French Style & a fabric wall

Marian Parsonshome improvement, Master Bedroom, Miscellaneus, Secret Weapons, Tutorials63 Comments

I received an e-mail a few months ago, asking if I would contribute to a new magazine, French Style.  Well, that sounds right up my alley!  Yesterday, I found the magazine in Target and snapped it up.

Miss Mustard Seed-7314

First of all, it really is a beautiful magazine.  I loved looking through it and I felt so proud that I was a small part of it and I was very pleased with how my article and photographs turned out.  I always felt like my pictures in print looked yellowish and not as sharp as the other pictures in the magazine.  I felt like these were my best and that’s a great feeling.

Miss Mustard Seed-7313

You can find the magazine on newsstands now.


One of the rooms featured in the article is my master bedroom and the fabric wall behind the headboard.  Most people assume it’s wall paper, but it’s actually fabric!  I used an old Army wive’s trick that my mom used when we lived in military housing…starch.

starching fabric to walls | just peel it off when ready to remove | miss mustard seed

You can find my full, detailed tutorial HERE on, but the abbreviated version is that you roll starch, just plain laundry starch, on the wall, put the fabric in place and then roll over it once more with the starch.  Allow it to dry and it’s done!

starching fabric to walls | just peel it off when ready to remove | miss mustard seed

Here’s the brilliant thing about this wall treatment…when you are ready to remove it, you just peel it off and it doesn’t leave any messy glue or damage on the wall in any way.  It’s so much easier than wallpaper to install and it’s less of a commitment, which is perfect for habitual redecorators or renters.

starching fabric to walls | just peel it off when ready to remove | miss mustard seed

I chose a bold fabric to make a feature wall, but you could use a cream linen, just to add texture or something graphic like stripes or checks.  Think of the endless possibilities!!

create a feature wall with fabric & starch -

French Style & a fabric wall

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63 Comments on “French Style & a fabric wall”

  1. You are so talented. Great work! My mother put fabric on our bedroom walls when we were teenagers. It’s a great idea!! Did you notice the typo in your magazine article? Don’t mean to be the sour puss.

    1. Ha, obviously not! 🙂 It was proof read by at least three people, but that happens sometimes. My name is misspelled, but that wasn’t me!

    2. Oh, I see which one you’re talking about! On the picture. Duh…I just fixed it. Thanks! 🙂

  2. I am so glad you can take your wall with you! When you said you put your house on the market, that was my first thought! I had forgotten it was so easy to remove.:)

  3. That’s absolutely brilliant! I will definitely have to file this idea away for future use.

    Congratulations on your article! I’m a sucker for anything blue and white, so of course I just LOVE your bedroom!!! 🙂 How wonderful to have your talent and hard work recognized–good job!

  4. I lived with a blue toile fabric growing up…in our kitchen! It was fastened to wood panels. I like your version better.

  5. Marian – that.wall is so pretty! Do you think that starch treatment would work on textured walls?

    1. Yes, you can use it on a surface with like an orange peel kind of texture. I wouldn’t try it over popcorn or anything that rough, but it would work over a slight texture and would even be a great way to hide uneven drywall, poor patches, plaster that has seen better days, etc.

  6. After I get married on Friday my husband and I will move into the apartment we’re renting and the fabric wall is a great idea! Just a question: does it tend to peel at all over time or does it stick until you pull it off?

    1. No, it stays on until you peel it off. My mom used it on a metal divider in our bathroom (in an apartment in Germany) and it stayed put, even with the steam from baths and showers. She peeled it off when we moved.

  7. Fantastic. I remember Matt and Sherry using this trick on an early HGTV show- Room By Room. Your use of it is lovely.

  8. Looks fab!
    More questions… Can the fabric be taken down and have the starch washed out?
    Meaning, can the fabric be reused?


  9. Yes! You can take it down, wash and reuse it for another purpose or starch it back on the wall again.

  10. What about the edges? Do to have to fold them under so they don’t show fraying? Love the idea, want to try it, but want to make sure I have the details right. Thanks!

  11. I have heard of this before .I think I will put this on the walls of travel trailer they are really cheepo vinyl ick!

  12. Wow do I wish I knew about this while we were in the military years ago! What a way to brighten up government quarters! Well..know we are living in a rented apartment in Paris and the homeowners want barely anything on the walls! This could be a perfect solution. Now to find the perfect french fabric! 🙂
    And congrats on your piece in the new magazine.!

  13. Wow. A great idea. I too would like to know about what you did with the raw edges. Was that wall done with one piece of fabric or are there joins? How do you deal with joins?

  14. Congratulations! I love your “French” style because it’s updated and livable. You mix vintage, modern and French and I adore it. You have a real knack for mixing your own personal style and are an inspiration to me and others! Thank you for teaching us how to achieve a beautiful home on a budget! (Blessings on finding that perfect Farmette)

  15. Gorgeous mag article – congrats! Such a simply brilliant idea – thanks to your Mom for passing the tip on down, from you to us 🙂

  16. What a great article, a gorgeous feature!

    I used to do this a lot back when I had my first shop – it works great on the back of bookcases to change it up for displays and various seasons. I first learned of the method when I was at an artist’s home for a workshop once and she had done it with vintage hankies on her kitchen cupboard doors!

    Thanks again for your wonderful blog and all the inspiration you give.

  17. Love the look of your bedroom! I think you told us where you got the lovely fabric when you did it –do you recall where?


  18. Love the room and the fabric on the wall! Recently used that techique when refinishing an old bookcase. Was able to take off the back, which someone had put on after the fact, cover the not very pretty wood that had some warping and peeling with a sale piece of fabric while painting the rest of the bookcase. Love the look!
    Just wish I had know about your tutorial before I did the project as it answered all the questions I had…thanks! Ready to try something larger now.

    1. My mom had this treatment in out bathroom for four years and I don’t ever recall it peeling off. My friend did this as a kitchen backsplash and it did great there as well (with an electric kettle putting steam on it with every cup of tea.) If ever it did start to peel off, I would just roll on a little more starch and you’re good to go!

  19. I bought this last week when I was stocking up for my post-surgery period next week. I was pleased to see you in there (I couldn’t resist flipping through, even though I pledged not to read it yet!).

    I used to do this starch thing, too, and it is a great way to get some pizazz into a rental space where you cannot paint.

  20. You inspired me to do this to my master bedroom and it looks awesome. I have made all new bedding, pillows and bed skirt and just have to finish the french pleated draperies and when I get them hung I will send you a pic. I am an upholsterer by trade and I love, love, love your blog! You keep me so inspired with all your incredible talent I just wish I had your drive and energy but then again you are the age of my children! Thank you for all the joy you bring day after day!

  21. Do you know if fabric can be starched on walls in bathrooms? I was thinking of a fabric treatment on the top third of the walls in one of our half baths. But I wondered about bathrooms and moisture. There isn’t a shower so there wouldn’t be that much moisture but there is the chance of splashing hands!

    1. Yep, definitely! My mom used this treatment in our bathroom and it stayed there for four years. It had the one tub in the house, too!

  22. Your fabric wall treatment is amazing! I don’t know how you got the pattern centered and straight. Congrats on Magazine features.

    1. I started by centering the first piece of fabric on the middle of the wall and made sure it was straight with a level. I then matched up the pattern and worked from there.

  23. Congratulations on your magazine feature! It is such a beautiful room. I am thinking I may have to use this treatment in my daughter’s bedroom redo for her high school years. Our walls in a few of the bedrooms are horrible–painted over wallpaper that left many tiny little bubbles. 🙁 I cringed when someone pointed out your magazine mistake. (I know the feeling.) I had an item from my etsy shop featured in a magazine. So excited, bought a ton of magazines…and then to see that they featured my fabric bunting ON the baby crib! This is an item that should not be within a child’s reach and they had it draped from the crib! They did spell my business name correct though. I would have preferred my name spelled wrong to displaying a safety hazard!

  24. While waiting at the pharmacy last week, my eyes were drawn straight to that magazine, and I’m sure you can imagine the excitement I felt when I opened it up and saw your rooms! Today, I was sitting in the Dr. Office with the kids (again,) while I worked my way some more through this gorgeous magazine. The articles are so interesting too. I gaze at the pictures, read, and gaze some more. That’s why it’s taking me so long to get through it, lol.


  25. I love your romantic, French inspired bedroom. Congratulations on being published in the French Style magazine! The fabric as wallpaper trick is inspiring me to be more bold in our Master Bedroom- I could always take it down if I didn’t like it. What a great idea!

  26. I saw your home in the magazine and I knew it was yours before I even saw your name! The whole layout is beautiful. The Lord has truly blessed you. Congrats…..

  27. I love your color scheme! I am a pre-k teacher and the starch works on concrete block walls, it is a great way to add color to your classroom. I love that you can use the fabric even after it is has been on the wall. I enjoy reading you blog everyday!

  28. Miss M, I can honestly say that you have inspired me as I sit here looking at my off-white Navy Housing walls! Thanks!

  29. Oh my I will have to remember that – wonder if it will work in a chicken coop?? 😉

    I will have to check the tutorial – it has to leave something on the wall, right? Do you wash off the starch before painting? Amazing idea!

    Congrats on the magazine article too – you rock and I can’t wait to read your blog every day!

  30. OK, I love the walls…but the bed is absolutely amazing. Did you upholster the bed yourself or did you purchase it as is. I’d like to do something like this to my existing headboard. Any suggestions or tips?

  31. I did this about 30 years ago as a military wife and learned it from another military wife. The method I learned was to put some liquid starch in a bucket or pail, one that is wide and not too narrow. Add some water. Put your strip of fabric in the bucket until wet, wring it out, smooth on the wall. I used a wisk broom to smooth out the bubbles. Wonderful way to decorate that isn’t permanent or difficult to change. I might have to try this again. And will try your mothers method!

  32. This was wonderful… I hadn’t seen this done since I was a small girl in Scotland! So love your style! Thanks…??

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