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DIY Form Board Fabric Wall Art Panel Décor

Updated on December 26, 2016
DIY wall art
DIY wall art | Source

DIY Wall Art with Fabric and Insulation Foam

I've been out of college for a few years, and I'm really over the posters-only decorating scheme. Unfortunately, it seems like even discount home stores sell canned art for $50-$100. Sick of cruising the web for tutorials on wall art and finding things that either required more equipment than I have or don't look like anything I want in my home, I began thinking.

I love sewing, so I always have leftover fabric on hand. I also had some pink insulation foam sitting around. Inspired by what I had on hand, fond memories of stenciling as a child and the desire to own something sort of like an item I'd seen at World Market, minus the price tag, I figured out how to create DIY, customizable wall art for less than 1/10 the price of buying it ready-made.

What you Need to Make Wall Art

  • Insulation foam
  • Fabric
  • A staple gun or stapler
  • Stencils
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brush

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How to Make Your Own Wall Art

My foam board was conveniently cut into some nice wall panel sized pieces. If yours is not, use a ruler or yardstick to measure off the panel you would like and cut it out using a utility knife. When cutting foam, I find it is easiest to draw the cutting lines and then hold the ruler along the line to give a surface to cut against.

Next, prepare your fabric. Spread it out on the floor or your work table and position the foam on the fabric's corner so that the fabric sticks out about two inches from the edge of the foam. You will probably need to cut at least two sides of the fabric. Since I used linen, I used a technique called cutting by the thread because it allows you to cut the fabric in a perfectly straight line. If you don't know how to do this, check out my hub on this easy technique. Unless you want your wall art to be wrinkly, I advise you iron the fabric before attaching it.

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How to Attach Fabric to Foam Board

Attaching the fabric is fairly easy, You can use a staple gun, an open household stapler, tape, hot glue - you name it. I cannot recommend thumb tacks, though. I tried them just to see if they would work. Because the tack part is so short, they pulled out of the foam almost immediately. Remember that, no matter what you use on the back, even if you end up having to use Duck Tape, no one will see the back of the finished project, so don't stress. What matters is that the fabric on front is as flat and even as possible.

I thought of my foam as a gift and the cloth as wrapping paper. This helped me figure out how to fold the corners. The most important thing is trying to make the fabric lay as smoothly as possible. I actually stapled everything in place and then went back around tightening the fabric down and re-stapling. Just make sure you do not over stress or stretch the fabric.

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Plan your designTap straight up and down
Plan your design
Plan your design | Source
Tap straight up and down
Tap straight up and down | Source

How to Stencil

After your fabric is attached, but before you even open your paint, look at your stencils and plan your art. Move the stencils around on the fabric, if you need to, to get an idea of how things will look.

When you stencil, it is important to remember several things. First, make sure your stencil is held securely in place. You can use tape or just hold it very firmly, which is what I did. Second, make sure you brush is not dripping with paint. This will make the paint run under the stencil. Third, make sure to tap the brush straight up and down. This makes it less likely that paint will spill out under the edge of the stencil, ruining the design. Also, make sure you lift the stencil off the fabric very carefully so you do not smudge the still wet paint. Last, always wash, or at least wipe off, your stencil as soon as you use it. If you paint a design and then use the stencil again without cleaning it, you may get stray, leftover paint somewhere you don't want it!

How to Use a Stencil

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How to Hang Wall Art

I used some cotton twine to hang my new pieces of art. I cut an appropriate length of twine, tied a knot in each end and stapled it in place. Because the panels are so lightweight, you do not need to use drywall screws. I actually hung one of the panels on a thumbtack!

I already owned several of the items I needed, so I spend a total of $8 on this project - and I have enough left over for several more panels. I like them better than most store bought art I've seen recently, and they were a fraction of the cost.

I hope you can put these techniques to use and create your own unique wall art that matches your home and your budget. Stenciling is an amazing way to personalize any space on a budget as stenciling can be done on walls, furniture, art or textiles, like pillow cases.

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    • tnderhrt23 profile image

      tnderhrt23 5 years ago

      Nifty idea that is economical and creative! Thank you!

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      You always come out with some great ideas. Congrats on your creativity.Thanks for sharing.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for your comments and suport! I'm glad both of you enjoyed reading and thanks for sharing, greatstuff.

    • anusujith profile image

      Anoop Aravind A 5 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

      pretty cheap & beautiful. Good concept too!!! Only artists can imagine it. Keep on posting these kind of articles...

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Great hub, I really like what you made! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, anusujith and oceansunsets! I love making things and it's so awesome to be ale to share my successes (and failures, like attempting to use thumbtacks) with the hubpages community.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Linen is a fabulous fabric for a project like this. You came up with a great idea and your tutorial will be a help to anyone wanting to start and complete a similar project!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This does look beautiful and it is so simple to make. I can see so many options for this art work. What a lovely way to add a touch of art to any room. Thanks for sharing and voted up.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks RTalloni and teaches! I appreciate the reds, comments and the share. I alsoloved knowing I'm not the only who thinks these look pretty nice. Thanks again!

    • celebritie profile image

      celebritie 5 years ago

      This wall art is great, so unique and different.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks! I love how it matches my things perfectly. I recently repainted my drawers blue, so I used basically the same color for my new wall panels.

    • BigSerious profile image

      Christen Roberts Comer 5 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

      Oh yeah. I'm liking your hubs! :D I can't wait to do this!!!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Cool! Thanks and I'm glad you're enjoying.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      This is a terrific idea, I'll see about doing this project with my children. Voted up and useful.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Awesome! Thanks. I love these pieces to much (and some others I made that are not pictured) that I want to make even more...I just don't know where I would put them. I know stenciling can be a kid friendly project because I stenciled with my dad as a child.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Natashalh, yes, seeing the price of some art out there can certainly sharpen the mind into finding ways to create it yourself at a fraction of the cost. I thought your stencilled 'prints' looked very effective. Nice hub, voted up, etc.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you very much! It is stunning (to me) how much 'art' costs. I guess necessity really is the mother of invention.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      Very cool! It seems pretty easy and won't be costly for me, since I already have most of the tools and materials. I only need to get some stencils and paint, then I'll be good to go!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Nice.

      I found the paint for 87 cents, so it shouldn't cost you much at all. I think it is fun to make great looking things for so little - and it always feels awesome when someone sees them in my house and complements them.

    • janikon profile image

      Stuart A Jeffery 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      This is so interesting and looks SUPER fun. I'm going to save this and try it next week, when I've made a pitstop at the closest art store. Voted Up! Interesting. Useful and Shared.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Awesome! Thank you so much! I really appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to read, comment, vote and share this hub.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      That is a very awesome, nice looking craft. I never thought about stenciling fabric. I love it. You could sell these easily on Etsy. Well done and sharing!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! Having seen your DIY hubs, I appreciate the complements. I use eBay all the time for miniatures I paint, but I have never sold an item on etsy - maybe I should check it out.

      Thanks again, especially for sharing.

    • TripleAMom profile image

      TripleAMom 4 years ago from Florida

      Another fun idea. I've really got to show these to my daughter.

    • sfshine profile image

      sfshine 4 years ago from Michigan

      Very nice simple craft. Easy way to decorate your house. I always liked doing art work for the house and decorate it nicely.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you, sfshine! I've been thinking of making more for myself because I like them so much! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

    • RunningDeer profile image

      RunningDeer 4 years ago from Iowa

      This is so cute. I feel like I keep saying this about all your DIYs, but it's true. You have some really great ideas. I agree about being over the poster decorating scheme. Thanks for the ideas!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 4 years ago from West Virginia

      Wow, what a great idea! I love that first picture, it is quite beautiful. Seems like it would be fun to make, perhaps with the kids. Also, it would seem to be profitable if one could make a few and sell them. Never knew they were so highly priced. Cool article. Voted up, useful, and awesome.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you, thelyricwriter. Friends have suggested I try to sell them, I'm just not intersted in packing or shipping them! It is fun and easy to do. I agree, it would be a great way for kids to get invoked with decorating their own rooms!

    • NiaG profile image

      NiaG 4 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Love this! I'm all about DIY.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you =)

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      This is a wonderful idea! I used to love stenciling fabric. Now I am inspired to pick up the hobby again. I like how thrifty this is. The price of store bought wall décor is outrageous for what you get! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! Glad you like it =)

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      This a great idea, easy, saves money at a time when many people don't have any extra, and best of all you can have unique one-of-a-kind art pieces on your walls. Great hub!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! I'm really goad you enjoyed it and appreciate you took the time to let me know.

    • ideasinked profile image

      ideasinked 4 years ago from Mumbai, India.

      The color co-ordination with blue looks so good!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks - I like them, too! I moved recently and brought them with me.

    • ideasinked profile image

      ideasinked 4 years ago from Mumbai, India.

      That's great! I'm soon gonna try your - Light Bulb Flower Vase :) Loved that idea...will give it a shot for this one too! :)

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image

      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      These look great! Great documentation on how to make them too.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you!

    • denisemai profile image

      Denise Mai 4 years ago from Idaho

      I'm always looking for cheap decorating ideas. This one is great!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks! Me, too. As a grad student, I don't exactly have a home décor budget.

    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judith Hancock 4 years ago from UK

      Nice idea - love the bird stencil too!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks! I'm a pretty big fan of that particular stencil, too.

    • CanvasArtShop profile image

      CanvasArtShop 4 years ago

      Really cool idea, never though of doing something like this also looks super easy which is good!

    • profile image

      Tarra 4 years ago

      Is that a martha stewart stencil? i think I got the same one for this project...or else it looks very similar!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      It is a Martha Stewart stencil!

    • profile image

      Tarra 4 years ago

      That makes me so excited! I am going to do three of these with maybe linen fabric and the same stencil...probably brown paint. I hope they turn out as nice as yours! I am hanging them above my couch.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Awesome! I hope you love them as much as I do mine!

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