Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekend Project: Create a Wall Hanging from a Scarf

I admit, I'm cheating a bit on this one since this project was completed long ago. But since I am reusing it in the Master Bedroom Challenge, I figured it was relevant to use today. Plus its a fun, easy and inexpensive project that I think most of you can appreciate.

I bought this beautiful silkscreen scarf when I worked at Saks a few years back (I bought one for myself too only in different colors!) Its handmade in England and originally retailed at $250. I bought it on mega clearance for about $25. See, sometimes things at Saks CAN be a good deal! haha. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it right away but I knew it was gorgeous and I could put it to good use somewhere. So naturally, I bought two.

While reading Ivanhoe one day (I wish I were kidding), I thought, wow, this would make an awesome wall hanging.....and its kinda medieval looking as well. So this is how I went about doing it:

1. I went to the closest Hobby Lobby to buy pre-made stretchers that artists use to stretch their canvasses. Luckily, I already learned how to do this at a summer painting class but its so easy, I promise you can do it too. They come in all kinds of sizes so finding one to fit your silk shouldn't be too hard. I bought mine slightly larger so that I could create a border around the silk with another fabric.2. Glue your stretchers together by putting a small amount of glue in each corner. The reason you want to use stretchers instead of just any random pieces of wood is for the same reason artists use them: You want as little area of fabric touching the wood as possible because over time the wood will stain the fabric and in some cases can ruin it by discoloration. That's why stretchers have that tiny raised rim on the outer edge for the fabric to rest on.

3. Lay your background fabric (or scarf depending on how you want to do it) upside down on a large smooth surface such as a big table or the floor. Lay your frame on top, also upside down, and center it with the fabric. If you are stapling your scarf directly, make sure you have it lined up where you want it.

4. Fold the outer edges up over the frame and using a staple gun (or small tacks) staple along the edge starting in the middle and working your out to either end. This way you won't get wrinkles in the fabric.

5. Once my fabric was all stretched, I simply pinned the silk onto the stretched fabric and then very carefully hand stitched it to the fabric. You want to be carefully with this because you don't want it to pucker anywhere or else it will hang weird.
You could stitch it onto the fabric all the way around but I just did the top so that it can still hang and move freely.

Here's the finished product!

Silk $25
Stretchers $10
Fabric for background $8

TOTAL $43...........not too shabby for something so beautiful! The finished size is 36" x 36"

This idea would be great to use for vintage hankies and scarves or even a colorful fabric print that you love. I once recommended this idea to a client with dark wood paneled walls that her husband forbid her to paint/get rid of. We got a couple super large ones, stretched a pretty, light colored fabric over it, hung them over the paneling and it looked just like wallpaper! Very bright and cheery and her husband couldn't complain.

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