Monday, August 16, 2010

Custom Solar System Wall Art from Upcycled 80s Curtain Panel

Today's tutorial is for custom wall art. This is a great idea for literally whipping up an inexpensive and personalized piece of art, customized to your exact taste.

My boy is obsessed with all things space right now. I painted two small pictures for his room a few months ago, but he still has a large open space over his headboard that needed something special.

For this piece of artwork I chose to use a curtain panel from the 80s with the solar system on it.

I found this lovely piece of polyester at the Fort Andross Fleamarket, located inside Cabot Mill in Brunswick, ME. Every time we go back to Maine to visit my Dad we stop in there. Dad has a space at the adjacent Cabot Mill Antiques. We start there, and then wander over into the flea market.

The fabric caught my eye hanging in a seller's stall. I was drawn to the graphic and the brilliant color. Initially my hope was to somehow transform the panel into trim for James' dark blue curtain panels, but there wasn't enough fabric.

For this project you simply need scissors, a staple gun, your fabric and a canvas the size you want for the piece. This canvas is 22" x 28". I found it at Michael's crafts for $20 and it was 50% off. NICE!

Here's the boy, ready to help. (And TOTALLY ecstatic.)

First I laid the fabric right-side down on the table. I tried to find a place in the pattern where I could get nearly all of the solar system included in the piece. Then I trimmed all around the canvas, leaving a few inches with which to stretch the fabric over the frame.

Next I just stretched and stapled, starting at the center of each side and working my way outward.

When it came time for the corners, I just folded the fabric as if I was wrapping a present.

And then I stapled.


One very happy boy! (Must wait for husband to come home to put nail in finicky old plaster wall.)

Such an easy project! I have seen similar pieces done with Amy Butler fabric. There are a million applications for this--in nurseries, in classrooms, over a master bed, maybe rooster fabric in a kitchen--anything!

Have fun!

BTW one of my new ruffled t shirts was just featured!


I am linked up with the following Monday parties:

The Girl Creative



  1. oh that issss soooo very awesome:)he loves it

  2. Hi... I'm your newest follower.

  3. What an awesome idea! I love this! I imagine you could do something similar with a recycled (old and ugly!) canvas, too! Hmmm....I must look at Value Village the next time I'm there! :)

  4. how simple and great. love this idea!

  5. Vic--he does!! Sleeping peacefully after watching his Dad hang it for him tonite!

    Hi Moogie! Welcome! Is that Elvis in your profile pic? My husband and I were married by Elvis in Vegas. ;-)

    Teri-what is Value Village? And welcome!

    Hi Michele--glad you like it! Quick, cheap, easy and SO REWARDING!

  6. very cute! i have been looking for an easy headboard. i am now a follower. i will be featuring this idea on my blog, Random Crafty Georgia Girl
    -Cate from RCGG

  7. I have featured this on Random Crafty Georgia Girl for my Week in Review. Please stop by my blog and grab my NEW featured button.

  8. So cute! I'm working on a space room for my little guy too- would you mind telling me where you got that awesome bedspread?! I'm lovin' it!!

  9. Hi Cate! Though I didn't actually mean it as a headboard, it could certainly work as one. I did see two more size up canvases at Michael's than the one I chose. And thanks for featuring me. I put your button in my sidebar!

    Welcome Mandy! I e-mailed you--but for anyone else that would also like to know--the set came from Target. ;-)

  10. I think that looks fabulous! Well done.


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