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Create your own DIY fabric wallpaper: 6 easy steps

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Holland Park: Notting Hill Modern nursery/kids room by Roselind Wilson Design Modern
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The walls of your home or your room are your own private cocoon—a place where memories hang, a place where windows provide a view to the world outside, a place where you sit back and take a breather or a place where you get inspired to give it your all! Hitting the right note with the perfect wall treatment for your basic décor theme as well as your mood is a matter of great importance when doing up your space. An accent wall in a contrast colour or fabric draping your walls in a lush expression of understated, old world luxury are just a few of your options. If you are a fan of the latter and have been wondering, “how can I create a DIY fabric wallpaper”—We have just the trick for you to create and drape beautiful DIY fabric wallpaper in 6 simple steps!

Choose the right fabric

The marketplace is replete with all kinds of fabric and it can take a day or two of research and hunting to actually zero in on your choice. For DIY fabric wallpaper, the first step is to know what kind of fabric you want – your choice of fabric can make or break your style statement. Your best bet would be a medium weight or light weight fabric that’s a natural fibre. Hemp and linen are popular choices in this category. These fabrics are available in neutral shades and can render an earthy feel to your space even as they give you the leeway to play around with themes, colour palettes and ornamentation within your space. Using this kind of fabric also means quick execution! Go for a jute finish roll of fabric if you are up for something exotic yet understated. But remember, it must be lightweight!

Gather your tools and materials

Testing paint colours by Design by Deborah Ltd
Design by Deborah Ltd

Testing paint colours

Design by Deborah Ltd

One of the initial steps in any DIY project is to find the appropriate tools and material – you don’t want to go wrong with this step! A trip to your local hardware store or DIY store will set you up. All you need for your DIY fabric wallpaper is the fabric (measured to ensure that it is enough for your wall and fits the dimensions you are looking to cover), a small foam roller as well as a roller pan for you to mix, roll and smear your wet ingredients together, push pins to hold the fabric in place while applying, a pair of sharp-edged scissors – large but light – and a knife that’s good for crafting or a cutter with razor sharp teeth.

Once you have all your tools ready, you need to find yourself an open space, preferably with a large table that can house your tools and allow you to spread the length of your fabric so you can work on it comfortably. Remember to get yourself a pair of rubber gloves to avoid getting your hands dirty or hurt.

Apart from the fabric, the other important material is liquid starch. This usually comes in a ready to use solution and you would do well to pick up a gallon per 4 metres of fabric. Use a deep bucket or a large bowl to pour it into.

Put time in preparation

modern  by Bellerby and Co Globemakers, Modern
Bellerby and Co Globemakers

First wash of colour goes on to the gores

Bellerby and Co Globemakers

It’s all in the preparation, they say – and the DIY Gods couldn’t have been more right. Preparing to make your own wallpaper is a matter of preparing well and knowing exactly how and what you need to do. To begin with, you must measure the space you want the wallpaper for. Get yourself an extendable, pull out a metal tape measure and let it unfurl along the length and breadth of the wall – or walls – that need covering. Once you are done measuring, it is time to cut the fabric. You might also want to subtract any moulding and make cut outs for the windows along the wall you are preparing to drape. Wipe down the wall to ensure that there are no unnecessary pieces of dirt or paper that can ruin an otherwise smooth wallpaper application job. Also, when you are cutting your fabric you will want to leave a few inches off to the sides, which can be trimmed later. This will help you apply the wallpaper and fabric tighter for a smoother finish.

Next, remember the deep bucket or large bowl we had asked you to keep handy? Well, it’s time to bring it out and place the cut fabric in it. Pour the liquid starch over it until it is completely saturated or covered. Pick up the fabric once it is completely drenched, and wring it tight until the excess starch is completely squeezed out, back into the bowl or bucket. But don’t discard this extra starch just yet!

Put the fabric in place

Wall paint design Asian style walls & floors by homify Asian

Wall paint design


So now that you have cut and prepared the fabric, how do you apply it? Well, the trick is to first put the fabric in place. The fabric – now wet with starch – will easily stick to your wall. Hold it up over the desired area and quickly punch push pins in the corners to avoid droopy edges. Get your small foam roller out and dip it in the extra starch remaining in the bowl. Swipe tightly over the fabric and use your hands to press it against the wall. This gorgeous idea by Bonito Designs Bangalore not only motivates, but also helps accomplish your goals.

Edit and re-edit!

The next important step is to edit the fabric. If your fabric dries out soon, you can always re-apply the liquid starch. Also, if you find any bubbles lurking around, you can readjust and use the roller as well as your palms to smooth the surface out.

Add the finishing touches!

Your final task is finishing. Use your trimmer or cutter or a pair of sharp scissors to remove the excess fabric for a neat finish! Don’t forget to wait for the drying time – which is usually an hour or two.

Your DIY fabric wallpaper is now ready in six simple steps! Now, sit back and enjoy your handiwork – call friends over, light some candles and let the well-earned compliments flow!

Which idea from here inspired you the most? Let us know in the comments!
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