As I mentioned earlier in the week, the girls’ bedroom “take 2” started with a new fabric. I love Robert Allen’s neo toile as much as I did when I first saw it. So, I took that as a good sign that I wouldn’t get tired of it, even if I covered an entire wall with it. I will say that this project was much easier than I expected. It’s not perfect, if you’re looking closely, but the busy pattern is very forgiving. (And, you shouldn’t be looking that closely at anybody’s walls in the first place.)
I should also add that you might want the help of a good friend. This is a project where you definitely need an extra set of hands. Also, most of the tutorials I found online made me think that you could just slap the fabric up after rolling the wall with liquid starch. I found that thumb tacks were pretty important for initially holding your fabric in place while you roll. Also, I wouldn’t have been able to do this without relying on a grosgrain ribbon trim to cover my mistakes around the edges of the wall at the very end.
The starch was amazingly adhesive. I probably used about half a bottle for the one wall. I used the craft knife to cut across the bottom of the fabric and to cut around the outlets.
Like I said, the grosgrain ribbon was my saving grace for “cleaning up” my edges. We used black furniture tacks (around $2/pack at the hardware store) to hold it up and finish the look. (I spaced them about 14” apart, just for reference.)
And, here’s where the staple gun came in handy. When it was all finished, some of the seams (which we folded to make more clean) weren’t laying as flat as I wanted. So, I just stapled them down into the wall. Probably not ideal, but I felt better about it staying down that way. And, I dare you to find the staple in this pattern. :)
By the way, I’m sure (some of) you will notice that the pattern doesn’t match up at the seams. For me, it’s not an issue. I was just going for the overall look—and again, there’s so much going on that I hardly notice when looking at the wall as a whole. But, if this kind of thing bothers you, this could be a much more complicated project.
Overall, I would give this project two thumbs up for impact and ease. (I hear it’s also super easy to take it down.) In case you’re curious, I used nine yards of fabric total and 15 yards of ribbon. Total cost for fabric and supplies = around $170.
you are one brave gal! but i love it! i have 5 yds of that fabric waiting to be made into roman blinds!
My mom used to do this with burlap or calico when I was a kid. She would trim the selvedges and just butt the seams. And I’m pretty sure she used wallpaper paste. We had a bedroom with light green tiny-print calico on the walls; I loved it!
Your girls’ room looks very pretty!
Kristin Cadwallader says
Emily! I love this so very much :) Great tutorial too xoxo
Really, really beautiful, Emily! And inspiring! :)
Kelli Fox says
oh my gosh.. i can’t tell you how much I adore this. Wow and wow – love it!
Bridget & Casey @DIY Playbook says
We are OB-SESSED!!!!
This is Gorgeous! I hope those darling little ladies love it as much as we do!
Mary Jean says
I missed the post about that being fabric, not wallpaper, so extra congratulations go to you on a really well-done job!
Oh I love this! The combo of the fabric and ceiling color is fabulous!
Amber @ Simple Dwellings says
Ok Emily, you are officially a genius! What a cool way to use fabric. And it ends up being less expensive than most wallpaper, but so much more interesting and custom. I love that the fabric doesn’t match up. And you can’t even tell with this fabric. Well done, my friend!! :)
Gorgeous! Playful and sophisticated. Just right for sisters! they are lucky to have you as a mom!!!
Maggie @Maggie Overby Studios says
Looks amazing! I was wondering if you were going to use the liquid starch method. I have tried it on lighter fabrics but never on decorator fabric. Glad to know it works great DIY.
You are so talented! I love following your blog each day! I am so in LOVE with this room!! I also admire how much you get done with all your kiddos…I have four of my own and don’t accomplish half of what you do!!
I LOVE that fabric!! Love the project! Thank you for posting this I had heard about doing it this once before and filed it in busy brain, of course completely forgetting it. We are renting and this is JUST what I’m going to do to Jazz up the house FULL of NEUTRAL paint!!!
Beverly M..... says
If you had wanted to match your pattern, doing so would have been a breeze by carefully removing the selvage edge of your fabric with super sharp scissors and a straight edge. The top coating of the starch would have removed any evidence of any loose threads and allowing them to blend in at the edge.
One of the most impressive fabric applications done in the same way, minus the top coat of starch, was Wide – Wale Corduroy in a soft taupe. That was in a small reading room and I was never failed to be impressed each time I was there.
The designer that had us do that to our walls told us that a 1/2 and 1/2 Elmer’s while glue and water worked just as well and that the top coat gave it the appearance of chintz. After spraying with warm water, it easily pulls from the walls and a good rinse leaves no evidence. You may want to give that a try if you plan another project.
Love your posts!
This really brought back memories. Thirty years ago my sister and I did this in her kitchen using striped sheets. It looked great when we finished, but it was a really messy project.
Love this!! Your fabric is great!!
I remember my SIL doing this in a rented house in the 70’s…it looked great and it came right off the walls when they moved!!
Thanks Beverly M for the instructions on matching the pattern…really think it makes the difference between amateur and professional to have the pattern match. It makes one look at the entire wall and not get hung up on the seams in the overall look.
The overall idea is a great one and may just be the answer I was looking for in my dining room!
Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles says
I use my entry when I’m cutting long pieces of fabric too! It’s the biggest open spot without things in the way… tough on the knees, though! The wall looks great, Emily! Love the fabric.
Meagan Claire says
This looks so great! Probably a good solution to a rental, too. We can’t paint or wallpaper, but I bet we can make fabric wall!
sherry hart says
Great alternative to wallpaper…..easy to take down:) Love this pattern also Emily…..great impact!
Abby M. Interiors says
You never cease to amaze me! This looks incredible. I’m struggling with the coral ceiling in our guest room but I just can’t bare the thought of painting it again. ;-) LOVE this fabric wall. You are killing it!! xx
Emily Clark says
Those were my thoughts, too. I was determined to make the ceiling work. You can do it! :)
Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door says
AMAZING!! This is giving me the courage to try an upholstered wall!
Your girls’ room turned out precious! It’s modern and classic at the same time…great job Emily! I bet they love it!
Leigh James says
Oh I love it! I’ve been creating a number of mood boards with my daughter for her bedroom makeover in the New Year and this would look just fabulous with the four poster bed with have ordered. It’s a bit like this one – http://blog.cuckooland.com/top-10-girl-tastic-bedrooms-ever-created/