Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Pottery Barnification of Townes Place: A Three Year Wall Art Project

Three years.  Yep.  That's how long it took us to figure out what to put on the GIANT wall in our living room.  About a month and a half ago, after over 3 years of residence, we couldn't take it any more.  We looked at art options, nothing inspiring.  I mused on doing a strip of lovely but incredibly labor intensive painted wallpaper and Chad was not amused.  Finally, we decided to take a cheapish route....covering art canvases with fabric.  So I looked to my old standby Pottery Barn catalog for inspiration.  Aaaaah, that's nice.

But where would I find something soft yet graphic like that?  I wasn't sold on the modge podge of maps and while I liked the architectural details, I'm way to uptight for randomly placed bits of framing.  So I thought maybe a toile or somethig floral would work (I was wrong).

I went to Mary Jo's armed with my $50 gift card (thank you Santa!!).  Racks, upon racks, upon rolls, upon bolts, I stumbled across this:  a decor fabric that presents itself as Monticello blueprints.  I had an immediate reaction.  I base most of my ridiculous decisions off of my "immediate reactions" (of which there have been many).  But the selling point is that I know Chad loves presidents...Thomas Jefferson being one of his favs (and my favorite).  And I do love anything "Virginian" becuase, well, Virginia is awesome.  Don't you just love it??

So here's the down-low on the how-to.  Get your art canvases (I chose four 12x36" and one 24x36").  Dick Blick has a great selection and is the cheapest around.  Check Retail Me Not for coupon codes if you decide to order.  Then you need to get the right amount of fabric.  If you chose a cool pattern like mine, you'll want an extra 1/2 yard so you have some leeway with the placement.  Otherwise they'll all look the same and there's no fun in that.

You'll need spray adhesive, a staple gun and a pencil.  Place your fabric right side up on the floor and the canvas face down to get an idea of where your pattern will be placed.  Once you get a happy spot and it's nice and straight, cut out the shape giving yourself room to wrap around (about 2 inches on either side).  Take the cut piece and turn it over, place your canvas face down this time and mark the corners with the pencil.

Good work!  The tricky part is over.  You're going to use the spray adhesive now but use it LIGHTLY.  You only want a little bit on the canvas so when you lay it down on the fabric and turn it over, the fabric will stick.  The fabric will be kept on the canvas by the staples, not the just helps keep it all together while you find the best position for the staple work.  Okay, so the fabric is stuck to the front of the turn it over and smooth on the front side.  If you used too much spray adhesive, this will be a ridculous annoyance.  If you used it lightly, you will be able to smooth out those wrinklies without any issues.  If you're really stuck, just pull up the fabric and lay it back down.  Turn the whole thing over, wrap the canvas and get to staplin'!  I will say, it's more important for the fabric to be straight than it is to be don't pull too hard or you'll distort your image.

Now that wasn't so tough, was it?  And check out the effect of all of them together.  I'm really rather in love.  Take THAT giant wall!


  1. Meghan~ That is so cool and what a wonderful, inexpensive solution to art! My soon to be daughter-in-law is a recent architecture/design graduate and I am her first design project. We are doing my bedroom shabby chic.

    We are heading to MJ's to look for cool fabrics to copy your wonderful idea!

    They say that duplication is the best compliment so Koodos to you girl. I love it! SKMorgan

  2. I'm so glad you're inspired! I hope you keep reading and best of luck on your redo...I'm sure it will turn out just fabulous.

    Three cheers to Mary Jos!

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