Fabric Panel

HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN FABRIC PANEL (using print canvas and wooden frames)

Recently I’ve been trying to work on projects at home that are honestly much more “crafty” than proper design. Admittedly it’s a nice break from the computer and feels like a return to the art & craft side of what initially sparked my interest in design so many years ago.

A month ago, my friend Bonnie and I created some fantastic picture frames using mod podge, old stamps, and ugly/used frames. The result was a fantastic set of new “travel” frames that I plan on posting here soon (as soon as I fill them with photos, that is). What frustrated me about this home-project was the fact that I did *not* document the process. I know it seems trivial, but these small projects truly are fulfilling and I would like a way to remember them. Well, duh – I guess that’s why I have a blog.

It is in that spirit that I am posting my most recent project… involving Ikea cloth, homemade frames (built by Bonnie’s Dad), and the use of a staple gun. Essentially, our goal was to create some new eye-candy for our respective homes and (of course) we wanted to do it with affordability in mind. After a trip to the Ikea in Charlotte and the help of a wood shop – we were able to create some fun new artwork for our walls.

Fabric Frames

Step 1: Buy some printed canvas that you would like to see on your walls (Ikea has some great choices for the budget-friendly shopper).

Step 2: Pick up some basic wood frames from your local hobby shop or craft store – or – create the frames yourself with some recycled wood and basic screws to hold them together (we were lucky to have the assistance of Bonnie’s dad for this step).

Step 3: Cut your fabric to a size a few inches larger than your frame (you want it to fold and wrap over the edge of the frame so that in can be stapled securely to the back). Remember to iron your fabric once it has been cut down to size (wrinkles can easily show through). My fabric had been in storage for a few months between the time we bought it and finally put it all together – so it needed it! Most importantly, have fun while you’re working – listen to some good music or put your favorite show on in the background (our music of choice for the evening was “The XX”).

Step 4: Grab a handy dandy staple gun and pull your cloth tightly against the wood frame to staple. Staple along both long edges and pull as tight as possible as you go. Follow this with stapling along the short sides. It actually hurt my hands after doing a few of these, so I enlisted the help of my husband to finish off the work.

Step 5: Finish with the corners. Cut off some of the extra fabric and tuck it in on itself (similar to wrapping a present). Your main goal is to make it look pulled tightly across the front with clean folds along the corners (it can look far less perfect from the back).

And… the final step: go hang them! (I’m actually still working on this step myself)