Decorating with Fabric

Use these tips to add fun, simple and personal touches to your living space.

Like adding pillows or other subtle touches to your home for an instant aesthetic upgrade, using fabric as a design element can tie a room together or be the one missing touch your living space needs to look complete.

On top of that, fabric varieties — be it the actual fabric itself, patterns, colours and beyond — give you a nearly endless variety of options for any budget.

Decorate with Fabric
Before starting, consider what you are trying to accomplish with your décor. Fine fabrics, like silk or lightweight cotton, can soften up a room and add elegance, while coarser, textural fabrics, such as burlap or wool, can lend a more rustic, cosy feel.

Frame It
Feature your favourite textile by putting it in a frame and adding a mat for a professional look.

Tip: For smaller pieces of fabric, consider a larger frame with a smaller mat opening to help draw the eye to the print. Anchor the fabric to the back of the mat with small pieces of artist’s tape.

Think outside the box and cover the mat with fabric instead. Leave at least 1 1/2 centimetres of fabric all around to wrap the edges of the mat (both the outer and inner edges of the mat opening) and hot glue it to attach.

Salvage old flat-plane frames by covering them with fabric, and then hang a gallery of frames covered with lovely prints.

Use fabric scraps to create simple artwork. Play with colours, shapes and composition. Try creating monogram art with the scraps. Use the back panel of the frame for an instant canvas. Hot glue scraps down — no sewing required!

Think Outside the Frame
If you like the look of art without frames and have canvas lying around, create instant art by stretching fabric over it, and stapling to the back of the wooden stretcher bars.

Tip: Give yourself at least 2 1/2 centimetres of extra fabric on all sides, then work on opposite edges of the canvas for the smoothest appearance.

Feature fabric inside non-traditional frames like cross stitch hoops, or even as a clock surface for a fun look.

Make Plain Fabric Stand Out
Pleating, ruffling, weaving or dyeing plain-looking fabric is a great way to transform an inexpensive purchase into something more elegant. Generally, these techniques work best on light to medium-weight fabrics that take heat well. Some examples are lightweight cottons, natural linen and some silks. Polyester blends are fine, too — just be sure to try a sample piece with the iron before proceeding.

And just like that, you can turn scraps from fabric bolts you just couldn’t throw away into real conversation-starting pieces of artwork you can use in your home or even present to friends as a personal, one-of-a-kind gift.


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