You know those projects that you keep meaning to do, but they end up staying on the to-do list for a near eternity? This project was just that for me. It’s been on our list since the day we moved in, and I’m not sure what took us so long (oh yeah, maybe because we were busy doing other projects?) Anyway! It’s done now and I love (LOVE) it. It’s the perfect little pop of color and pattern for our corner built-ins that are located in the living room half of my bedroom (yeah, our bedroom is split into two rooms and one of them has couches… weird, I know).
So- I had planned to paint these built-ins a rich teal color (similar to our kitchen cabinets), but I thought a pattern could be even more fun. One day I was making a project with rubber cement, and I started wondering if it could be used on a wall to adhere fabric, since it’s so easy to remove. We tested it (see below), and I’m so happy that we tried this weirdo idea because it worked perfectly!
Supplies: Fabric scissors, X-Acto knife, rubber cement, and cotton fabric.
1. Cut your fabric to the approximate size need, leaving an inch on each side. Coat your surface and the back side of your fabric with the rubber cement and let it dry completely. Starting with the middle of the fabric, place it on the middle of the surface and smooth outwards with your hands (don’t worry if you put it in the wrong place, you can peel it off and place it again).
2. Once the fabric is smooth, use the X-Acto knife to trim the extra fabric off the sides.
3. Enjoy your new shelves!
We tested the idea last week. Honestly I had no idea if it would even work, but it did! After a few days we peeled off the sample fabric and it wiped clean like it was never there. The existing paint inside the built ins was high gloss- this is probably one of the reasons it was so easy to remove. I guess you can file this one under “renter friendly.” Yay for that! It’s also much quicker than painting and you get to fabric shop. (my favorite part!)
Here’s the finished project. I’m so happy with how clean and simple they look!
Done and done! I love how a little project like this can update a space and add personality. Sometimes it’s the little projects that make a room special. Hope you have a great weekend! Elsie
Credits // Author and Photography: Elsie Larson, Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman.
I recently tried this out at home, and here’re a few things I learnt that hopefully might be useful to everyone else doing similar projects:
– Might not work on some surfaces. As mentioned in the post above, the existing surface was high-gloss paint – the proj worked for this surface, but might not for others. I lined fabric on wooden IKEA shelves.
Rubber cement on wooden surfaces is sticky and super easy to rub off. It didn’t peel off quite as easily when adhered to fabric that already had a layer of rubber cement on it, though the bond was quite strong. If I left the wood alone and tried to adhere just the rubber-cement treated fabric to the shelf, it didn’t stick as easily. In the end I put wet rubber cement on my fabric and adhered it to the shelf while it was still wet, and it stayed. Also another reminder to test out your fabric on the surface before you do anything!
– This project’s originally meant to be rental-friendly, but it can be done with the long-term in mind too! If you’re going for the latter, you might want to consider getting waterproof fabric, or waterproof yours, as well as get fabric that is of some thickness at least. Basically, you want something that will last – so fabric that you can keep clean, one that won’t trap dust, and one with less chance of fraying. My fabric’s thin, though, so unfortunately I overlooked that. But I’m going to try laying out contact paper on the shelf I already lined, and I’m going to waterproof another fabric with turpentine and soybean oil.
It might take a bit more time and effort, but weigh your situation (pros & cons) carefully, b/c it’s worth making something that lasts. Haha just a note from one novice to another 😉
This works with liquid starch, too! For my sister’s room a few years ago we found a butterfly material and cut out the butterflies, dipped them in liquid starch and stuck them up to the wall. After it dries, it’s stiff. Then when you don’t want it on anymore, you just peel right off. Easy and cute!
I will most defintely be making this idea sometime. Sometime when I finally get a real appartment and can actually start doing stuff like this and not just admire the hundreds of inspiration photos I’ve saved over the years 🙂 Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Great idea to jazz something up with some colour! Love it!
Such a fun idea! I feel like your home is so fun, seems all regularish at first glance but with so many colourful fun touches, yey!
Literally have been behind on projects and even reading blogs for ages, just moved into my new house and this is PERFECT for a cupboard I was thinking about throwing away. WOO!
LOVE the teal and orange together 🙂 Can’t wait to try this on the open shelves in my kitchen, thanks for the great idea!
Dawn from I Think We Could Be Friends.com
Oh my goodness, this is the best idea ever – so cute!
what a great idea!! It probably sounds overly ambitious, but I’m curious if I could do this to a whole wall for an accent wall..?
This is such a sweet look that could be modified to any style! You should gather all your “renter friendly” ideas in one spot. Just an idea, cause all of your ideas are so great!
So cute! I really love that pattern, too!
The Rambling Fangirl
I’ve always wanted to try this! Excellent advice with the rubber cement.
Ah, it just looks incredible! SO easy to do, as well.
Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten
Had to do a double take when I saw this in my Feedly this morning! I have a near identical cabinet I painted white last year, in a near identical corner. I’ve been planning to do your family photo backdrop project on it!
This is really a great idea! I love that it doesn’t damage the wall.
YES! This might be my favorite project ever!
oh fun, i really love the look of this! fab job!
Wow, it looks great!
Love this idea there are so many boring units in my house that will be getting this treatment! xx Emmi
That’s awesome! I’ve been meaning to do mine with paint, but I like this idea so much better since there’s so many cool patterns out there. Thanks ladies! 🙂