Fabric Wallpaper: 15 Helpful Tips From Experienced DIYers
Three experienced DIYers, Emily of Emily A. Clark, Stephanie of Cre8tive Designs, and Sherry of Young House Love all tried the fabric wallpaper in their homes and shared their results and tips on their blogs. Here are their best tips all in one place for you!
Emily put up a beautiful chinoiserie toile fabric in her daughters’ bedroom using liquid starch. First, she rolled the wall with the liquid starch and then put the fabric on the wall. After pressing out all the wrinkles, she did another coat of starch on top.
Stephanie created an accent wall in her guest room with a bold yellow fabric with liquid starch. She put up the fabric panel by panel — she rolled a section of the wall with liquid starch and then rolled the liquid on the back of one fabric panel, and then put that up on the wall. Then she did the same thing for the next panel and so on.
Sherry covered a wall in her daughter’s bedroom closet in a whimsical floral fabric with only a staple gun and some fabric glue. She held up the fabric and stapled along the edges of the wall, starting at a top corner and working her way down.
Their fabric wallpapers are gorgeous, but they did encounter some trial and error in completing their projects. This is a good thing for you, since you can learn from their useful tips!
- Use a busy fabric for your fabric wallpaper so it’s harder to see the seams.
- Choose the right fabric for this project. Home decorator fabrics are great, 100% cotton fabric is a good idea. Velvet fabric is too heavy and silk fabric will leave behind water marks if you’re using liquid starch.
- There are many wallpaper calculators on the internet, such as this one. You can use these calculators to help you figure out how much fabric to buy.
- Buy a few extra yards of fabric in case you make some mistakes.
- Heavily textured walls might not work well with liquid starch. You could try sanding down the walls before starching.
- Remove the face plates of outlets and light switches before putting up the fabric.
- Get someone to help you if possible; an extra set of hands is so useful in holding up and positioning the fabric.
- Use thumb tacks to hold up the fabric as you roll on the liquid starch or staple away.
- Use a broad knife or wallpaper brush to quickly smooth out fabric and press it on the wall, especially in the corners. If you don’t want to buy a new tool, a piece of stiff cardboard works. This is for the liquid starch method.
- If the starch dries and the fabric doesn’t adhere, add more liquid starch.
- If you’re stapling the fabric to the wall, keep the fabric pulled taut as you staple.
- Overlapping the edges of your fabric panels is easier than butting up the two edges.
- Use a staple gun along the seams of your fabric panels if you’re using liquid starch and feel like your fabric needs the extra hold.
- Use an x-acto knife to cut away excess fabric along the edges of the wall and around outlets. Use a brand new blade for best results.
- Cover up the cut edges with ribbon trim. You can hold down the ribbon trim with black furniture tacks (like Emily did) or glue it with fabric glue (like Sherry did).
Thanks to these tips, it should be a pretty straightforward DIY for you that will give you amazing results! For a general idea of the costs of fabric wallpaper, it cost Emily around 170 dollars to cover her wall with 9 yards of fabric and 15 yards of ribbon. Of course, the final cost breakdown depends on your fabric choice. Find a great fabric you love on sale and you’ll pay even less for a beautiful accent wall.
Don’t want to cover a whole wall, but love the idea of using fabric on the wall? Consider fabric wall decals or covering the back of bookshelves with a pretty fabric.