Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Wallfabricking" (Wallpaper a Wall With Fabric)

Hi guys!

Well, Shannon from The Reed Life (check it out, great blog!) left a comment the other day on "Control Corner" makeover post, and asked about the "wallfabricked" wall.  As I was explaining it, I realized a more detailed tutorial might be in order, so here it is!

Let me start by saying this project is SOOPER easy, and took me well under one hour to do the entire thing from start to finish.  I have wallpapered before, and I have also used decorative film on my windows - a process much like wallpapering, in which you have to smooth out wrinkles and bubbles as you go - and this was far and away easier than either of those things!  I don't believe I will ever purchase wallpaper again.  And by the way?  Have you priced wallpaper lately?  This project can also be MUCH cheaper (unless you prefer designer brand fabrics, in which case, it is probably a comparable price.)

I myself did this wall for around $20 - and the fabric was a bit of a splurge for me at 7.95/yd (I usually go towards the $2 clearance bins...)

With that said, here we go:

Oops.  I put "sponge" and photographed a washcloth...Meh, you get the picture.

DIRECTIONS: (pictures not included because I did this a few days ago.  OoOOoh, an exercise in the imagination!)

1.  Cut fabric to size.  (This is the kind of thing you want to measure three times and cut once.)  ***The fabric will fit just as you cut it.  It does not shrink or expand with the starch.***
2.  Tack fabric up in the top two corners where you would like the fabric to be.
3.  Soak the paint roller in the starch, and roll it on the top of the fabric, soaking just enough for the starch to reach the other side of the fabric, thus clinging the fabric to the wall. Start at the highest point your roller can reach.  As soon as you have covered an area of about 3x3 feet, smooth it out with you hands, pressing any wrinkles or air bubbles into the sides or towards the bottom where the fabric is still dry.*** Do not try to pull the fabric too harshly.  It stretches much too easily, and once stretched, it does not return to it's original size.  Particularly if you have a patterned fabric, this can make your pattern longer in one area, thus resulting in an inconsistent pattern.*** Continue rolling on the starch and smoothing out wrinkles until just about all of your fabric is damp with the starch.  Corners and sides where the roller can't reach may still be dry.
4.  Remove your tacks and use a starch soaked washcloth to apply starch to the corners and sides.
5.  Let it dry for the day before adding anything to it.  (Now that's just good ole' common sense...)

This was the result:

I can tell you after having this up for the week, it shows not the smallest sign of peeling in the corners or sides.

I was asked if it ruins the wall behind, and the truth is - I dunno.  /dignose

All I can tell you is liquid starch is mostly made from corn starch, water, and soap, and I don't smell any funny smells coming from the wall. Also, this is not an original idea of mine and there are those out in the blogosphere that have done this and posted tutorials before - so I am hoping that if this did ruin the wall, we would know about it by now.

So, I feel confident that it doesn't ruin the wall, but I'm not certain.  I do know if you are concerned about it at any point, you can just wet down the fabric and pull it off to see what's going on back there.  /nobigdeal  Then you can wash your fabric and use it in another project - which also makes it the perfect project for renters!  Pretty cool!

Hope that tutorial helps!  

Don't forget to "Follow" the blog if you're coming from Pinterest and like this tutorial.  I will be doing more home decor in the near future.  Thanks!


  1. This is awesome! Does it matter how thick your fabric is?


    1. Hi Rach!

      I'm honestly not certain, but I wouldn't think it matters. Mine was a thin cotton, but it didn't even try to start peeling or falling which indicates to me that you could use a thicker fabric and still get the same results. I'm thinking as long as you're not trying to stick a blanket up there or something, you'll be fine! :)

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