arsenic 179

Ok, now this is a yellow wallpaper. Those pink vine patterns totally evoke skulls to me, and the color of the paper makes me of course think of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story, so I wanted to have skulls emerge from some of the vines, but not all. I wish it was a bit more random, to be honest, but the combination of my photoshop skills and Spoonflower’s limits have temporarily foiled me. I love it anyway. Scroll down for possibilities.

Wallpapers made with pigments from arsenic—it was a thing in the 19th century! And now you can pay tribute to your colorful goth side in these patterns but without the risk of dying from them.

The base pattern for this design comes from the 1874 volume compiled by R.C. Kedzie, Shadows from the walls of death: facts and inferences prefacing a book of specimens of arsenical wall papers. The book was digitized in full by the amazing staff at the U.S. National Library of Medicine and can be viewed at You can also read more about the book and its preservation and digitization in the blog series at (links to parts 1 and 2 are at the end of this post). The skulls interposed in this pattern are my addition and are taken from J.G. Heck’s 1852 Iconographic encyclopaedia of science, literature, and art, digitized in full by the Smithsonian Libraries and available at

Wallpaper, fabric, and various household goods from this pattern are underway to be sold at Spoonflower, but I have to get proofs first.

Are you crawling the walls yet? Maybe this is the one that I should put on the wall outside my laundry room…..