Saturday, August 09, 2008

White Walls Are Blah

So I decided to make our white walls apartment look more colorful! I got an idea a couple of months ago to hang huge fabric panels to add color to the room. I originally wanted to use Marimekko fabric (from Finland), but in a recent trip to IKEA, I saw a few fabric patterns which I thought would match the living room furniture, and they were much much cheaper. First, I had to think up of a way to make a frame, so that I could put the fabric panels on them like a canvas picture. So we ended up going to Home Depot for some wood. I got 8 ft sections of pine, which were about 2X1 inches thick. Then, when we got home, I measured out a mathematical proportion to make four frames, all different sizes, which would hang side by side. Then it was back to IKEA to actually purchase a few patterns of fabric, and then it was back to home to begin constructing the frames.

I attached the wood pieces together with wood screws, but first, Romy drilled holes where the screws would go so that the thin wood wouldn't split. Some of the frames didn't turn out exactly square, but they were good enough. That in itself took a whole evening. The next day I cut the fabric and ironed it really well so that there would be no wrinkles when the fabric panels hung. Next I cut out 4 sections of fabric large enough to be wrapped around each frame and then I stapled the fabric to the back of the frame.

It was a lot harder than I thought. You had to stretch the fabric as you stapled it. And I didn't have a staple gun, so I hammered in each staple by hand! This took the whole morning with no power tools. Then, Romy helped me hang the panels up in the living room. I think the look great! I love the colors! It wasn't expensive at all. The wood was $0.89 each, and I used 6 pieces for the whole set of panels. The fabric was between $1.99 an $7.99/yard, and I used about 4 yards total for the set. Then you add in the price of some screws and staples, and the whole thing was under $30.

Here are pictures of the process:

Our Livingroom
The finished fabric panels hung up in our living room.

Choosing IKEA Fabric
First I tried to match the fabric with the colors already in the room.

Back of Fabric Panels
This is the back of the panels. You can see how I stretched the fabric over a wood frame and then stapled it in place.

Two Fabric Panels
This is the front of two panels. They look better from the front than the back!


Mom said...

What a beautiful wall hanging. You two are so talented. Keep writing, I enjoy reading your blog so much. Love you.