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DIY Fabric Wallpaper (and DIY Fabric Wall Decals) is a great way to decorate your home inexpensively and without any toxins!
I have yet to own my house and as such I have yet to be able to decorate our walls with anything permanent.
However, after almost 7 years of renting, I’ve had enough of plain white walls however I needed to find a way to decorate without ruining my landlord’s walls.
The latest rental approved decoration seems to be wall decals (or even the full sized wall murals). They claim to be removable and you can find one to fit your style easily enough.
My Issues With Standard Wall Decals
1) They are usually rather expensive. I’m sure they are reasonably priced for what they are, after all they are usually either large or detailed. However, it is hard to pay so much money for a glorified sticker.
2) Usually these decals are made of vinyl or PVC. The problem with vinyl/PVC is that it’s toxic. Sure you and your children might not be putting the decals in your mouths but just the off gassing is enough to contaminate indoor air. Not to mention that vinyl/PVC is hardly a good thing for landfills.
However, I’m happy to share that I’ve found a non-toxic, inexpensive, and biodegradable wall decal! Fabric decals!
Now fabric decals can be bought but then you spend a lot of money.
If you can cut and paste (in real life, I’m not talking computer here) then you can make these diy fabric decals and even diy fabric wallpaper yourself!
I first found this idea from How About Orange so a great big thank you is in order!
I recently “wallpapered” our bathroom in fabric and it was extremely easy and relatively cheap.
All you need to do is buy the fabric and whip up a batch of homemade starch and you are good to go.
You can of course, do this with smaller wall decals as well. I quickly did a small fabric decal just to show you how easy it is as well as to show you that they are easily removed with no damage.
Want to know how I did it?
DIY Fabric Wallpaper and Fabric Wall Decals
2 cups water
3 Tbs. cornstarch
Fabric (you’ll need to calculate how many yards if using wallpaper, if doing decals then make sure the fabric is cut out and ready. It’s also advised to pre-wash fabric to insure that there is no bleeding onto the wall)
Xacto knife –if doing wallpaper
Boil water in a pot. Mix the cornstarch in a separate bowl with just a bit of water until the powder is dissolved.
Whisk in the cornstarch mixture into the boiling water. Make sure to whisk well.
Cook for about 1 minute and then remove from heat and allow to cool.
Once mixture has cooled, you are ready to get to work.
Apply the paste with paintbrush onto the area of the wall where you will be placing the fabric.
Once the paste is on the wall, then apply your fabric.
Adjust the fabric is needed (the paste is very forgiving) and smooth out as you go.
That’s all there really is to it. Just paste and apply fabric. You can add another layer of paste on top of the fabric but it isn’t necessary.
If you are doing fabric “wallpaper” you will most likely need to use the Xacto knife to cut around odd places such as windows or door frames.
I found it’s best to cut a bit too large, finish pasting and then when it’s all done, go back and cut it to the proper size. It is probably best to go over the edges with a bit more paste once you are finished cutting so that everything stays put.
How To Remove Fabric Wallpaper:
Simply pull the fabric off. It’s that easy. You may have a bit of paste reside or threads but this is easily removed by a damp cloth or sponge.
I adore this idea. I'm planning on making decals for my daughter's room. I think it's great for kids' rooms…easy to change as they grow, but still super cute!
I found you on BBC, what a fun and unique idea! I'm going to be redoing my son's room soon, I'll have to make this an option.
Great idea! Definitely pinning this for future reference 🙂
this is perfect! can you reuse this or once you remove it is it done?
You know Katie, I haven't tired to see if it is reusable. I would imagine it is as you should be able to just re-starch it. If it was too stiff to re-starch you could wash the fabric and then try reapplying…. (decals might not like the wash though…)
is this a long term option? how long does it stay up? any effect from really hot/humid and cold days? would it work over paneling?
Yes this is a long term option! I've had this on my wall for over 2 years now! As far as I know it's indefinite! I wouldn't do it in a bathroom where showers/baths are taken just because the humidity would loosen the fabric up continuously…. mine is done in my downstairs bathroom (no shower/bath) and that room it's self can get really cold in the winter or warm in the summer. It has not been effected. Essentially as long as it stays dry it is fine. even occasionally humidity shouldn't bother it.
As for it working over paneling, I'm not certain…. you'd probably see the paneling details through the fabric…. my only concern would be that the paneling might be to slick for the fabric to stick on…. but if it's a rougher paneling then it should work….would could always test a small piece of fabric first.
Does it matter the thickness of the fabric? I want to hand material that is a little thick with the felt/soft side against the wall.
I don’t think it should matter. You might need to use a little more effort (either with more paste or longer holding it in place) but it should work. So long as it’s not incredibly heavy.