Do It Yourself Upholstered Wall

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

Tufted Wall

Score major style points with an upholstered wall. This luxe look is perfect for rooms that need a little decorating love. Plus, fabric-covered walls make stunning accents. They can tie a disjointed room together with ease.

Take this tufted wall, for example. The wall is a rich complement to hardwood flooring, track lighting, floating shelves, and swank mid-century modern-inspired furniture. A powder blue vinyl finish offers a leather look without the high price, while multiple layers of batting accentuate the tufting. For security, this particular treatment is screwed directly into the wall.

Get the look in your own home with our easy-to-follow how-to guide—we'll walk you through the entire process. All you need are some basic materials and access to a sewing machine.

What You Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1/2-inch plywood sheets, 4x8 feet
  • Brackets
  • No. 8 oval head, stainless Phillips screws
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Muslin, interfacing, or pattern paper
  • Vinyl or other fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Batting
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Drill
  • No. 12 washers

Step 1: Measure Wall

Step 1: Measure Tufted 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

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

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

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: Staple Fabric

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

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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