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Do It Yourself Upholstered Wall

Pad your pad! Add elegance to a plain wall with this inexpensive and easy fabric treatment. The luxurious look is surprisingly easy to achieve with basic sewing skills and a staple gun.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Chic Wall Treatment

      Fashionable upholstered walls in Parisian salons inspired freelance fashion and interior designer Kerri Gutekunst and her husband, Brent, to create their own "padded room." After a vacation to the haute couture mecca, Kerri whipped up this luxury treatment for the den of their San Diego home.

    • Tuffted Charm

      The new fabric-covered wall is a dramatic backdrop for hardwood flooring, track lighting, floating shelves, and swank mid-century modern-inspired furniture. Kerri chose a powder blue vinyl because the material is sturdy and easy to work with, plus it offers a leather look without the high price. She used multiple layers of batting to accentuate the tufting and turned the stitched squares on the diagonal. This particular treatment is screwed directly into the wall. It also can be used to create a chic upholstered headboard.

    • What You Need

      Tape rule

      Pattern paper or muslin


      Vinyl or other fabric

      Sewing machine



      1/2-inch plywood sheets, 4x8 feet

      Brackets (to link panels)

      Enough batting for a double layer

      Hot-glue gun

      Staple gun and staples

      Power screwdriver, drill, and driver bits

      No. 12 washers (plain or decorative)

      No. 8 oval head, stainless Phillips screws (long enough to drive through upholstered panels and into wall)

    • Step 1: Measure Wall

      Determine the height and width of the wall in inches. Determine the diagonal measurement (from one corner to the opposite) of the desired square size. Divide the height and also the width of the wall by this diagonal measurement and multiply, rounding up to determine the number of squares needed. The squares shown are 12 inches (15 inches on the diagonal). Trim the plywood sheets, if needed, to fit the wall, then link them with two brackets and screws.

    • Step 2: Buy Enough Fabric

      Add seam allowances before determining fabric needed. Add 1 inch to the height and width of the square for seam allowances. Make a template from muslin, interfacing, or pattern paper and cut the vinyl or fabric. Example: 8x12 foot wall, 12-inch squares [96 inches/15 inches] x [144 inches/15 inches] = 62 squares

      Editor's tip: : Buy enough fabric for another row, just in case!

    • Step 3: Sew Fabric

      Pin the squares together in rows, stitch along half-inch seam allowances, and then sew the rows together. Backstitch to reinforce the intersections.

    • Step 4: Add Batting

      Hot-glue the batting to the plywood, one layer at a time. Two layers of batting give the wall a more tufted look.

    • Step 5: Stable Fabric

      Stretch the fabric over the batting and plywood and staple to the back at one corner. Pull the fabric taut from the opposite diagonal corner and staple. Continue stapling, keeping the fabric smooth and taut as you work. Trim excess fabric.

    • Step 6: Attach to Wall

      Stand the covered panel against the wall. Starting at one corner, drill a pilot hole through an intersection. Place a screw through a washer, and carefully poke it into the hole. Use the screwdriver to drive the screw through the fabric and panel and into the wall.

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