TUTORIAL | DIY FABRIC WALL featuring Snaps + Sprouts Photography

I am going to show you a tutorial on how to create a fabric wall. I am currently leasing my studio so while we have had free reign over most things, there are a few things we have not been able to change.  I started with this simple DIY project.

A blank wall.

It has good bounce for the light, but um – helloooooo – it’s BORING!  It needs a touch of something but not too much.  I still want to keep the light flowing in the room and have some fun too. {Do you love my couch by the way? Total Craigslist score!  Chevron pillows made by my amazing sister, and the funky gold number, thrift find as was that crazy little number snuggled in next to it. Be sure to pay attention to that table as well, it makes an appearance with a facelift!}

So, I thought I wanted to go with a yellow print, then worried it would set a tone to the room that I was not going for.  I set off to Hobby Lobby with a dear friend in tow to find something that was juuuuuuuuuuust right.  And find we did!

So I carted this beautiful fabric home – that is keeping with my organic theme – and set myself to work.

Step 1:  Calculate how much fabric you will need for your space.  I over calculated and I am going to have a bunch of nice pillows to match my fancy fabric wall. {Tip – There are 9sq ft in 1 sq yard}

Step 2: After you realize that you have purchased way to much fabric, get your ladder, tacks and solution together.

For this project, I was using a cornstarch and water mix:

¼ cup cornstarch + ½ cup cold water then heat 2 cups of water and add it to the mix.

Step 3: Start hanging fabric and painting on the starch mixture.

**Warning – it is VERY runny and messy.  I thought I could roll it on just like paint, not so much. It dripped everywhere including onto my newly laid floor.  I changed tactics and switched to painting it on with a brush.  It worked much better, still slightly dripping, but I definitely had more control on the amount that went on.**

Step 4: Take a step back and look at your hard work.  You’re doing great!  This is where I decided to let it dry/cure for a couple of days.  Okay – so it was supposed to be one day but the holidays and my procrastination led me to last minute holiday shopping; however, two is better than one.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Step 5: Trimming – I used a rotary cutter that is used by quilters and cried when the fabric started pulling away from the wall.  It was definitely sticking in some places, and in others, not so much, such as around the door frame, light switch and window.

What’s a girl to do? I could not let all this hard work fly out the window!  I had my beautiful fabric wall with my so perfectly picked out print that matched everything. So what is a girl to do?? Call her mama to the rescue – that’s what!!

Step 6: Thank your Mama profusely for making the run to the hardware store and allow her to help you while you dry your tears.

Step 7:  Apply Sure Grip to those pesky places that did not want to stick with the cornstarch solution alone.

Step 9:  Let dry… Again…

Step 10: Final trim, then – sit back and enjoy all that hard work, sweat, and those tears! You rocked it and now have a fabulous beautiful wall to look at.

The total cost of this project was roughly $40.

Look for fabrics on sale or clearance at your local fabric store – a lot of prints can go as low as $1 per yard! You could also look around online (make sure to check for coupon codes and free shipping!)

Are you a hobbyist or in the business of photography?

I started as a hobbyist and continued that way for approximately a year, which snowballed into a business about 4 years ago.

When did your love affair with photography begin?

I’ve always loved pictures, but after the birth of my daughter (we also have 2 older boys ages 16 & 11) I could NOT stop taking pictures with our point and shoot. When she was about 3 months we purchased a “fancier” point and shoot then around the time she was turning a year my brother in law lent me a DSLR that he was no longer using. It was love at first click. My hubby has been crazy supportive and surprised me with my own roughly 6 months after that. Friends started asking if I could do their child/family photos, which led to strangers asking, which led to me saying WOAH, I can do what I love and get paid??!! It’s been happily ever after since, yes, even with those bumps that come from trial and error. They shape who we are as people, business owners, and artists, and I wouldn’t trade those bumps for a smooth ride any day*.

What gear do you have in your bag?

I’m a Canon girl rocking a Cheeky Lime bag. I have a 28-105, 18-55, and a 55-200. Dr. Suess alphabet cards to entertain the littles, a tabletop tripod, remote, cold weather camera bag, business cards, lens cleaner, q-tips, bobby pins, my absolute favorite lens – my nifty 50. Currently missing – extra SDs, three lens caps, and Kleenex.

What is your absolute best thrifted photography find?

So hard to say! I find probably 95% of my props and set items by thrifting. If I have to choose I am currently in love with a barn door that I rescued it from the burn pile of a local farm. SCORE! It has gorgeous texture and color and is one of those items that just has me super excited to use in a session. Plus, it’s a gorgeous addition to look at in the studio. Some other favorites include afghans, quilts, and old chairs. I am addicted to chairs.

Have you learned anything in your journey that you think would be beneficial to other photographers?

There is so much. Primarily, have confidence in yourself. So many of us compare, compare, compare. The only person you should compare
yourself too is yourself.
About the photographer:
I am a mamarazzi. A wife, a sister, and a daughter. I am an avid reader who likes a little bit of coffee with her sweetener. I am married to my favorite geek and best friend.  We speak Star Wars, Transformers, and Marvel fluently in our household. I can forget to live in the now, always waiting for the right light and the right shot at the right moment. I’m working on that. I am not Superwoman, but sometimes I forget to give myself a break. My 5yo argues at bedtime, my 11yo is a social butterfly, and my 16yo is growing up way too fast for my liking. I am just me, I can be funny and at times, creative.  I am horribly sensitive and when I get really mad, I cry.  I greatly dislike scary movies and tofu.  I’m just a girl with a camera who is doing the best she can.
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