Since we moved in to our current apartment last February, I’ve been slowly filling our walls with photographs and art. Most of the artwork I put up Kayo and I made ourselves and a number are prints and postcards we’ve collected through the years.
There are one or two wall spaces I’m still trying to decorate but my recent progress involved a wall in our living room area where there’s a gigantic fuse box of an eye sore! Actually, when we have guests, that’s one of the first things they see and they almost always wonder out loud saying, “What the heck is that?!” I guess when the building was constructed and they designed the electrical wiring of each unit, that spot turned out to be the most logical place for it. However, it’s right smack in the middle of the room and, aesthetically, it’s not very pleasant.
So I have been thinking of ways to cover it. The easiest, of course, was to place an artwork over it that’s easy to take down when the box needs to be accessed. I have been looking for frames and art pieces big enough to cover it and inexpensive at the same time, but those don’t come around very easy.
Thankfully, an idea came to me after I had made our “Only Love” fabric banner a few months ago. I thought, why not use fabric and simply paint on it! I already had fabric big enough to use and I also have some paint on hand. All I really needed to get a hold of were sticks long enough to hold the ends and a design concept. So I got to work and here’s what I did:
1. I measured the fuse box and decided on how much bigger I wanted the fabric art to be. I cut my fabric to desired size and sewed all the edges in. For the top and bottom, I provided loops where I, later on, inserted the sticks. (I made mine 22 inches wide and 32 inches long)
2. The toughest part was deciding on the design. Because it was going to be big, it had to be attractive and interesting. It had to make some sort of statement and the colors, somehow, had to compliment what was already in the room, such as the furniture and other wall art. So finally, after considering many options, I decided to make an Indian Aztec inspired pattern, which I’ve always been attracted to. And because the fabric I used is cream, which is almost the same color as the wall, I decided to use bold colors for the design.
3. Before painting, I made a sketch of how I wanted it to look like, more or less, and divided it into eight parts, each part a different pattern. I also planned what colors to use for each section.
4. Once that was done, I decided on the painting process for each section, depending on the effect I wanted it to have. For some sections I did masking, for others, I did some stenciling and the simple details I just handpainted directly onto the fabric.
5. Starting from the top, I worked on each section, and down towards the bottom. Once done, I hung the fabric out to dry overnight.
6. I acquired a pair of 1 inch thick wooden sticks and had them cut so they’re both 26 inches long. That’s because I wanted about three inches of the stick exposed on each side of the fabric wall art once inserted. I painted the sticks all black using acrylic and then finished it with some clear spray paint.
9. Finally, I placed a hook on the wall, just above the fuse box and happily hung my handpainted Aztec fabric wall art!
I worked on this project intermittently, but the whole process in the size I made takes about 2-3 days including drying time. Materials needed are fabric (I used katsa or muslin cloth), a basic sewing kit, wooden sticks, jute twine, cardboard for stencils, masking tape, scissors, craft knife, fabric paint, sponge and paint brush.
I’m so happy that I finally found and made a way to fix that wall space. I also really like that it adds vibrance and character to our living room area. Plus, it didn’t cost me much at all! Hooray to DIY! 😀