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Thread: DIY fabric wallpaper,,,,,,need advice

  1. #1
    Senior Member Radiana's Avatar
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    DIY fabric wallpaper,,,,,,need advice

    Many years ago I saw this done on a home decor t.v. show, it looked easy enough but if anyone has done this and it's worked for them, I'd love to know how you did it.

    Here's my plan, I have a California King bed skirt with 14 inches of fabric along three sides. I plan to cut the fabric in half lengthwise and fuse it on to some under wonder and use it as a border at the ceiling. I don't know what kind exactly or where to get old fashioned mixable starch like my mom used to use. I know the fabric is supposed to be dipped in and soaked in the starch, gently wrung out and then applied but I have no idea about the ratio of starch to water. I plan to use a few tacks to help keep it in as well.

    Thanks ahead of time for any suggestions.

  2. #2
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    I'm just curious as to why you would use laundry starch instead of wallpaper paste. You can still buy laundry starch in the grocery stores.

  3. #3
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    Go with wallpaper paste! You can iron and starch the fabric so it looks good when applied to the wall, and apply with the paste and it will be perfect -- all nice & neat. The other way will generate a mess, it won't look nearly as professional and you'll have streaks of starch down the wall.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Radiana's Avatar
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    From what I understand the reason for the starch is because it's so easily removable when you're ready to take it down but I can see that it will be a sticky mess on both sides of the fabric. Not only a sticky mess but I'll be up on a ladder with sticky hands trying to hold on. I'm going to rethink this. Thanks ladies.

  5. #5
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    If you decide to do it - you don't need to wonder under anything. In fact I would think that would keep it from sticking

  6. #6
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    I did this with a friend once. Soak the fabric in 1/2 starch 1/2 water. Sponge down the wall area to be "papered", wring out the fabric by gently squeezing and apply to wall area smoothing as you go. There should be minimal drip and this is easily wiped away. In my experience this type of application goes better with 2 people.

    PS: Try in small area to test first and get your procedure down. Be sure your fabric is not bleeding at all.

    Edit: I found this on the web. http://budgetdecorating.about.com/od...bric-walls.htm
    Last edited by dakotamaid; 01-11-2013 at 06:24 PM.
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



  7. #7
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I've heard of this technique from some of the more seasoned citizens in my circle, but I've also heard its not a good idea to use starch because it attracts bugs. Can anyone speak to this?

  8. #8
    Member quilterlaurie's Avatar
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    I have walpapered with fabric using FABRIC Starch right from the bottle--no problems and easy to do
    quilting in beautiful Ohio

  9. #9
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    I have never done this but it sounds neat. When I put up wallpaper border I always made my kids help me. I would line up 4 kitchen chairs along the wall and get a whole roll of border ready to hang. I would just step from chair to chair around the room smoothing the border as I went as the kids moved the chairs for me. I could put border around a whole room in no time at all. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    The starch is an old Navy wife trick for doing wallpaper on the cheap and not leaving marks when leaving housing. If I remember correctly, use the liquid starch (blue?) that comes in jugs from the grocery. Spread a thin layer on the way, then press your fabric into it. When you want to remove it, just wet the fabric, wash the walls, and presto! Back the way it was. Of course, we filled picture hanging holes with white toothpaste, too, so go figure! Oh, and the old wallpaper paste would bring bugs...wash the walls first with TSP to avoid that.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  11. #11
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    thank you for explaining this. I was wondering how it would come off. Sounds like an interesting idea. Would love to see pictures of what others have done.
    Quote Originally Posted by coopah View Post
    The starch is an old Navy wife trick for doing wallpaper on the cheap and not leaving marks when leaving housing. If I remember correctly, use the liquid starch (blue?) that comes in jugs from the grocery. Spread a thin layer on the way, then press your fabric into it. When you want to remove it, just wet the fabric, wash the walls, and presto! Back the way it was. Of course, we filled picture hanging holes with white toothpaste, too, so go figure! Oh, and the old wallpaper paste would bring bugs...wash the walls first with TSP to avoid that.

  12. #12
    Junior Member sew_itnow's Avatar
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    I did that several years ago. I was decorating a bed room for a couple of grandchildren that were living with me at the time. All you do is wipe down the wall so there isn't any dust on it. Place your fabric in a container with liquid starch in it. Squeeze out the excess starch and apply the fabric to the wall. Smooth the fabric as you go so there isn't any air bubbles in it. As the starch dries it will stick to the wall just like wallpaper would. When you get ready to remove it just start at one corner and gently pull and it will come off with out messing up your wall. Them just take a damp cloth and wipe the old starch off the wall. The fabric I put on their wall was on there for 3 or 4 years and it didn't draw bugs or mess up the wall.

  13. #13
    Senior Member QuiltNama's Avatar
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    My Dad was in the Army and every time we moved, got new quarters my Mom would bring out the fabric and do a little decorating in the kitchen with the starch. Everything at that time was painted white (downstairs) or mint green(upstairs). I remember her taking red&white checks cut in strips and placed on the front of the cabinets. It was so cute and when we moved, they were peeled off, cabinets scrubbed and all looked new again. She used the starch in the blue bottle and we dipped the pieces of fabric in then smoothed onto the wall or cabinets. She used a damp sponge to wipe them off on occasion to keep them fresh looking.

  14. #14
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Not only will the starch wash off the wall, but it will wash out of your fabric, in case you want to use it again. On the show I saw on TV in the 1990's they used the liquid starch as it came out of the bottle, and they covered the wainscot area of a wall. They said to use a drop cloth. I don't think I have seen it used as a border, and the problem with that is it might stretch unevenly as you handle it. In a defined area, such as the wainscot, which had a chair rail and baseboard, it could be trimmed along the edges using a straightedge and breakaway knife.

    It looked flawless the way they did it, but I imagine there are some potential pitfalls. For example, I think you'd want to be very sure that the fabric has been washed and will not bleed. It would only be suitable for fabrics that are washable.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

  15. #15
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    I used flowered sheets on DD #2 room over 30 years ago. Her room had two slanted walls. I didn't use starch at all. I stapled it to the walls & that worked perfect. I used a plain ol paper stapler. She loved it cause it matched her bed sheets.

  16. #16
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    This is how it is to go on. With Starch in a paint pan.Use a paint roller.paint the walls,add your sheet ,use a window wiper(or a cloth) to get the it even , paint with starch one more time over sheet. Let dry and be hapy.The reason you use starch is that you can remove at anytime. I know this because my DD and I did this in her dorm room to give her some color. After that We changed it 3 times.Just pulled off and started again.

  17. #17
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    I have done this with one wall in a bedroom. you buy liquid startch and use a brush around the top of the wall and a roller just like painting and put the startch on the wall. The put your fabric (dry) on the wall and rub out bubbles with a damp sponge. after you have a section on go over it again with the startch roller. My fabric has been up for six years with no proble. It isn't messy either. When you want to take it down just spritz the fabrick with water.

  18. #18
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    I used an ordinary paper stapler to attach fabric to one wall in my bedroom a long time ago. Now some of that fabric is in my quilts.
    TwandasMom

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