When it comes to adding color, texture, and interest to your home’s interior, there’s no reason to feel limited to upholstery or other furnishings when you know how to decorate with fabric panels. Panels of eye-catching fabric can be installed on padded foam boards, as well as cut pieces of foam or plywood. They can be mounted in frames. They can even be artfully hung from the ceiling. Whether you own your home or rent, fabric panels are a wonderfully versatile option when you’d rather not paint or paper.
Here we’ll break down how to make your own fabric panels step-by-step. By following these simple instructions, you’ll be able to make an incredibly stylish and artistic statement in an easy and affordable way.
Choosing the Fabric
The first step is to pick your fabric. When doing so, make sure you choose fabrics that complement your decorating style and enhance the atmosphere you aim to create. Is your style shabby chic? Consider an old, distressed window frame filled with vintage quilt panels. For that space with an organic vibe, opt for panels made of hemp, jute, bamboo, or grasscloth. Looking for a splash of modern glam? Think shiny, metallic fabric panels in hues of gold, bronze, and copper. If it’s luxury you seek, panels of silk and satin will do the trick. For an ultra-feminine look, look to velvet or lace.
It’s also important to look for complementary patterns and motifs. For example, if your style is eclectic, you can elevate that look with a choice like colorful Moroccan or ikat fabrics.
In regards to fabric panels, your best bet is to pick a fabric of medium weight. Medium-weight fabrics are ideal for this type of project because it’s bendable, without being flimsy.
Gathering Your Supplies
The next step is to gather the tools you need to bring your fabric panel vision to fruition. Once you have your choice of fabric, you need to consider how they’ll be hung. If hanging on the wall, you have a few different options. One is to create your base with wood. However, canvas stretchers are much more convenient and do just as good of a job. Another is to simply cut the pieces of fabric to fit a frame in the shape of your choosing. Lastly, is to simply use foam board.
You’ll also need to collect a staple gun and some glue.
Now that you’ve gathered all of your supplies, it’s time to actually create your fabric panel(s). Before you set the canvas stretchers or foam down, lay the fabric out and position it in the manner you want it displayed. Cut your fabric, leaving it a bit bigger than the frame. An inch and a half to two inches is usually a safe estimate of how much excess you’ll need to wrap around the edges.
Start by putting a staple (or drop of glue) in the center on one of the longer sides and then do it again on the opposite side. After that, do the same thing to the shorter sides. Continue working toward the corners, tightly tugging the fabric as you go. At the corners, fold the fabric as you would gift wrap paper and then staple it into place. If you’d rather not stretch the fabric over the frame, another option would be to neatly cut the fabric to fit the front of it.
If you need a visual with step-by-step instruction, there are several great tutorials that can be found online.
Now comes the really fun part— putting your fabric panel(s) on display! But is there a certain way to go about it? Honestly, it’s up to you how you want them hung up. However, here are some suggestions that might help:
- Group fabric panel boards using boards of different sizes.
- Hang the boards both vertically and horizontally and use varying shapes such as rectangles and squares.
- Pick a theme, such as monochromatic colors, black-and-white patterns, or similar patterns in varying sizes. Other themes could include paisleys, stripes, or even animals.
- Use a fabric panel board as a headboard.
- Use a curtain rod to hang a long piece of fabric on a narrow wall for a dramatic accent.
- Drape large fabric panels from the ceiling, over the head of the bed, pulled back and then down the wall behind the bed. Loose fabric that’s been hung in such as way can filter overhead light and soften the room.
Remember, creating a fabric panel is an easy way to incorporate a trend without making a huge commitment. At Cutting Corners, we have several fabrics that are sure to be perfect for your decor, so be sure to check them out. Our deals on discount designer fabrics are so good, you just might want to grab some for drapery, upholstery, or another home decorating project!