You guys know we love a simple, easy, cheap DIY that packs a major punch on the home decor front, which is why we’re in love with today’s fabric art how to! And though we implemented this particular fabric art on our nightstands as part of our small master bedroom makeover, this little DIY could really live anywhere in the house (especially as wall art) and would be so much fun! Framing textiles, whether it’s something vintage or just great fabric scraps leftover from another project, is one of our very favorite DIY home decor hacks, so we’re really hoping this inspires you to jump on the train!
The particular fabric scraps we use for this DIY fabric art project are actually scraps that we’ve been dying, dying to utilize somehow for a hot minute and were leftover from our living room makeover with Calico. They made us a gorgeous throw pillow using this beautiful Ralph Lauren Ashfield Faille Floral fabric in Carbon for our beloved black and white buffalo check chair that they upholstered and we’ve pretty much been in love with the fabric ever since. It’s seriously everything my print dreams are made of. So we kept the fabric scraps in hopes that we’d be able to utilize this stunning fabric somewhere else in the house and BAM! The moment finally arrived.
As you can see in the “before” photos below, we originally filled these cheap, but oh-so-versatile Ikea frames that sit on top of our nightstands with two black and white animal prints (a buffalo and a fox) that we purchased on Etsy and had printed at Walgreens (best place to have prints made on the cheap). And we really enjoyed them. But as we were reimagining our bedroom, we decided the frames needed something different. Something softer, slightly more romantic, but still in the same neutral color palette. And after contemplating what exactly we’d put in the frames, it dawned on me to just see if we had enough scrap of that Ralph Lauren fabric leftover to fit in the frames. Turns out, we had just about the perfect amount. It was meant to be!
So we measured, and measured again, then cut, and then decided that we needed to fringe each end of the fabric rectangles we had cut to give it a little interest. Also, our fabric scraps were just shy of being big enough to fill the entire frame, so we thought it would be cool to go just slightly smaller with our two fabric rectangles, give it a white matting/backing to sit against and look polished, and add the fringe to give it that vintage, romantic look. Worked like a charm!
And I don’t know why we’re always shocked when a DIY home decor project works out exactly as we’d imagined with, but we always are. And this is one of those moments. Even though it was super simple and we had a pretty clear plan of attack, we’re still just kind of shocked that it all worked out perfectly and that we love how they look on top of our nightstands and next to our bed as much as we do. High fives all around!
OK enough of the yammering… on to the how to! Below you’ll find our step by step instructions for this super simple, but totally awesome DIY fabric art project, along with all of the supplies we used to tackle the job. And as always, let us know in the comments section if you have any questions, or just need more guidance/advice/insight as you tackle this project yourselves. Happy framing!
***Curious about how to style your nightstand like this? Check out last week’s post for some simple, cheap, chic tabletop/nightstand styling tricks!***
Safety Pin or Sewing Needle
How To: DIY Fabric Art
1. Measure your fabric scrap to correspond with the width and height of your frame. You can either measure to fill the frame completely, or to be slightly smaller (if you do that we suggest 1 inch smaller all around) and show some fringe like we did.
2. Cut your fabric carefully with scissors or even better, fabric shears if you have them. We just made small hashmarks w/ a pencil at the edge of our fabric to guide us. Be slow and steady with your cuts, and try to use as few cuts as possible. Fabric shears or sharp scissors are best for that reason, especially if you’re working with a thicker fabric. And remember, measure twice, cut once.
3. If you’re going to fray the fabric edges and do a little “fringe”, here’s an easy-to-follow tutorial I love. It’s super helpful to see the tactic on video. Grab the corner of the fabric and using your safety pin or sewing needle, gently pluck one thread of fabric out and separate that thread slightly from the other threads, gently pull at the end of it and separate it from the other threads all the way along the edge of the fabric. If it isn’t an easy or clean pull, don’t worry about it. If the fabric bunches up on you and doesn’t pull off easily, simply let it bunch then pull the threat out from the bunch like a piece of floss. Repeat as many times as you like with as many threads as you want according to how thick you want your fringe.
4. Now that your two fabric rectangles are ready to rock, you can frame them up! As you can see from the pics first I laid the fabric against the glass and positioned it exactly where I wanted it. Next I actually decided to brush the fringe with a clean toothbrush – totally called an audible on that one, but it worked like a charm. I wanted the fringe to sit sort of perfectly against the glass, but if you’re more into that vintage look you could totally leave the fringe a little messy and imperfect! Next I actually placed my old animal print against the fabric with the back side of it that was plain white facing out to give it a nice white backing. The actual matting that the frame comes with is hollow in the middle, so if I had only used that behind the fabric you would see that hole because the fabric is slightly see-through. After adding the print behind the fabric I add the matting for bulk so nothing would move. Then I added the final cardboard back and folded the clips back down around it to hold it all in place.