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Friday, July 23, 2010

Scraps and Tacks; Another Super Cool Art Project!

Having worked for some time in a design shop, I have acquired a surplus of discontinued high-end fabric and leather samples.  I always cringed at the idea of throwing them in a landfill, so I boxed them up and stashed them away while I waited for creative inspiration.  Of course, space is at a premium in my jewel box, so I have been weeding out my favorites.  I plan to Freecycle the rest.

So what does one do with a pile of mismatched fabric samples?  A while back, the kids and I made wristbands out of the leather.  We cut strips and put snaps in them.  That freed up a whole centimeter of space.

Entering my third trimester of pregnancy has jet-fueled my nesting mode.  The Biscuit is coming and there is A LOT of feathering yet to be done!  It is intensely frustrating to be in this frame of mind and lack the funds to make it happen.  HOWEVER!  I am a big believer in using what you have.  I have contact paper, old frames, half a roll of wallpaper, etc., and... fabric samples!
I started by sorting out the pieces that might work in my room.  Then I laid them out across my bed as an offering to the creativity gods.  Hands to the air, "Now what?!"

I considered making a quilt for my bed (which needs some stylizing).  But, I don't want to add too much to the weight of my down comforter - it's bordering sweat lodge status as it is.  

I repeated the above process over a period of weeks but, at last,  I have finally DONE something!  I decided to create another wall art project to replace my would-be headboard.  I don't have room for a headboard so have been considering alternative options for months.  

Step One:  Find distraction for 10 year old boys to prevent mommy melt-down during the creative process.  I chose to set a pile of the rejected fabrics in front of them along with a few threaded needles.  Bailey made me a purse!

Step Two:  Arrange fabrics to create the desired look.  This can be time consuming - like putting a puzzle together.  I enjoy the process though.  Watching it come together is very satisfying. 

Step Three:  Take a few photos of the arrangement, as you will have to disassemble the project in order to reassemble it on the wall.  A photo is very helpful to use as reference for what goes where.

Step Four:  Pin the top row of fabrics together to make the initial application to the wall much smoother.

Step Five:  Measure from the ceiling down to the top of where you want the art project to hang on the wall.  I measured down 37 1/2 inches.  Then pencil incremental markers running the length of the project in order to apply it in a straight line.

Step 6:  Using decorative tacks, apply the first row of fabrics to the wall.  Just tack the top of the fabrics, allowing them to dangle so that the following rows can be applied and adjusted.  I used generic tacks where they wouldn't be seen, to hold the underlapping fabrics in place.  Continue to apply the remaining fabrics to the wall.
This was my final result sans pillows.  

Some of my fabric samples had metal grommets in them for hanging, so I opted to thread ribbon through them and tie bows for an added decorative element.  

This is the bed in it's current state.  
As you can see, the bedding needs work, but I'll get to that.  I plan to keep the duvet cover simple.  I also kept several of the coordinating samples out to possibly make a small quilt for Biscuit.

So, once again, as I had all of the supplies for this project, it was FREEEEEEEE!!  


  1. You inspire me yet again! I too collect scraps hither and thither and now I have another idea thanks to you! Beautiful and eclectic, just the way I like it.

    Very, very, nice Cherie.

  2. Where did you get the fabric samples? This is an awesome idea but I need the fabric!

  3. Wow! So sorry for the huge delay in response. I recently moved and have not been able to catch up. I'm trying to jump back in though. OK, so, fabric samples...

    You can try go to design shops/furniture stores and asking them if they have any discontinued samples that will be thrown away. They may just give you some. Occasionally, people sell them on craigslist also. I obtained my by working in a design shop. I always took the fabric sample instead of allowing them to be tossed.

    Hope this didn't come too late.

  4. Did you hem the edges of each piece of fabric first?


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