Fabric “Wallpaper”

Posted on Apr 29, 2013 in Crafty, DIY | 3 comments

Fabric “Wallpaper”

Living in a rental house or apartment can be tricky when it comes to home décor. Of course you want to put a personal stamp on your living space, but within the confines of your lease and probably without spending too much money. In my current house there are a number of features I would love to change or update, but of course new kitchen cabinets or windows isn’t really possible.


However, I did find a solution to one of my biggest eyesores. My clothes closet happens to be located in my combination kitchen-dining room. That’s not the unfortunate part… the unfortunate part of this is that not only are the double closet doors hideous ancient puke brown but that a previous tenant also seems to have used them as a punching bag judging by the fist sized dent.


Luckily, pinterest brought me to a website where another renter found a way to adhere fabric to a wall in a non-permanent way, a much more inexpensive solution than temporary wall paper which can be quite pricey. I decided then and there to cover the doors in fabric as a way to not only hide their ugliness, but tie them into the color scheme of my kitchen.


So off I was to Joann to find the perfect fabric to bring the tones of light blue in a pretty pattern to my ugly closet doors. And I succeeded! Not only that, but I got the eight yards for 50% (yes I’m bragging). Depending on the area you want to cover, whether its just a wall decal or nearly a whole wall like me, you might need more or less fabric. I actually went with more fabric than I needed with the intention of eventually making matching pillows for dining chairs.


So here we go!

 Fabric Wallpaper



paint brush

fabric, washed and ironed



For the adhesive:

2 cups water, divided

3 tablespoons cornstarch


Materials for Wallpaper


Mix the corn starch with a ¼ cup of water. Put the remaining 1 ¾ cups in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling mix in the dissolved corn starch and whisk for about a minute. Remove the pot from heat and allow it to cool slightly before using.

While your adhesive is cooling, measure and cut your fabric to the appropriate size for your project, leaving about a half inch margin so you can fold the unfinished edges under.


With a paint brush, generously coat the surface to be covered, in my case the door, with the adhesive. If you are doing this over a carpeted area you may want to put a drop cloth down to catch accidental drips.


Starting at the top, line up the piece of fabric and gently press into place. Work your way down to the bottom and out to the sides, smoothing the fabric with your hands as you go. When you get to the bottom, tuck the fabric under itself, applying more adhesive if needed. Do the same for the sides working back up to the top. Once the entire piece of fabric has been adhered, gently iron it on low to medium to help dry the adhesive and smooth out any wrinkles.


Edge of Fabric

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  1. 5-29-2013

    I’m obsessed with this idea!! Super cute!!!

  2. 8-12-2013

    What about doing this method with fabric to cover up existing ugly wallpaper that the homeowner won’t allow me to remove? Will this adhesive you use to apply the fabric damage the existing wallpaper when I move out and take fabric down?

    • 8-12-2013

      Hi there! I’ve never tried this method over wallpaper, but I don’t think it would cause any damage. However, I would definitely test a small spot before doing the entire wall. Make sure to cook your adhesive so that it is not too wet before applying since I could see a wetter mixture causing some water damage. I did this project about seven months ago now and it’s still holding up and looking great! Hopefully you get the same results. Good luck!

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