Removable fabric tape decals (to hang things on your wall): a tutorial

Can’t be bothered to frame all your photos and pictures? Me either. Change your mind as often as you change your underpants? Me too. Wish you could find a way to stick stuff to your walls using fabric? OH MY GOSH I TOTALLY DID TOO!  And so I give you these  removable fabric “tape” wall decal thingies for hanging photos and other paraphernalia on you walls.

I’ve had removable fabric wall decals on my mind for a while. My favourite has always been this and then I discovered another of my favourite blogs, How About Orange, did a tutorial a while back too. I’m adopting the method they both used of using liquid starch to adhere the fabric to walls.

What I particularly love about using the liquid starch is that it won’t leave a mark on your wall. Great for renters (or frequent underpant changers). When you get sick of it, you just peel it right off and move on.

So as Captain Barnacles of the Octonauts likes to say, “Let’s DO this!”

What you need:

  • Liquid starch. Mix 2 tablespoons of corn flour with about 40 mls of water. Stir to partially dissolve flour then add 1 cup of boiling water. Stir well and leave to cool.
  • Paint brush or foam brush
  • Fabric
  • Glad wrap/cling wrap/plastic wrap – the ordinary kitchen variety.
  • Double-sided tape.

What to do:

There are essentially two methods; the first is kind of a cheat’s method. The Bill Clinton of methods, if you will.

Method 1: EASY method

1. Use blue-tack or something similar to pop your photos or prints on your wall.

2. Position your fabric tape where you like and carefully dab on some of the liquid starch where the fabric meets the wall, but not where it meets your picture. AVOID letting the starch drip onto your precious pics. Just dab a little at a time and use your finger to smooth it onto the wall. The aim is to apply enough so that it sticks but not so much that it drips.

You could always stick your fabric to the wall and then slide your picture up under later if it’s very precious.

I must admit, these photos from my last post giving you a sneak peek, use the Bill method.

But I wasn’t happy with the Bill method. It felt…deceptive. Sexy yes, but deceptive all the same. So, I literally lay in bed at night and tried to work out what on earth I could use to adhere the fabric to photos and paper. And I enjoyed it. And I’ll thank you not to judge.

I wanted a solution that was as temporary and easily removable as the starched fabric was from the wall. Plus, I wanted to use something that everyone was likely to have lying around.

I turned the concept around and around in my mind. It’s not a huge mind so while the turnaround time was short, there was a significant number of turns. I thought on and discarded any number of semi-sticky and adhesive things.

And then it hit me: Glad Wrap! Or cling film if you prefer. But Glad Wrap it shall remain for the purposes of this post. Never has a clingy product been so aptly named. I was gladder that a gladioli in its glad-time rags.

Method 2: the Glad Wrap method

1. Cut fabric to desired dimensions.

2. Place double-sided tape along bottom of horizontal edge leaving a millimetre or so of fabric below.

3. Cut strip of cling film/Glad wrap roughly the same size as the bottom horizontal of your fabric and stick it on. Trim any messy edges.

If you’re hanging a glossy photo, that’s pretty much it.

4. Just dab your liquid starch onto the top of your fabric’s horizontal edge (ie the bit not covered by the tape and cling wrap) and stick your fabric on the wall using liquid starch.

Then slide your photo up underneath the cling-filmed bit of the fabric and firmly smooth the cling-filmed fabric bit along your photo. The cling film should grip the photo. If it doesn’t, go get yourself some clingier wrap.

You can see in this photo where the fabric is still a bit wet from the liquid starch. It dries right up.

Here’s the extra points part of the assignment.

Using Method 2 to hang paper et al (ie non, glossy things)

Paper, my friends, is not clingy. I know. Call Mensa. So if you want to hang something other than a gloss photo, here’s the how-to:

1. Repeat steps 1-3 above.

2. Tape (or otherwise attach) some cling film to the BACK of your paper print, allowing a 3/4cm or 1.8″ overhang of cling film like this:

3. Adhere the overhanging cling film to the cling film on the back of the fabric tape like this:

Again, just smooth the cling wrap on the tape onto the cling wrap overhang on your picture and smooth two together gently but  firmly.

Believe me, those two bits of Glad Wrap will ADHERE like Lindsay Lohan’s lips to a margarita. But unlike Lindsay’s lips, you should be able to peel your picture off at any time you like.

4. Dab your liquid starch over the bit of the fabric that you want to stick to the wall as outlined in step 4 above.

You’ll get this.

This print is on thick, textured paper. Love it with the chunky houndstooth fabric.

Look, I know this last method might seem a  bit fiddly (and if it doesn’t now, it will once you get to trying to cut that friggin’ Glad Wrap) but I like it because it all comes apart neatly in the end and uses stuff everyone is likely to have in their kitchens.

I love how way this fabric “tape” method looks among more traditional ways to hang things which in my world means hastily framed and hung or blue-tacked.

And when you’re sick of it just peel it all off and wipe the wall off with a damp cloth.  Now that clean-up method didn’t work for Monica but I’m pretty sure will work for you. And on the off chance it doesn’t work, I will deny our relationship. Just sose you know.

4 thoughts on “Removable fabric tape decals (to hang things on your wall): a tutorial

  1. Love it, and your writing, though I reckon Lindsay Lohan is a midori and lemonade kind of chick 😉

    I need to try this and the magnet one too, post haste

  2. Pingback: Shanna Murray wall decals – a subtle and gorgeous alternative to standard wall decals. « twirling betty

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