Menu

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals – Christmas Ornaments

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Learn how to make fabric wall decals, perfect for any holiday or season or room in your home! We have three different techniques and the pros and cons for each of them. You will love how easy they can be and the difference they can make in your home. Click read more to find out how!


Hi everyone, it’s Autumn from It’s Always Autumn, where I share tips and tutorials on crafting, sewing, photography, baking, and more. I’m here to share a fun, simple way to decorate your home for Christmas using some of The Ribbon Retreat’s gorgeous fabrics. You may have seen DIY fabric wall decals before – I’ve used them to create a full wall decoration sure to get anyone into the Christmas mood. It’s a fantastic way to showcase some of your favorite fabrics without even pulling out the sewing machine.

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

I found two different methods for making your own wall decals on the internet and came up with one of my own, then tried out all three methods so I could give you the pros and cons of each different option. Whichever one you choose to use, you’ll be thrilled with the big impact these simple decorations make in your home.

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

~ How to Make Fabric Wall Decals ~

Supplies:

Fabric in assorted colors and patterns – I used fabric from a layer cake of Moda’s Oh Deer line. Layer cake pieces are 10×10 inch squares, so I cut my ornaments just a bit smaller than that. If you want similar sized ornaments, you’ll want 10×10 inch squares of fabric to begin with. (A layer cake is a GREAT option when you want lots of different colors and patterns that all coordinate beautifully.)

Spray starch OR spray adhesive OR double sided fusible web like Wonder Under

Thread and pins, if desired

Scrap fabric for letters, if desired

To get started, cut out ornament templates. I created my ornament templates by tracing a plate for the large circle, then smaller bowls for the curved tops of the other ornaments and then bringing those curves down to a point at the bottom (1st photo below).

Once you have your templates, cut nine total ornaments out of printer paper or newspaper, then use masking tape to tape them up on your wall, moving things around until you like the arrangement (2nd photo below).

Next, tape up squares of fabric so you can decide which print you want where (3rd photo below).

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

I knew I wanted my ornaments to look like they were hanging from a string, so I placed straight pins above where each ornament would go (they were spaced exactly 9 inches apart and pushed into the wall using a pencil eraser – short pins are easier to deal with here than long ones and they don’t need to go into the wall very far). Once the pins were in place, I strung black thread up and over each pin, then back down to where the ornament template was taped up. I used a tiny piece of masking tape to keep the ends of the threads in place until I adhered an ornament on top of them.

I used the ornament templates to trace the ornament shapes on the back of each fabric square, then cut them out. Then it was time to try out the different methods for adhering them to the wall.

Method #1 – Spray starch

This is the most common method of making fabric decals, and it’s extremely simple and fairly inexpensive. Simply buy a can of laundry spray starch and use it to saturate one of your fabric ornaments. Be sure to have a towel on hand to wipe up drips of starch.

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

When you pick up the wet fabric piece and place it against the wall it will stick. Use your fingers to smooth the fabric up against the wall, starting in the middle and smoothing outward in all directions to make sure there are no air bubbles. I used this same process with the letters I printed, traced on fabric, and cut out to spell “very merry.”

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Alternately, you can just hold the fabric piece against the wall with one hand and use the other to spray it until it’s wet. Then smooth it out, wiping any excess spray starch off the wall with a towel.

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

It’s super easy and fairly magical that the fabric just sticks to the wall. If you want to reposition it you can move it around while it’s wet, which is very convenient. However, after my fabric dried completely I could see that it was beginning to ripple a bit and pull away from the wall a litte:

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

I think this happened because Moda’s fabric is such a nice, heavy weight fabric. I’m guessing this wouldn’t be as much of a problem with very lightweight fabrics – the letters I cut out of cheap black cotton have stayed put just fine – but I didn’t like that the ornaments were no longer completely flat against the wall. Additionally, when I went to reposition one of my black letters I realized some of the color had bled through onto the wall! Looks like I’ll be buying a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to scrub that off. Using spray starch is easy, convenient, and inexpensive, but I just wasn’t happy with the results. That led me to…

Method #2 – Spray Adhesive

I like spray adhesive. I use it often, especially for adhering photos to canvas. It’s a little expensive, maybe close to $10 for a can, but one can lasts a long time and is terribly handy. I always use Elmer’s Spray Adhesive – I’ve tried other brands and have been unhappy with the results.

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

One great thing about this particular adhesive is that if you spray your item and place it down immediately it creates a fairly permanent bond, BUT if you spray your item and wait 3 minutes before placing it down, you end up with a temporary bond – which is perfect for this project.

You need to be careful where you spray your fabric – either place it on a large piece of newspaper to protect whatever’s under it or be lazy like me and place it on your front lawn. If you watch carefully as you spray you’ll be able to see it getting wet. In the photo below the top left portion of the ornament has been sprayed while the rest hasn’t.

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

You want to make sure the entire ornament gets adhesive on it, then wait 3 minutes. Now pick it up carefully and place it on the wall right where you want it – it’s a little difficult to reposition, but it can be done. Smooth it down and you’re done!

The ornaments I placed up using this method are still lying flat against the wall and seem quite secure, although it’s pretty easy to peel them back off. Once they come down the wall may be a little tacky to the touch, requiring a quick wash with soap and water. The ornaments, if handled carefully, should be re-adherable next year!

I really liked this option, but there was one more I wanted to try.

Method #3 – Fusible Web

This last method uses a product like Wonder Under to adhere the ornaments to the wall. Wonder Under feels like paper on one side, and rough on the other side. You place the wrong side of your fabric down on the rough side, then use a dry iron to adhere it. Next, trace the design on the paper side of the Wonder Under and cut the ornament out. Then you can carefully peel off the paper layer, which leaves a thin layer of webbing attached to the back of your fabric.

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

To attach to the wall, simply place the ornament exactly where you want it and place a hot iron with lots of steam against it for 10-15 seconds until adhered.

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

The Wonder Under created the strongest bond to the wall, which is nice if you have little kids who might try to peel your ornaments right off the wall. However, once removed you won’t be able to re-adhere them next year (unless you iron them on to new Wonder Under and repeat the entire process, of course!).

One nice thing about using Wonder Under is that is makes the fabric a little stiffer and easier to handle. That would have made cutting out small pieces (like my letters) much easier.

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Here’s the comparison:

Spray starch pros: Easy, inexpensive, endlessly repositionable w/more starch, completely re-usable

Spray starch cons: Doesn’t work well with heavier weight fabrics, very easy for children to peel off, can cause some bleeding of colors onto wall

Spray adhesive pros: Easy, very nice bond, somewhat repositionable, re-usable w/more adhesive

Spray adhesive cons: More expensive than the other options, may require a bit of cleanup after the decals are taken down

Fusible web pros: Very good bond, firms up fabric to make cutting small pieces simpler

Fusible web cons: Not repositionable or re-usable, a tiny bit more work

Spray adhesive is probably what I’ll be using in the future.

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}

Like I mentioned before, layer cakes come with lots of different colors and patterns, so I made a few more ornaments for another wall in my house. I’ll be back here with another projects using even more prints from the layer cake, and you can visit my blog today for a quick tutorial on the Christmas tree canvas (above) that I made using scraps from the ornament wall decals.

How to Make Fabric Wall Decals - Three different ways to make fabric decals and the pros and cons. {The Ribbon Retreat Blog}


Thank you Autumn!

I have been wanting to play around with fabric wall decals for years. I think there are so many fun decorative uses for them, especially at Christmas time! I can also see using them in a child’s room or nursery to create special decor.

The Ribbon Retreat carries a huge selection of beautiful designer fabrics perfect for your next project. Click the link to browse our fabrics.

And be sure to visit It’s Always Autumn for awesome, detailed tutorials on so many fun crafts. And she updates her blog often so be sure to follow!

If you are interested in sharing your crafts or bow making skills, we are searching for crafty contributors. If you’re a craft blogger or bow maker who’d like to submit a tutorial of your own, visit our Project Submission Page to see all the details. We love all tutorials. We make it worth your while! We love our contributors!

Have a great day! ~ Shirley, The Ribbon Retreat Blog Editor

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Christmas, Holiday & Seasonal. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

13 Comments

  1. Posted November 26, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely LOVE this project idea!!!!!! Amazing! Totally using this idea and technique for so many projects! πŸ™‚

  2. Olga
    Posted December 2, 2012 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!

  3. Donna
    Posted December 2, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    This is a wonderful idea – and can be used anytime of year with anything! Imagine decorating you child’s room! My only question is with the paint – we have drywall – would the paint peel off?

  4. Posted December 4, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Donna – I wanted to make sure none of the methods would peel the paint off the wall, so I’ve pulled up parts of ornaments and they come off just fine with no damage to the wall. Looks like the spray starch method did transfer the pen I used to trace the shape on the back of my ornaments to the wall though – so I really don’t recommend that method. And if you use spray adhesive, just be sure to wait a few minutes after you spray before you place it on the wall so the bond will be temporary, not permanent – and use Elmers because I can’t vouch for any other brand. Have fun!

  5. Donna
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Just getting back to this – thanks for letting me know, Autumn. I will definitely be trying this next year!

  6. Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    very informative article and I love the design’s, bookmarking your website as we speak lol xx
    Love it xx

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted July 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jessica! Thank you for your comment and your bookmark. πŸ™‚ Thank you for being a wonderful reader. Have a good rest of your day!

  7. Kathy Moore
    Posted November 24, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi.. Just wondering how clean up went after the Christmas Season ended.. I have a cat who makes Christmas decorations a bit of a nightmare. I love this though.. Even though I know he will try and get them off the wall..

    • Posted November 26, 2013 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Hi Kathy! Thank you for your comment! The clean up method on all of the techniques used were simple and fast. However, if after you, very carefully, remove you decals, you notice your wall to be a little sticky or tacky, you could use a damp rag to wipe down your wall. Good luck with your cat! It sounds like he has good taste for decorations. HEHE! Have a great day Kathy and thank you for sharing! Michelle πŸ™‚

  8. Dre
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    How do you think these would do on a mirror? I’m thinking of using the spray starch and would love your feedback:)

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Hi Dre! Thank you for your question! I think they would look awesome! I did a Google search on putting liquid starch and fabric on windows and the reviews I found said it is an easy cleanup and work amazing! Good luck and thank you again for your question! Have a great day! Michelle πŸ™‚

  9. Angela Downer
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    These are super cute Christmas decals, and the best part of it is they are super inexpensive and easy. I want to try this, for my wedding reception that we are holding at my mom’s house. I could easily cut out my last name in gold fabric and put it on the wall for decoration.
    Letter Decals

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted February 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Hi Angela! Thank you so much! I love your idea of using this fun tutorial to decorate for your special day! Good luck with everything and thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful day! Michelle πŸ™‚

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

  • Follow Us On

    Facebook iconTwitter IconPinterest Icon
    Google Plus IconYoutube iconRSS iconInstagram icon
  • Subscribe by Email

    Your Email Address:
  • Sponsored Links

  • NEW TRR Specials and Happenings

  • We are Sponsoring:

  • Instagram is where it’s at! Follow us!

  • Sponsored Links

  • Fun Pinterst Boards

  • TOTT Hairbow Instructions

  • Sponsored Links

  • Grab A Button



  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Design By

    TRR Design by 733 Design