How to make your own modern decor and hang it without damaging the wall

By on March 11, 2015

When you rent an apartment in Tokyo, one of the rules is not to damage the walls. That includes leaving no trace of nail marks when you vacate the apartment or you won’t see your deposit ever again.

While some apartments come with built-in art rails, some just don’t. If you live in one of those apartments without, not being able to hang your favorite wall art can be frustrating. But that’s a tall order only for those with heavy art pieces to hang. I found a practical solution. Go for light materials that you can make on your own.

Here’s an easy way to make a style statement in your living space and transform boring white walls into something that says about your style (with the hope of getting most of your deposit back when you leave your apartment). All it takes is a light styropore-ish material I found at a Tokyo art store called “Nori Pane” or adhesive boards. The ready made boards come in regular, medium and even large poster sizes. But if you need a custom size, some shops like Lapis Art supply store in Roppongi will take your order.

IMGP0580What you need:
Double sided adhesive tape (Don Quixote) or ryomen teipu
Nylon thread (Don Quijote)
Mini screwdriver (100 yen store)
Paper cutter (any stationery shop)
Ruler (any stationery shop)
Thumb Tacks (100 yen shop)
S-710 KY-parts (Don Quijote)
Canon high quality photo paper (Tokyu Hands or Bic Camera) A3 or A4, matte or glossy
Adhesive Art Board available in different sizes and thickness at Lapis art supply (located at the back of Roppongi Hills)
Tape measure
Paper cutting board
Nori Pane or adhesive board (Lapis Artitem39-146-2 Store Roppongi Hills)

1) Google up a wallpaper design you like that fits the layout of your wall.

2) Choose a a high resolution image usually 2 – 10 MP size depending on how large you want your image to be.

3) Go to and choose “print yourself.” Next, drag your image to break the size  into multiple A4 (or A3 ) paper size as shown below. Download the rasterized PDF files. The image I chose was rasterized into 8 A4 size

4) Prepare your high quality photo paper and print the images.

5) Paste the photos one by one on the adhesive board.

6) Make sure you have the right  adhesive board size.  These boards are usually  bigger than the photos by 2-3 cms.  Trim unwanted edges with a cutter and ruler.

If you choose to have a pop of colour or prefer to mix and match small and large boards, you can create something like this with an abstract image:

cropped6pc low-res

7) There are two ways to hang the pieces on the wall:

(concrete walls or partitions)

Use a double sided adhesive tape.


21Using a mini screw driver, attach the S-710 KY part on to your board, tie a nylon string and hang the art wall using thumb tacks.

About Andrzej Drozd