Bold material and blank canvas offer a low-cost solution for dressing up bare walls.

Adding style to an empty space doesn't require a trip to an upscale art gallery or a visit to the bank. Head to your local fabric and art-supply stores instead. This simple project takes only an afternoon and will add instant color and personality to your walls.

Step 1:
Purchase blank canvases from an art-supply store. We used three of the 18- x 24-inch size, but any measurement will do, depending on the size wall you want to cover.

Step 2:
Choose coordinating fabrics that pull colors from your room's existing decor. The amount of material you need will depend on the size canvas you choose. In this case, each piece required less than 1 yard of fabric.

Step 3:
Lay each fabric piece on a clean, flat surface, right side down. Place the canvas on top, and lift it with the fabric on it to preview how the finished piece will look. Make any necessary adjustments to center designs or line up patterns evenly. Once fabric is in place, cut off any excess, leaving at least 2 inches of fabric on each side of the canvas.

Step 4:
Pulling fabric taut, tape it to the canvas back in several places with masking tape. This will keep the material in place while you staple it down.

Step 5:
Using a staple gun, fasten fabric to the back of the wooden frame, alternating sides. This will keep the fabric from getting pulled out of shape. (Do not staple fabric to the sides of the frame unless you plan to cover them with trim or ribbon.) Remove the tape.

Step 6:
Add hangers to the back of each frame or simply hang on nails. When hanging a series, use a measuring tape or a level to ensure that canvases are even.


  • blank canvas
  • fabric
  • scissors
  • staple gun
  • masking tape

"Fabric as Art" is from the November 2003 issue of Southern Living.