6 simple steps to make your own fabric wallpaper

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Wall coverings may not have always been your favourite aspect of home design but be prepared to change your mind about that! DIY fabric wallpaper is opening up a world of possibilities to homeowners, so if you see something you like, you can get it on your walls to create something amazing, unique and special in a flash.

Think of fabric wallpaper as no more difficult to install than standard wallpaper. All you really need is the fabric that you like, some sharp tools and a keen eye and, before you know it, you will have created a feature wall that will have guests turning green with envy!

Take a look at our tips for DIY fabric wallpaper and see if you are feeling creative!

Tip 1: Choose your fabric

Northmore Minor- Teal fabric:   by Flock
Flock

Northmore Minor- Teal fabric

Flock

If you've spotted something truly gorgeous that you can't think of a use for, we suggest you just go for it and buy a nice big piece! This fabric, from Flock, is so eye-catchingly stunning that even though we aren't a whizz with a sewing machine, we would grab a few metres to stockpile for a special DIY fabric wallpaper project!

Be sure to get more than you will actually need for your wall, as you will want to maintain the continuity of the pattern and account for any cutting mistakes, not that you should have any of those, because we all know that you measure twice and cut once!

Tip 2: Select good tools

Fabric is one of those fabulous materials that can either be difficult or very easy to work with; it all just depends on the quality of the tools that you use and this goes doubly for DIY fabric wallpaper.

For a heavy fabric, paper scissors will simply not do, so we suggest that you invest in some proper heavy-handled tailors scissors, to ensure lovely crisp cuts and precise finishing. In addition, a strong adhesive for the wall and a flat edged scraper will also be vital, for ensuring perfect adhering without air bubbles! Don't forget that only an unprepared workman blames his tools, so you have no excuse!

Tip 3: Prepare your wall

Regardless of what room you are planning to install your DIY fabric wallpaper in, be it your bedroom or living room, you will need to invest some time in preparing the wall. 

Unless you are using a thick and very heavily patterned fabric, any undulations or ripples in the wall will be noticeable and amplified, so take the time to skim it, clean it and key it before you apply your amazing wallpaper! A sugar soap solution works best for removing any dirt and stickiness and a fine gauge sandpaper is ideal for taking any shine away so that your glue will stick quickly and effectively. The last thing you want is to finish your task and turn around to see your new feature wall sliding off!

Tip 4: Install your fabric

As any fabric will naturally act as a sponge for a wet adhesive, we suggest that you apply your glue directly to the wall. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, until it reaches a tacky stage, then hang your DIY fabric wallpaper directly on top. Smooth out any air bubbles to the side of the fabric.

For a super secure method of hanging, we suggest removing the coving in your room, so you can refit it afterwards, on top of your chosen fabric. This will ensure a perfect fit that will not peel down. If you are wary of using a wet adhesive, extra strong spray mount will also work, but be aware that heavy fabrics may not stay up permanently.

Tip 5: Finish your fabric off

Hotel City, Zurich: modern Bedroom by Dyer-Smith Frey
Dyer-Smith Frey

Hotel City, Zurich

Dyer-Smith Frey

You need to be aware that simply sticking some DIY fabric wallpaper to the wall will not be enough to create a really beautiful feature and that you will need to put some time and effort into finishing it! We love what has been done in this example, with the pattern following two walls round and ending at a natural point at the angled section. By opting to not simply finish the installation bluntly, on a jutting wall, the finish looks far more high-end and considered, much like a professional would muster and we are particularly impressed by the clever use of the headboard to cover the vast majority of the cut edge. That is fantastic planning!

Tip 6: Apply some finishing touches

We know you may not be keen to install a faux fur DIY fabric wallpaper scheme, as seen here, but what you might be tempted by is the fabulous leather-wrapped skirting board that is working so harmoniously with the rest of the scheme. 

If leather isn't for you, simply paint your skirting board a colour that will work with your chosen fabric and use it over the top, so that you ensure a crisp and clean finishing edge. Call us outrageous, but for really fun detailing, we would even be tempted to wrap the skirting in matching fabric, making sure the patterns line up perfectly too! 

For more fun design inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: 6 Ideas For a Unique and Fun Playroom.

Have you ever got creative with fabric? Share you experience with us, below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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