How To Make Outdoor Wall Art

by Diane Henkler on 05/30/2012

Now that summer has officially begun – I have been spending a lot of time outside and have another outdoor decorating idea for you.  It is easy and if you can use a staple gun then that is the only DIY skill you will need to make these fast and easy color pops for a wall.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I went to my sister’s house. She asked for my help in giving her patio a little love.   She recently bought a new table, chairs, and a green pattern outdoor rug.  She has a long exterior wall that needed some interest to tie in with her new setup.  That is where I came in – doing something with the wall.

Outdoor Decorating Ideas

The wall has siding on it that makes hanging anything on it a bit hard.  I thought about canvas wall art, but this wall is exposed to the elements. We also thought about mounting metal art on the wall, but with the black metal patio set it was too much metal.

So I went back to my original outdoor wall art plan, but instead of buying large canvas wall art, I opted to make outdoor friendly DIY art using vinyl tablecloths I found at HomeGoods for $4.99 each.   The vinyl tablecloths come in many different patterns and can handle the outdoor elements.  I also picked up a  few wood frames at the thrift store along with some foam from the craft store to use as bases to make fun outdoor blocks of color and pattern for the long patio wall.

How to make outdoor wall art with vinyl tablecloths

When I arrived we were not sure if it was going to start raining or not. It was hot, hot, hot and I was dripping sweat by the time I was finished.  I worked quickly and had them made and hanging in about an hour.

I first removed the two round ceramic pieces from the wall, which left two permanent nails to use.  I used one to hang the largest frame on.   The wall mounted light is smack in the middle of the wall.  The right side of the wall is used for grilling, so I decided to separate that section of the wall and concentrate on the table area and left side of the wall only to create a focal point.

Outdoor-Decorating-Ideas Using Vinyl Tablecloths as Art




Supplies Needed:

Wood Frames – I also experimented with large pieces of foam.  You can find foam at the crafts store and very inexpensive foam insulation at home improvement stores. 

Vinyl Tablecloths
Staple gun and staples
Duct Tape – if using foam
Wall hanging hooks/nails or 3M Command Damage Free Hanging Strips

Supplies-Needed for Outdoor Wall Art

I experimented with foam to see how it would work. It did, but if you have wood frames the staples stay in the wood until you take them out with a pair of pliers.  Not so much in the foam – duct tape is needed to secure it.  If using foam insulation that is thin – double it up by cutting two identical pieces and glue them together to make one thicker frame to wrap the vinyl tablecloth around.

foam-Insulation to use for Outdoor Decorating

In my haste to get this done before it started raining, I didn’t get a photo showing how to staple the tablecloth around the wood frames.  It is basically the same as wrapping it around the foam, but you do not need duct tape – just staples.

Figure out how many frames you want to hang and the sizes.  I used 3 different tablecloths and 5 frames.  Odd numbers always look better when grouping objects together.  The wall mounted light is going to be replaced with a new one, so I made sure it worked in the placement of the frames.

1. Cut fabric large enough to wrap around the edge and to the back of the frame or foam.  Make sure the pattern is lined up on the front and then staple the fabric onto the back edge of the frame or foam.  Pull the tablecloth taut as you work.  At the corners, pretend you are wrapping a gift to get neat corners and staple excess fabric to the back.   After it is secure -if there is any excess fabric overlapped on the back from the corner fitting – cut it off so when the frame is hung on the wall it will lay flat.

How to make outdoor wall art

2. If using foam, duct tape is needed to make sure the tablecloth is secure.  As I said above  – it was hot and humid. I wasn’t sure if the tape would stick, but it did.

Using the foam was an experiment and I am showing you the possibilities of what can be done. I think the wood thrift store frames work much better for this.  It doesn’t matter what they look like as long as they are plain and have a smooth front edge.  You can pick them up very inexpensively at yard sales, too.

Outdoor Decorating Ideas

How to Hang the Frames on Outdoor Siding

I hung the large floral print frame on an existing nail, but I didn’t want to make nail holes in the siding to hang the rest of the covered frames, so I used 3M Command Damage Free Hanging Strips.


Hold your frame up on the wall where you want it to go and mark the back of it where it hits the bottom edge of the siding. This is where you want to attach the hanging strips.  The directions for the hanging strips are on the back of the package, but basically two strips attach together like Velcro.  Two are needed for each side.  There is adhesive on each. Remove the paper backing and attach one side to the back of the frame – the other to the wall.

It is best to prepare the area on the wall where the strip is going to stick on first.  Go over the surface with rubbing alcohol to clean it. Once dry, you can attach the frame to the wall. Press the frame firmly onto the wall.  If you have a super large frame – use 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom.

When it is time to remove the frames – simply pull them off the wall. The mounting strip has a tab on the bottom that you simply pull and the hanging strip should, in most cases come cleanly off the wall.

Outdoor Wall Art made from Vinyl Tablcloths


Outdoor Decor ideas


My sister is going to replace the light.  I told her I thought something that mounted on the wall, but swept upwards would work well.  There are also white accents on the patio and the Bulkhead light would give a different feel and blend in with the wall.


1.  Lowes – Portfolio Bronze Outdoor Wall Light Item # 15345  $49.97
2.  Lowes – Seagull Lighting Black Outdoor Wall Light Item # 157380 $110.00
3.  Home Depot – Hampton Bay Model # HB480117MP-237 $49.97
4.  Home Depot – Hampton Bay Bulkhead Light Model # HB8824P-06  $14.97


Vinyl Tablecloth Outdoor Wall Art


I have one more outdoor decorating idea that I will be sharing with you soon. Psst… it was a project from my book, Instant Decorating that I am tweaking.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maggie Mallard May 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Wow I do love the way your out side wall art turned out.
I am so wanting to do this.
Thanks for sharing


2 Rita May 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Very cool idea. I’ve pinned it!


3 Laura @Ms Smartie Pants May 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm

You are so smart! I am sharing this on my blog, you get the Smartie Pants award! ;) Isn’t it amazing what a little color can do???


4 Gina May 30, 2012 at 11:44 pm

What a cute idea! So smart.


5 Linda May 31, 2012 at 2:53 am

You never cease to amaze me! I wish you were MY sister….8-). I might do something similar on my front porch. It’s so plain, and I’m not able to get around well, so I can’t do plants and things. I’d like to peer into your mind sometime.

xo Linda


6 May 31, 2012 at 3:54 am

I like most how you pulled the look together with the umbrella and got some marching pillows. Looks like a place I want to lounge in! :)

Thrift Diving


7 Katharine May 31, 2012 at 4:33 am

This is a great idea! So cute and looks easy to make.


8 Alert Electrical May 31, 2012 at 5:11 am

This is a gorgeous DIY idea – I think it would look just as good inside the house too, maybe with some fancy bits of expensive wallpaper instead of a tablecloth?


9 Mary at Sweetwater Style May 31, 2012 at 6:47 am

Tee Hee….I just posted about doing almost the same thing indoors. I put a link to your post on my post…thanks!
Here is the Sweetwater Post if you are interested:
Have a great day!


10 Suzy @ Worthing Court May 31, 2012 at 7:35 am

Diane – you are a genius! What a great idea!


11 Kate May 31, 2012 at 8:16 am

What a CUTE and simple idea! Love it! I would love for you to share this (and any other creations) at Pin It and Win It @– where you can win free ad-space on my blog!


12 Stacie May 31, 2012 at 9:33 am

Wow, I have been trying to think of something to hang on the back of our house inside our screened in back porch. Our siding is just like this so I can’t wait to do this project! Thanks! So clever and different! I am going to follow you.


13 Susan May 31, 2012 at 10:15 am

This is brilliant!!! I have seen some really beautiful prints. Now I can spruce up my yard.


14 Connie@Connie Nikiforoff Designs May 31, 2012 at 10:28 am

I like the basic concept idea but these patterned tablecloths area little too “60′s” for my taste. But what a great idea to hang up outside wall art!

Now I would add in something along the wall to sorta tie in the art. If space provides, maybe a long table or a raised long planter bed. You could use nice artificial plants if you don’t want to/can’t use real plants. But something mostly in shades of green to “soften” all the colors on the wall ;-) Just an idea…..

Thanks for the post :-D


15 Diane May 31, 2012 at 11:02 am

Hi Connie -

HomeGoods has an entire aisle of $5 vinyl tablecloths in many different styles and colors. You would not even know some of them were even vinyl. Some have very modern designs. There are so many to choose from whatever your style. I am thinking of going back and getting one or two to do at my own house. :)


16 Connie@Connie Nikiforoff Designs May 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Ahhh…but we don’t have a Home Goods store :-( There are other options in our town for shopping/finding vinyl table cloths though. And that’s why I love your idea of using them for outdoor art :-) Thanks again!


17 Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life May 31, 2012 at 11:36 am

What a fun project! That is a great way to add some color to an outdoor space.


18 Heather May 31, 2012 at 9:21 pm

OMG…just found you via Beyond the Picket Fence Linky…your blog is AHHH MAZINLY Amazing. I love all of your ideas…I think I’ve spent over an hour on here. Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas and tutorials. I love everything!!! And your home is very beautiful!!!


19 Marilyn June 1, 2012 at 12:19 am

Another brilliant project–and one even I could do–maybe that’s one reason I think it’s so brilliant! :-)


20 Bettsi June 1, 2012 at 12:53 am

Diane, you are amazing! How do you come up with these ideas? I have to pin it!


21 Sara - My Merry Messy Life June 1, 2012 at 11:52 am

This is a fantastic idea with a great tutorial and so easy to do! I’ll have to keep this in mind. Stopping by from Cheap Crafty Mama’s link party!


22 Pat June 1, 2012 at 11:51 pm

This is such a clever idea! Looks like it might be in my price range too!
I don’t live near a Home Goods…but there is a Dollar General close by—and they have really cute vinyl table cloths….These would be cute on my pool deck!
We’re having a birthday party for my grandson soon…
Your sister is such a lucky gal!

–from the FJI party #136


23 rhonda June 2, 2012 at 6:40 am

You are so creative…luv this art work…on my way to get supplies !


24 Amy June 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Love it! What a great idea all around. Thanks for the tip on using hanging strips.


25 susan@avintagefarmwife June 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I love this idea! It really adds just the right pop in your patio area, doesn’t it? Found you through FJI linky party.


26 Stacie June 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Hi, thank you so much for sharing this project! I wanted to let you know that I shared it at in post “Outside Wall Decor”.


27 melissa @ June 19, 2012 at 6:12 pm

What a great idea! Love the color that it gives! I am a fellow partier over at thrifty decor chick!


28 claire August 4, 2012 at 7:38 am

Hi-Just wanted you to know I featured your adorable wall art on my blog today-Have a lovely weekend!


29 Gifts & Decor April 8, 2013 at 7:18 am

Thank you for the idea. I would have never thought about using a vinyl table cloth to make a wall hanging. I have used pieces of cloth and put them on a frame.


30 Liz Jones June 2, 2013 at 6:16 am

This is an awesome idea! Thanks so much, will be doing this.


31 steve November 25, 2013 at 4:59 am

Thanks for such useful information. A outdoor wall is practical, inexpensive to build and an effective way to block out unpleasant noises, such as street sounds. Unfortunately, a plain concrete wall in the garden can stick out like a sore thumb amid all of your lush landscaping and carefully designed outdoor spaces. Some ideas for improving the look of a concrete wall can be done easily in a day, while others take more planning to execute properly. Get more info at :


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