How to Make a Fabric Wall Hanging

Hi everyone! I’m so glad to be here at The Ribbon Retreat today. I blog at itsalwaysautumn, where I post tutorials and ideas about cooking, sewing, crafting, scrapbooking, photography, and books.

My blog is fairly new but I’ve already posted a recipe for the richest dark chocolate ice cream ever, a tutorial for how to make your own photo backdrop boards, and an Anthropologie knock-off blouse tutorial, as well as much more! I’d love it if you’d pop over for a visit.

Today I’m going to show you how to make this adorable fabric wall hanging, which was just the thing I needed for the big blank wall in my baby girl’s room. I hadn’t done much in the way of decorating her room (she doesn’t care how it looks, after all), but as soon as I saw the Cream Ice Cream Fabric from Fly a Kite by Riley Blake, I knew it needed to be up on the wall.

How to Make a Fabric Wall Hanging
Supplies Needed

– 1/2 yard of three coordinating fabrics
(I used Teal Dot in Verona by Riley Blake, Cream Ice Cream in Fly A Kite by Riley Blake,
and Bicycle Solid in Hometown by Moda)

– a fat quarter of another coordinating fabric (I used Green Flowers in Verona by Riley Blake)

– scraps of white or cream AND black or brown fabric (I used some old cream muslin and dark brown felt)

– about 1/4 yard of Wonder Under

– owl pattern or other pieced animal pattern (I used the adorable owl pattern available free here, and enlarged it about 150%)

– 2′ x 4′ sheet of 1/8″ thick MDF

glue gun

– saw tooth picture hangers

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Step 1: Purchase and cut the MDF

You can find 2′ x 4′ sheets of MDF at any hardware store. I bought mine at Home Depot for under $4 in the Hobby Wood department. Ask the nice employee at the back of the lumber department to cut it into three 15″ x 24″ pieces (you’ll have a 3″ x 24″ piece left over).

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Step 2: Make your pieced owl

For my wall hanging, I covered two of my MDF panels with patterned fabric,
and one with a solid fabric that has a pieced owl sewn onto it.

Start preparing your owl by cutting a piece from your fat quarter that is large enough for the owl body. Cut a strip from a short end of one of your half yard pieces that’s large enough to cut out two wings. Cut scraps of other fabric large enough for two eyes, two pupils, and the beak (you can make the beak brown or yellow, depending on what fabric you have on hand).

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Lay out your piece of Wonder Under, rough side up (paper side down). Iron the fabrics you are using for your owl, WRONG side down, onto the Wonder Under. Use DRY heat, leaving the iron in one spot for about 10 seconds, then picking it up and moving it over. Try not to let your iron touch the Wonder Under itself, or you’ll get adhesive on your iron.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Once your fabric is firmly adhered, flip over the piece of Wonder Under
and trace your pattern pieces on the back. Cut out each piece.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Place your pieces down where they will go to see how cute the owl is going to look.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Step 3 – Adhere the owl to a half yard piece of fabric

At this point you can peel the Wonder Under off your fabrics. The paper will come off, leaving the adhesive on the fabric.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Pull the paper away slowly. Be sure you aren’t pulling all the adhesive off as well – you should be able to see and feel it on the wrong side of your fabric.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Now iron the owl body onto the lower RH corner of your solid colored half yard piece. Make sure it’s at least two inches away from the bottom and RH side of the half yard piece.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

To iron it on, lay a damp pressing cloth (I used a thin cloth diaper, you could also use a thin tea towel) over your owl piece. Set your iron down (hi heat) for 10-15 seconds, then pick it up and move it to the next area. You’ll probably need to get your pressing cloth wet a few times during this process.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Check the edges of your owl to make sure it’s well adhered. If it’s not, lay the damp pressing cloth down and press again.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Repeat the process to adhere the wings, eyes, pupils, and beak.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Now you’ll want to sew around each piece on your owl. You could use a zig zag or blanket stitch, but I just used a straight stitch in cream thread.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Sew about 1/8 inch inside each piece, putting the needle down and the presser foot up to pivot at each corner.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Since I used dark brown felt for the pupils, I simply secured them by hand stitching an X in the middle of each circle. Now you are done with the hardest part!

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Step 4: Glue fabric to MDF pieces

Start by ironing your three half yard pieces of fabric (one of which has the owl on it now) to get out all the wrinkles.

Lay one piece of fabric, right side down, on a clean counter or table, then lay one MDF piece on top of it. Make sure the fabric is positioned so that any patterns are centered and the owl is placed where you want it. Trim the extra length of fabric at one short end so the fabric is about an inch and a half larger than the MDF of all sides.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Squeeze a stream of hot glue all the way down one long side of the MDF. Quickly fold over the fabric and push it down into the glue to adhere (you can do half at a time if you’d like).

Repeat on the other long side, gently stretching the fabric as you go so it’s taut underneath the MDF. Be careful not to burn yourself, or you’ll have to walk around for two hours holding ice against your pinky finger (not that I have any personal experience with that).

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

When both long sides are glued down, start working on the corners.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Flatten the fabric below the MDF board, then fold it straight back up.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Fold the fabric under diagonally and glue down, making a nice sharp corner.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

When all four corners are glued down, glue down the short sides, again stretching the fabric gently to keep it taut.

Repeat with the other two fabrics and MDF pieces.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Step 5: Hang your new decor on the wall

The last step for your wall hanging is to glue on a saw-tooth picture hanger. They look like this:

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Just measure three inches down from the top of each fabric covered MDF piece (on the back), and glue the picture hanger in the middle. (I had the top of my MDF piece down toward me, so I measure three inches up from the edge, then glued down the sawtooth hanger.)

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Get some nails up on your wall (space them 18 inches apart) and your new wall decor is complete!

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

It looks great and it’s totally doable in an afternoon.

How To Make A Fabric Wall Hanging - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Now if you’ve fallen in love with that adorable owl pattern as much as I have, jump on over to my blog, itsalwaysautumn, to see the troupe of owl softies I made to match the wall hangings. I was just going to make one for my baby girl, but her big brothers decided they needed some too. An owl softie (or two, or three) is the perfect way to use up the leftover fabric from this project!


Thanks, Autumn, for this “How to Make a Fabric Wall Hanging” tutorial!

Autumn’s blog is full of awesome tutorials, tips, and recipes! You definitely need to check it out!

See more of Fly a Kite by October Afternoon for Riley Blake

Verona by Emily Taylor Designs for Riley Blake

and

Hometown by Sweetwater for Moda

here at The Ribbon Retreat!

If you have great tutorials and a fun idea you would like to share on The Ribbon Retreat Blog,
please submit a project.

Have a wonderful day!

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2 Comments

  1. Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    How cute! I love the owl that is pieced together. What a easy creative idea for the walls. This could be done in any room too- with other pattern and prints etc…love it!

  2. Bella
    Posted April 18, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Very cute owl… I would like to do same.

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