DIY Wallpaper with Gift Wrap

DIY Wallpaper with Gift Wrap

Okay yes, I know this post isn’t about video games and I haven’t written much here lately. I just recently became fully employed and I have a bunch of freelance gigs, which means long hours while I get organized. Given limited time, I’d rather be playing games than writing about them.

I will be back to writing thrice weekly very soon, and you can still check out Cat Context or catch up on the blogosphere over on my column at

In the meantime… here is a post on home decorating. Look, just roll with it.

Plain white walls are the bane of any decor-minded renter. You usually can’t paint them, and wallpaper is expensive and difficult to remove. The only real option is to hang up enough art and photos that it makes the walls look more interesting. Or is it?

I mean really, isn’t wallpaper just paper on a wall? Yes, traditionally it’s a certain type of paper that is attached with glue, but let’s not quibble about the facts. There are some other very lovely types of paper out there, such as gift wrap. And staples can stick paper to a wall, but they’re also easy to remove and the holes can be puttied over in minutes before moving.

Clearly I would be stupid for NOT gift-wrapping a wall!


This is the kitchen cutout wall in my apartment. As you can see it is very white and boring, but doesn’t lend itself to art. You may also notice a slightly confused man in the kitchen thinking, “Why is she taking a picture of the wall oh god what is she up to now,” but that is not important to this project.


To gift wrap a wall, you will need:

A staple gun
A sharp xacto knife
Lovely gift wrap in a quantity large enough to cover your wall

Let’s talk about the gift wrap. For the best effect, you probably want to splurge on nice paper. Try a store like Luxe Paperie. Some things you want to keep in mind when choosing your gift wrap are:

  • Paper thickness: You won’t always have a choice, but thicker is more durable.
  • Pattern matching: You’ll probably want to make the pattern seamless between pieces, so pick something that won’t be too hard to align.
  • Reflectiveness: A pattern with shiny pieces will reflect the light in your room differently. That’s fine, but keep it in mind.
  • Pattern size: Don’t pick a pattern with tiny elements — remember that most people will be viewing your wall from a few feet away.

You also want to chose a wall that doesn’t get a lot of rough traffic or wet splashes. Order one extra sheet of paper to keep on-hand in case you need to repair a tear.

The actual procedure for papering is exactly what you’d expect:

  1. Staple a piece of gift wrap to your wall.
  2. Use the xacto knife to trim around the edges or around outlets and vents.
  3. Smooth out your paper constantly as you staple to keep ripples to a minimum.
  4. Match the pattern for the next sheet, and keep going until you have no more uncovered wall.
  5. Success!


Ta-da! The kitchen wall is now an accent wall, and looks much better. The staples and any mis-matched pattern seams are not very visible unless you go looking for them. There is a little rippling, but generally it’s not bad.

Overall wallpaper is probably the better choice if you own your walls or you are expecting to host the Queen for dinner, but if you are on a tight budget and a renter I would totally recommend this technique and I will definitely do it again in the future.

Project cost: $75 (paper and staple gun)
Time needed: About 4 hours

Cat Context 73: Star Wars, Batman v Superman, Superhero Movies, Dragon Age

Cat Context 73: Star Wars, Batman v Superman, Superhero Movies, Dragon Age


There was a technical problem while recording so the audio is not as high quality as usual. Thanks for bearing with us!

This week Liore, Ellyndrial, and Arolaide are joined by friend to the show Corranhorn to talk about superheroes, mobile games, and a trailer for a little movie that takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

That’s right: the trailer for the newest Star Wars movie was released this week and despite the fact that Aro refuses to watch it just yet we still manage to dissect every frame along with superfan Corr. Even the most resistant of the crew (Liore, obvs) admits that it’s a pretty awe-inspiring trailer and definitely an improvement over the previous sneak peek. And that opening set! And the cameo at the end! And the music and the cinematography and okay let’s face it, we’re nerds for space.

What we’re not nerds for, on the other hand, is superheroes. Elly, Aro, and Corr defend the genre in general, but everyone agrees that the new Batman v. Superman trailer is underwhelming at best and not much of an improvement on any recent Superman movie. Meanwhile Liore is bored of superheroes — so bored, you guys — and defends her position via the medium of ranting. Are superhero tropes boring now? Is the whole Marvel content calendar of movies a bad idea? Does Liore just hate fun? (No!)

Also Aro and Cullen are sittin’ in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G in Dragon Age: Inquisition! Elly is playing a weird Japanese mobile game about cats! Liore is hooked on Puzzle & Dragons!

Like to watch? This podcast has a livestreamed video version:

If you enjoyed this podcast, please “Like” or “Favorite” it in your media consumption method of choice! It makes us feel nice.

* The Star Wars trailer
* The Batman v Superman trailer
* Aro’s screenshot Tumblr
* A cool blog post on how to play Neko Atsume
* Free Music Archive page for our theme, in THE crowd by The Years

Cash Shop Accountability, a.k.a public shaming

Cash Shop Accountability, a.k.a public shaming

I was lying in bed at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning playing Puzzle & Dragons on my phone when I noticed that there was a limited-time event going on that greatly boosted the chances of getting a Super Rare god monster from an egg lockbox. Having just started playing the game I knew that adding a SR god to my arsenal would be an enormous boon, but there was a little problem: egg lockboxes cost 5 magic stones, and I only had 3.

Actually, it wasn’t much of a problem. I just went to the in-game store, tapped a couple of buttons, and suddenly I owned $5 worth of magic stones. I never even had to move my head off of the pillow.

Divine Flowers, Da Qiao & Xiao Qiao

In my defense Divine Flowers, Da Qiao & Xiao Qiao is a very good monster.

In fact, it was so easy that the next morning I didn’t remember making the purchase until I saw the Google Wallet receipt in my email. It made me wonder how much I really spend on cash shops in a year. $3 here, $10 there, often late at night when I’m feeling impulsive.. well, it all had to add up.

My plan now is to share a public reckoning of my cash shop purchases a few times a year. It will keep me honest and possibly shame me away from my more ridiculous purchases, but more importantly I think the data will be interesting. Let’s see the 2015 numbers so far:

Cash Shop Reckoning, 2015 Part One

Hearthstone: Gnomes vs. Goblins cards: $9.99
Hearthstone: Arena Ticket: $1.99
Hearthstone: Blackrock Depths wing: $6.99

Final Fantasy XIV: A hat that looks like an egg: $3.00

Puzzle & Dragons: Magic Stones: $4.99
Puzzle & Dragons: Magic Stones: $4.99

Total Spent: $31.95

$32 isn’t a terrible number, but it’s definitely more than I would have guessed. Hearthstone is my cash shop weakness but to my credit I’ve been good about grinding daily quests for gold to buy the other Blackrock wings. Spending $10 on Puzzle & Dragons is just silly. I can possibly sort of justify it by saying that I’ve gotten $10 of enjoyment out of the game, but I hereby declare that it will not get another penny from me. (Uh huh.) As for the FFXIV hat…

FFXIV egg hat

I regret nothing.

The WoW Token Almost Got Me

The WoW Token Almost Got Me

This week Blizzard debuted their new “WoW Token”, allowing players to purchase months of subscription time with in-game gold. I haven’t put a lot of thought into the theorycraft behind the Token so I’ll leave that to others who have but I can confirm that it alllllmost got me back into Azeroth.

(By the way, “WoW Token” just further cements my view that for all of their creative talents Blizzard is terrible at naming things.)

Ever since I stopped raiding my version of the WoW endgame has been playing the Auction House. Flipping virtual goods on a large scale, with all of its attendant weird mods and spreadsheets, scratches an itch that other games rarely do. WoW’s giant playerbase creates a busy and relatively volatile market and unlike EVE Online I’m not going to be raided by pirates while standing in the middle of Orgrimmar.

The Token is currently in the mid-20k price range, which seems shockingly reasonable to me. I haven’t played WoW since late Pandaria but to my knowledge someone who dedicated their time to gold-making would have no problem paying for their own subscription. Perhaps WoW has become the affordable Auction House Simulator of my dreams?


And so I booted up the game, only to be reminded that I spent the most of my gold on a shiny yak before quitting WoW last time so I didn’t have enough to buy a token now. “That’s okay,” I thought to myself as my mouse cursor hovered over the reactivate-for-actual-cash button. “You have to spend money to make money, right?!” But then I really started thinking — wasn’t part of my previous gold pile the result of max-level crafting abilities? I’m five levels and a ton of recipes behind now. And, ugh, Garrisons are in the game now and I’d probably have to make at least a moderate amount of effort to level one up. I was looking at a pretty significant time investment before I could even reasonably compete with the other Auction House Moguls.

And so, once again, I resisted resubscribing to WoW. The WoW Token seems like a cool idea and prices at the moment are very reasonable, but it’s still not an answer for that admittedly tiny niche of people who just want to play Bankers of Azeroth.

Cat Context 72: Dragon Age DLC, Final Fantasy Record Keeper, Superhero Movies

Cat Context 72: Dragon Age DLC, Final Fantasy Record Keeper, Superhero Movies


Like Cat Context? Check out the The Gaming and Entertainment Network for more great shows!

This week Liore, Ellyndrial, and Arolaide talk about the new Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC, lament getting sucked into more mobile games like Final Fantasy Record Keeper, and as usual insult each other over our choices in television and movies.

Aro has been playing the new Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC and she’s having a pretty good time! To be fair she’s also on her fourth or fifth playthrough of the game in general, so she’s clearly a fan, but the DLC is fun if not tooooooootally worth $15. She and Liore take some time to talk about how much they love (and in some cases love-love) all of the companions.. except Blackwall. Screw that guy. Also, Elly still hasn’t played DA:I, and he is mocked mercilessly for that fact.

What Elly has been playing, though, is crappy mobile games! He talks about a mining game that’s been his go-to time waster lately, while Liore has been dabbling in the new Final Fantasy Record Keeper. Aro is still playing Dragon Coins and sounds a liiiiittle bitter about it, while Liore has resorted to the grand-daddy of the genre, Puzzles and Dragons.

Also, Liore is, like, so over superhero movies you guys! Elly has been watching weird Canadian sexy sci-fi! Aro has strong feelings about James Spader!

Like to watch? This podcast has a livestreamed video version:

If you enjoyed this podcast, please “Like” or “Favorite” it in your media consumption method of choice! It makes us feel nice.

* Free Music Archive page for our theme, in THE crowd by The Years

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