Big art is expensive. And then you have to custom frame that big art...and you might have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.
Okay I'm mostly kidding. Mostly. We've been talking about creative uses for fabric in the home, and today's post offers you a solution for how to fill those big wall spaces in your home in a beautiful, unique, and budget-friendly way.
Framing fabric is no new idea, and it really is super easy: find fabric, find a frame, and frame your fabric. I've learned a few things along the way, so here are my tips and suggestions for how to make this project work for you.
1. IKEA RIBBA frames work well.
With the largest size running you only $20, the IKEA RIBBAs are very budget friendly and come in a few different colors and sizes. I have two minor complaints, though. First, I've found the mats to be slightly yellow, which bugs me a bit. I've read that some people just flip them backward and the back side is a truer white. Second, the little metal tabs on the back break off if you open and shut them too many times. But despite these minor drawbacks, I really like the RIBBA frames and find that they have worked well for projects like framed fabric or my DIY Raindrop Art.
2. Choose medium- to large-scale fabrics.
In my opinion, very small-scale fabrics aren't as visually appealing for large framed fabric art. If you are filling a large frame, look for fabrics that have a larger repeat. (Repeat means how many inches before the pattern begins again.) You will likely find more of these options if you look at home decor fabrics or upholstery fabrics instead of quilting or crafting fabrics, although some crafting fabrics can certainly work (see below!). Need a place to start? Check out Calico Corners. And Caitlin Wilson (swoon).
3. Choose fabric that tells a story.
A lot of the conventional art we hang on our walls contains a scene, right? Maybe it is a photograph or a painting of a landscape. I think successful framed fabric art keeps that same idea of a scene with interesting, varied things to look at (again, often with a larger repeat). For example, the framed fabric I put in our older daughter's room shows little houses, with each one a bit different than the ones next to it. And FYI, this fabric is from the crafting section of Jo-Ann's. It felt childlike and I just fell in love with it.
4. Create groupings to cover a really big wall.
Filling really big walls is tricky (and can be spendy). If you have a large wall to fill, consider a grouping of framed fabric art pieces. Look for two (or more) coordinating fabrics, perhaps by the same designer.
This is what I did to fill the big wall in our dining area. It was the first place I tried framed fabric.
I started with the teal fabric, which is Aviary by Thomas Paul. I had also picked up a remnant of Forest in red by Thomas Paul at a local fabric store. Both fabrics have a repeat of 27 inches and have interesting “scenes" in the patterns. With such a large repeat, I was able to frame different parts of the fabric, making each piece look different. With my RIBBA frames, this was an incredibly inexpensive way to fill a very large wall.
How about you—have you tried framing fabric in your home? Have any tips or suggestions to add? Or a good source for inexpensive frames? Let me know!