Wall art can be expensive and you all know I am the kind of person who is all about saving money when I can! Enter DIY fabric wall art! Creating your own art is not only a rewarding craft project, but an easy way to customize a piece for your home decor in a creative way. Of all my DIY projects, I have repeated this one over and over. I will show you how to transform blank walls with simple wood frames and pieces of fabric into beautiful wall art in this tutorial.
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When I designed the bunk room I had a difficult time deciding on art for above the desk. In fact I even thought I might do floating shelves or an art ledge like the family room. But when I stumbled upon some textured placemats at HomeGoods and a small cotton rug at IKEA, I knew they were both destined to be art and compliment each other.
DIY Fabric Wall Art
In this tutorial I am going to show you how to make your own DIY fabric wall art two ways! One using frames and one using an old canvas. Bonus, both methods include IKEA Hacks! I mean are you really that surprised?
DIY Fabric Wall Art Using Frames and Placemats
Step 1 – Choose the Frames
First thing is to choose the frames you want to use. This should be done prior to choosing your fabric to ensure you have enough fabric for the project. The size of frame you use is up to you. You can use a large picture frame or a small one. I chose to use four medium sized frames, two black frames and two gold frames from IKEA that are very close in size and quite affordable.
Step 2 – Choose the Fabric
Next stop is to choose the fabric you would like to use. This can be almost anything! A remanent from an upholstery project or other home decor projects, a sentimental piece, or a beautiful fabric you find at your local fabric store. The choice is yours. I used placemats and a cotton rug that complimented each other and the color pallet in the bunk room. Both were very inexpensive.
Step 3 – Cut the Fabric
Next you will need to cut your fabric down to the desired size. If you are using picture frames with mats like I did you can simply place your fabric on top of the mat and make sure the backside of the fabric covers the entire opening of the mat. You can also measure your fabric with a measuring tape, but I didn’t think that was necessary. I was able to eye ball it pretty easily.
Step 4 – Tape the Fabric Down
To make sure there is no saggy fabric, I always tape down the edges of fabric to the back of the picture frame mat with painters tape. I prefer to use painters tape because it can be repositioned without ripping off the paper on the mat.
Step 5 – Hang the Fabric Wall Art
Once your fabric is secure in the frame and the back of the frame is attached, hang your art! I like to use a tape measure for this part to make sure all my frames line up. I alternated the patterns and the frames to make a cohesive grid pattern above my IKEA Rast desk hack.
Pro Tip: To keep your art from shifting and becoming off kilter, use a small piece of this putty in the center of each side of the back of each frame and stick it to the wall. No more crooked art!
DIY Fabric Wall Art Using a Canvas and IKEA Rug
Step 1 – Choose a Canvas
First you will want to choose your canvas. You can buy one new or used at your favorite thrift store. I had one on hand from a previous art project gone horribly wrong, lol! This is from my red phase….. You just want to make sure your canvas is already stretched on a wooden frame.
Step 2 – Choose the Fabric
Next up is to choose the fabric you would like to use. Like I said above, this can be almost anything! If you choose to make a larger art piece like I did you will need a larger piece of fabric. I used a cheap cotton rug with a simple pattern that I found at IKEA. This is the IKEA Tiphede. I even had enough to make a few framed pieces of art with the leftover.
Step 3 – Cut the Fabric
Next you will need to cut your fabric down to the desired size. The easiest way to do this is to lay out the fabric right side down and place your canvas on it upside down. You will want to leave several inches of excess on each side so you can wrap it around the canvas. You can always trim extra fabric off but you cannot add more. Trim to the desired size.
Step 4 – Staple the Fabric to the Canvas
Before you add any staples to the canvas frame, make sure your fabric is pulled taught under the canvas. You do not want any wrinkles. I usually start on one side and staple it down and then move to the opposite side of the canvas and pull it taught and staple. You will need a heavy duty staple gun for this part especially if you use a rug like I did which is thicker fabric.
When you get to the corners you will want to treat this as though you are wrapping a present.
Step 5 – Hang or Display the Fabric Wall Art
No matter what you decide the final result will be a custom piece of DIY fabric art!
Types of Fabric to Make Art From
The possibilities here are truly endless! While I used placemats and a thin rug to make my DIY wall art, there are a variety of options to customize your art piece. And the best part is there is no wrong way to do this. If you sew a lot or do frequent fabric projects, you may even have fabric pieces on hand from your fabric stock that would be a perfect fit.
You could easily use a tea towel, a beautiful floral linen fabric, a sentimental handkerchief, a table runner, a piece of lace from a wedding dress, a monogramed piece of fabric, or simply a beautiful print that speaks to you at the fabric store. It can be new fabric or old as long as the finished piece makes you happy! The type of fabric you use is entirely up to you.
For this project I used two types of fabric. For the gallery wall above the desk I chose two different fabrics in the same color scheme that I snagged for less than $30 in total! The first was a set of placemats I found at Home Goods and the other was a small cotton fabric rug from IKEA. The rug was the perfect way to create a large art piece without spending a fortune on yards of fabric.
When to Use Fabric Art
Fabric art is a great way to get a custom piece of art for a little bit of money. And even if you aren’t on a tight budget, you can still make a really cool DIY project with gorgeous fabric. Fabric art is the perfect solution to art dilemmas of all kinds.
Wedding Decor – Weddings can cost a fortune these days and if you have planned one recently you know the second you add the word wedding to it, the cost triples! With just a few inches of fabric and some dollar store frames you can create beautiful table numbers or a seating chart. You could even make a DIY message board with cardstock and some push pins for your guests to write well wishes to the new couple. A few simple applications of fabric art can transform a wedding into a fairy tale day!
Dorm Rooms – Decorating a dorm room can feel impossible when most of the walls are usually concrete. And even though a year in the dorms is usually only 9 months, no one wants to live with a cold boring wall. With a glorious yard of fabric and some poster board you can create a multitude of DIY wall hangings that can be hung with two sided tape or putty. Totally renter/dorm room friendly!
Gallery Walls – As you can see, a few different patterns of fabric can come together with simple wooden frames to make a beautiful piece of wall art for less than $75! You can also use fabric to accent a gallery wall of photography, printable art, or watercolor paintings!
Decorating a New Home – Just like with weddings, buying a new home can set you back financially. If you need to give your wallet some time to recover but don’t want to spend your first few years looking at blank living room, dining room, or bedroom walls, give fabric art a try! If nothing else it will hold you over until you can afford expensive frames and new home decor.
Regardless of the room you are decorating, the fabric you choose, or the budget you are working with, DIY art with fabric is an affordable and custom option. Would you try this in your home?
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