(Reusable) Fabric Wallpaper

(Reusable) Fabric Wallpaper

Published by Amanda on 18th Mar 2020

We were chatting with our friend Millee a few weeks ago about low-waste, non-plastic wall covering options for her home. Something that would dress up her space but not fill up her garbage can. We didn't really have any good suggestions.

Fast forward to this week. We've wanted to update the studio wallpaper for a while, and this is a good time to do it. But wallpaper is expensive! And you get bored of it, especially if you choose a bold pattern (which we would - of course we would).

Original studio wallpaper in the background. We didn't choose it, but we also didn't hate it. Just time for a change ;)

I started researching wall texturing techniques instead, and stumbled upon this article. HOLD THE PHONE. Turns out, you can just stick fabric to the wall with liquid starch. And when you decide to change it (or move out of your rented space), you get it wet and just peel it off, leaving both the wall AND the fabric undamaged.

Then you throw your fabric in the wash and turn it into curtains. Or if you're Emily, a dress, probably.

Anyway, we happen to have some fabric on hand (ahem):

We decided to leave up the original wallpaper, as it was nice and smooth (and the wall underneath likely wouldn't be, cuz old house). Emily primed it lightly to minimize any potential show-through and to ensure good adhesion, but this wasn't strictly necessary.

She mixed up her own liquid starch using the second recipe in this article. It's basically 3T cornstarch in 5C water, boiled for one minute. It was just the right amount for this size wall (9' x 8').

You start by hanging the fabric in place. The starch goes under and over the fabric. There was a join, but we were able to line up the repeat fairly easily.

The article suggests tape, but of course we used flower head pins to hang the fabric.

Once dry, you tidy up the edges with a craft knife. There were a few bubbles and wrinkly bits, but a quick pass with the steam iron mostly sorted them out. Yes, that's right - Emily ironed the wall.

Ta-da! Cheaper than wallpaper, no packaging to throw away, easily removable, and even reusable. Don't have 5 yds of fabric just lying about your house? You could totally do a patchwork version. A wall quilt without the quilting! I am currently eyeing one of my office walls as I write this.