Wallpapering With Fabric

So, I thought, since I've covered every other way to make your walls interesting, I should touch on this option as well.  I am actually contemplating undertaking this project.  What's crazy is, I haven't really found a great "finished" picture of anyone who has tried an entire room with this idea.  But, I did come across this (shown above) where a one wall of a closet was done...hmmmm.  Better than nothing.

So, after seeing that it can be done, I found a few fabrics that I wouldn't mind doing it with.  Observe...

1, 2

They would require a good deal of patience I fear, when it comes to matching the pattern up.  As you can see, I adopt a kind of "go bold, or go home" approach to fabric as wallpaper.  I figure hey, this is totally not permanent, so I have the option of having a little fun with it.  Right...here are some brighter options...

I'm super diggin' the floral (above) and PP's Togo (below,left.) I think the floral one would be fabulous...but, the hubby might not completely agree with me on that one.  Of course, if I go the Togo one, my husband might tease me about having a dead Dalmatian on the wall, like he did with this epic fail of a project I attempted in our old bathroom.

A little Chinoisorie anyone?  Or, how 'bout some Ikat?  Maybe a trellis print is more your speed.

BUT, if I had to choose right now, and I was going to do it for sure...I would choose this one below...

As you can see the print is huuuuuge.  It has been my favorite fabric for a very long time and I have been waiting for just the right place to use it.  It will be somewhere in the apartment. Where, is still to be determined.

So, if you are feeling brave enough, I found the instructions for undertaking this project.  Who knows, I might just buck up and try it myself. 

Things You'll Need:

  • Thin fabric (quilt cotton or gauze)
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Fabric starch
  • Paint pan
  • Paint roller
  • Sponge
  • Gentle wall cleaner
  • Push pins
  • Craft knife 
  1. Measure the height of the wall, using a measuring tape. Add 3 inches to this measurement. This will be the length of the fabric panels you cut.

  2. Cut lengths of thin fabric to the correct length, using scissors. The number of panels you'll cut depends on the width of your walls and how many walls you want to cover. Remove the selvages, or tightly woven side edges, from all panels.

  3. Remove dirt or film from the walls with a sponge and gentle wall cleaner. Rinse the wall with clear water until all traces of cleaner are removed.

  4. Pour starch into the paint pan until it is about half full. Use the roller to put starch on the wall at one corner where you will start to cover it. Roll starch on the top half of the wall. Add a generous amount of starch so that it will soak into the fabric.

  5. Place a fabric panel on the wall, leaving 1 1/2 inch hanging above the wall top as overlap, to be cut off later. Smooth the fabric with the roller to remove bubbles. Place a row of pushpins at the top of the fabric to help hold it in place.

  6. Apply a layer of starch on top of the fabric, using the roller. Use a generous amount so the fabric is completely saturated.

  7. Add more starch to the wall farther down and attach more of the panel to the wall. Smooth the fabric, then add more starch on top of the fabric. Continue in this manner until the entire panel is attached to the wall and soaked with starch liquid.

  8. Apply starch to the wall next to the first panel to attach the second one. Stick this panel to the wall in the same way as the first. Continue adding fabric panel until your wall or room is covered.

  9. Trim the excess fabric from the top and bottom of the wall with scissors after the fabric has completely dried.


Unknown said...

I'd love to try this- Nate just actually did a tutorial on his show yesterday. My only issue is the cost of the fabric- you would need many yards, which could end up being $$$- I love love the idea and look of it though - especially when framed with ribbon around the edges. I think the chinoiserie one would be amazing:)

Unknown said...

I am with Christine..it might get more pricey then wall coverings??? But if you took it down later much less hassle :) I am going to price it out with some of my current fav fabrics...thanks for the tutorial.

Nichole Loiacono said...

I can understand (and agree) if you use an expensive fabric for it. That would kind of defeat the purpose. But, most of the fabrics shown above are around $7-8. Plus, fabric is MUCH wider than a wallpaper strip. It should add up (with budget fabric) to be a great savings potentially.

Krystal {Blue Ribbon} said...

Sarah Richardson did it in Sarah's House season 3 (dining room).


Nichole Loiacono said...


Brilliant! Thanks for the link!


Amber Interiors said...

I was gonna give this a try in G's room...mainly because it will make it feel all pillowy and quet in a totally fabriced room... I will try it if you will try it!!!!

Unknown said...

I love this idea, especially as a renter. I was thinking that instead of pushpins you could put those 3M sticky tabs used for hanging artwork? That way you wouldn't see the pushpins and it is easily removable. Great post!

Nichole Loiacono said...


The pushpins aren't permanent. They are just there to hold the fabric up while it's drying.

Meghan said...

That makes more sense :) I know other blogs that have covered fabric as a wallcovering have mentioned that they don't stay up very well unless you do something extra to adhere at the top...something to consider anyway!

Erin // Studio336 said...

A friend of mine did something similar in a college apartment where you weren't allowed to paint or hang anything that might damage the walls. His approach was a little different, using a solid light cotton. I'm not quite sure how he put it up, but i remember him saying something about hidden staples or somethings of the sort. It looked great, but was easy to remove a year later.

You're fabric choices are excellent.

Rina said...

Interesting I just saw this today at a store in Houston! It looked lovely. I was thinking it would look nice on the back of a bookshelf as well.

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