That’s cute, too.  And my headboard is made in Venice, CA!  How apropos.

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Shipping invoice, and a little smoother/spatula tool.  Decorated with mustaches.

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Once unrolled, here’s what we were working with.

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The instructions were madly confusing and took a couple reads.  I thought this was just going to be a big sticker that we peeled off and stuck on the wall, but no such luck.  It was a sticker stuck to the vinyl cutout of a headboard stuck onto some sticker backing.  And there was much squeegeeing/”roll-mush-pull”-ing involved.

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This was definitely a two person job.  I roped in Ryan.  First we pulled off the sticker backing.  The clear part you see is sticky.

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Then we held it up, hovering next to the wall, Ryan announced it level, and we stuck it to the wall.

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Our walls are weirdly textured, and some kind of glossy/elementary school wall paint finish that’s easy to wipe down, so this thing did not want to stick.  Commence lots of squeegeeing.

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Seriously, lots.  I don’t think normal walls would demand this much work, but ours did not want anything adhered to them.

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It finally stuck on its own.  The little ‘+’s on the top middle of the design are for later, to stick the other piece of the headboard onto.  It was printed separately on the side of the sticker (it was too tall to all fit together), so we cut it off and stuck it aside for later.

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Next was the actual tough part: peeling off the sticky tape part and leaving the vinyl.  See, the vinyl didn’t want to stay on the wall.  It really wanted to stay on the tape part.  So more squeegeeing (I finally resorted to just rubbing with my fingernails).  Anywhere the vinyl would try to stick to the sticker and not the wall, you had to keep going over til it stuck and stayed.

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You can totally see in this picture where I screwed up and tore the vinyl a bit on the top right spikey thing and also lower down where the vinyl’s trying to stick to the sticker.

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Here’s the finished product.  All in all, I was pretty happy.  It’s a nice navy blue in real life, and isn’t as harsh as it looks here in my crappy bedroom lighting.

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You can see my ridiculous cherry blossoms decals I got from Amazon (they’re a Blik knockoff) and my LED “fairy lights” that I had as wall decor before.  They’re coming down eventually.  Especially the lights, which seemed like a cool idea on some design blog but just looked ridiculous the one time I turned them on.  Not cute together, and especially not with the headboard, so the other stuff is coming down.

The other reason I like a decal as wall art, and the reason I had the cherry blossoms, is that California is obviously earthquake country, and as many crazy breakable things as we have in our place (tons of glass and my handmade ceramics, plus electronics and all kind of other stuff), the last thing I want is to have a big picture fall off the wall and shatter glass on me while I’m sleeping when the next inevitable quake comes.  So this is a win for me.  Does anybody have any other ideas for earthquake friendly wall art?

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