A work of Art


In a previous post,  I mentioned building a desk in my room here

Desk Mock Up

Above that desk hangs the wall art that inspired my need for a piece of furniture to anchor that wall (remember, that is only a mock up of the desk and not the final product).  The wall art is, in fact, a large piece of beautiful fabric that I have stretched across a wooden frame.  How easy is that!

For those of us who have been faced with a large blank wall, you know how difficult  it is to find something affordable and appropriately scaled.  This wall in my bedroom was designed for a long low dresser (probably with a mirror) but I prefer to keep all my clothes in the walk- in closet.  It just makes more sense.

My Screaming Blank Wall

Like silence, a blank wall can be screaming loud!!

I have searched high and low for a painting or wall decoration that would suit my color scheme and the mood of my room.  I wanted soft taupe-y colors with a calming feel to it.  This room is my oasis, though my kids rarely respect it as such.  Note Star Wars action figures on my bed in the top photo.

Over a year ago,  I was doing my laundry room renovation when I stumbled across a pillow sham, of all things, that had all the colors I was using in my laundry room decor.  I was thinking….. ” too bad this wasn’t frame for art”.  And then I was inspired.

The answer for my bedroom wall was staring me in the face every time I passed through the laundry room, which I did about 20x a day!!!  And so…

A Project is Born

Step 1.  Find a 50% off sale at your local fabric distributor. I only considered decorator-sized fabrics to be sure I could get the height and width that I wanted

Step 2.  Visit said distributor to find the perfect fabric print.  These were my contenders:

I like to take pictures of fabrics with my camera phone, if I cannot get a sample swatch, and then take them home to review with the intended setting.  In this case, the last one is my favorite; it had great texture and symmetry.  (The first one would have been a very appropriate choice, as well.)

I also purchased some batting to go behind the fabric.  If your fabric is light colored and/or slightly sheer, the batting will hide the frame color.  Otherwise, you may consider painting the frame a concealing color.  The batting will also help give the piece a fuller look.

Step 3.  Decide your project size and build your frame.  I used 1×2’s and built a 57 in x 42 in frame (I know it sounds random, but it was limited by the size of the batting that I chose).  I used pocket hole screws to join the corners, but  wood screws into the sides works just as well.    (I highly recommend a pocket hole jig for stronger joints.)


I did not miter the corners.  Since the frame corners will not be seen in the finished project, there is no need to do anything fancier than just making sure your project is square.  (I always cut both ends of my wood to ensure that each end is cut straight and square.  Don’t assume that your raw ends are square.)

Step 4.  With your staple gun, apply the batting around the edges.  Start by stapling 1 or 2 staples in the center of one side and then pull the batting tight and staple in the center on the opposite side.  Do the same on each end, working your way around to the corners, but stopping at the corners.

Step 5 – With your staple gun, apply the fabric around the frame using the same process as above with the batting, keeping it tight and even.  Be careful that you don’t over tighten and distort your pattern.

Step 6 – Trim the excess fabric and batting along the edge of the frame.  Be sure to leave extra at the corners for the next step.

Step 7 – Keeping the fabric tight against the frame and working in small sections, work the excess fabric into flat folds and staple.

Step 7 – Hang on the wall.  You can apply two or more sawtooth hangers along the top of the frame or you can string wire across from triangle picture hangers on each side, or you can just pop two or three nails into the wall and hang the frame directly on them (which isn’t as secure as the other two options).   I do recommend that you use a level to be sure that your new art work hangs elegantly in its new home.

Final Project Cost:

2 yards of Decorator Fabric @ 50% off:   $35

1 – 46 x 60 Crib Sized Batting:  $7

2 – 2x2x10:  $12

Total – $54

Your cost will vary depending on the cost and amount of fabric needed.

What projects have you been working on?  Any blank walls screaming out to you? Tell me what you did to quiet it down.


3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Adventures in Table Making – Part 1 « Single Mom Thriving

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