Starched fabric wall decal experiment

I've been wanting to stick some fabric on my walls ever since I saw this project using starch. I figured I should start simple and keep it small in case something went haywire, so here's my experimental door decoration.

I started by sketching out my plan. And then I ignored it when I cut out and assembled my pieces, apparently. I used a disappearing fabric marker to sketch out the shapes on fabric, then cut them out. The thinner the fabric you use, the easier this project is. I used varying weights left over from making pillows (that tan stuff there is canvas, but it still worked).

After cutting out pieces, I laid them out to make sure they looked okay together. Then I used one or two pieces of double stick tape to attach them to the door in the same arrangement.

Somewhere in the middle of the cutting, it occurred to me I should be mixing up the starch and letting it cool off so it's not boiling hot when I want to use it. I used this recipe:

Stir 1/4 cup corn starch into 1/2 cup cold water. Then pour in 4 cups of boiling water and mix it up.

That produces a ridiculously huge bowl of starch for what I was doing, I learned. I poured some into a plastic cup to use on the door. When all was said and done, the level in the cup went down a half inch. Now I have over a quart of starch left. I guess I will be making a lot of gravy sometime soon.

I painted the starch onto the back of the fabric pieces, soaking them thoroughly. After you stick the pieces on the door, smooth more starch onto the fronts of the pieces, squishing out any air bubbles with your fingers. Starch will probably drip onto your floor, so if you've got carpet, protect it with something. When you're done smoothing, wipe off any fugitive drips and let the pieces dry.

When you want to take the design off, just peel off the pieces and wipe off any leftover starch with a damp cloth. Supposedly this will not harm your paint job at all, according to reports from many people online, making this the perfect wall treatment for apartment dwellers.

8/4/08 Update: On a whim while brushing my teeth last night, I pulled these off the door. The fabric came off easily. Some threads were left around the edges, so I'll pull those off and probably use a damp cloth to wipe off any remaining starch. I am pleased with how easily it came off, and the paint job is fine.

9/7/11 Update: Check out this door makeover using the same technique!
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