Design Your Own Fabric for a Room Makeover
by Mari Robeson
Design Junkies, we are in for a treat! Today, designer Mari Robeson joins us as Interior Design expert and Contributor. I am thrilled with the colorful and creative stories Mari has planned for us, about what we’ll learn from her, and how inspired we’ll be. Learn more about Mari at her Web site.
Have you ever planned a room and figured out all the elements you would need? Then, all you had to do to complete your design, was find that perfect piece of fabric to pull it all together, but, alas, it was nowhere to be found? Being an Interior Designer, that scenario happened to me more times than I can count even with full access to multiple fabric companies.
I started to think, that in this wonderful age of technology, there must be a way that I could create my own fabric. I did a little digging around on the internet and found just what I was looking for. There are some great companies out there, where you can upload your design, have it printed digitally onto fabric, and in your mail box within 2 – 3 weeks.
Of course it helps if you have a background in graphic design and are familiar with programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, but there are many graphic designers that would be able to help you with your design. (Even some of the companies that print your design will offer those services.) If that sounds too intimidating there are other companies like RoomsByYou.com that make it even easier. They have hundreds of designs to pick from. You just drag and drop the design onto the product you want and you’re done!
To give you a visual of how the process is done from start to finish, I decided to give my Mudroom a makeover with my one of my fabric designs.
My Tulip design starts with a drawing in my sketchbook which I then scan into my computer. I select my colors from the Pantone color wheel, in this case, bright green and purple.
Then I have to create a repeat. This is one of the more challenging parts in my opinion because the repeat has to be exact. Where it cuts off on the Left Side it has to pick up exactly on the Right side. This is true from Top to Bottom. I found tutorials online that explained this process in detail. With a little practice, it starts to make sense.
You will have to save your file in a format that is compatible with the service who prints your fabrics. They will give you their exact specifications. If you use a service like Spoonflower, they have a very simple process that explains how to upload your designs and in what size.
Then…tap tap tap fingers tapping…you patiently wait until your fabric arrives. When it does, you’re ready to start sewing!
In my Mudroom I wanted to add a cushion to our cubby bench and curtains to my upper cabinets.
This is the first and last room my family sees when coming and going, so I wanted to make the room bright and cheery.
For those of you who sew, making a cushion like this is a piece of cake, but if you’re like me, you may need to solicit the help of a seamstress. In my case I asked my talented friend Nina Taylor, www.TheSewingAtelier.com to help me for this intermediate sewing project.
- Foam sheet (also called ‘slab foam’) for your cushion
- Fabric for the front, back, sides and piping
- ¼” Cord for piping or pre-made piping.
- Zipper half as long as the length of the cushion
- Sewing Machine
- A Long Measuring Tape
- A Cutting Board
- A Marking Pencil
1. Measure how wide and deep you want the cushion to be and cut your foam accordingly.
2. Lay out your fabric, measure, and cut out the front, back, and sides, adding a ½” seam allowance.
3. Next, cut on the bias strips (2″ wide for ¼” piping) for two times the length of the perimeter of the cushion. (You will create two strips of piping – one for around the top edge, and one for around the bottom edge of your cushion.)
4. Piece together your bias strips and then fold the cord into the bias strips to create your piping.
5. You may want to sew along side the piping to secure it. (You can also purchase pre-made piping and skip this step.)
6. Sew one piece of piping onto the your cushion top piece. Then separately sew the second piece of piping onto the cushion bottom piece.
7. Snip the piping fabric so that it bends nicely around the corners. (See photo above.)
8. The side seams are meant to be at the corners. Join the sides together and then attach it to the top.
9. Now you’re ready to attach it to the bottom leaving a space in the center for your zipper.
10. With your cushion inside out, sew the zipper into the crease between the piping and the side fabric to keep the zipper hidden.
11. Turn right side out and insert your foam!
You can see I did a few more things to personalize the space.
I made the chalkboard with simple molding and ¼” plywood that I painted with chalkboard paint. It’s a great place for my busy family to write important notes to one another or inspirational quotes.
Above the cubby bench, I gave each one of my family members their own personalized hook (see top photo). I found these a while ago at Anthropologie and I just love them.
Digital textile printing has brought an entirely new way to customize and personalize your space. No longer do you have to be frustrated by not being able to find the perfect fabric. With a little creativity, you can create your own unique and distinctive room. Happy Designing!
Color & Inspiration,
Mari Robeson — an Interior and Product Designer, and a published Illustrator — strives to bring beauty into the world whenever she can. Mari shares with us her Interior Design tips and advice, and makes learning design concepts fun. With her fresh, creative projects, Mari spreads her love of color and beautiful textiles.
Mari has designed everything from restaurants to children’s rooms. She recently launched her own line of home décor accessories and textiles. She and her husband own WM Design Consultants on the beautiful Central California Coast.
Most days you can find Mari working up her latest designs or teaching Interior Design Workshops in her colorful studio nestled in the countryside.
Have you tried designing your own fabric? Tell us about it….