I have a very colorful furniture makeover using fabric to show you today. One that doesn’t require paint, but uses fabric and liquid starch in a fun way that can be temporary or changed out seasonally without damaging your furniture. Plus…no sewing or ironing needed.
For my Waverly Inspirations challenge I take part in every month, I was sent yardage of 5 spring fabrics to use for March. The challenge was to create something for Spring using as many of the fabrics as I could.
I used all of them on this…
…plain white dresser.
In an few hours I transformed it into…
…a very colorful dresser complete with fabric flower drawer knobs.
Liquid starch acts like a temporary glue. When I tire of the color or want to change it up, all I have to do is spray the fabric with water to dampen it and I will be able to peel it off without damage to the original finish.
Fabric wet with liquid starch will adhere to almost any surface. Consider using starch as you would glue or Mod Podge. Look around your house to see what surfaces you can transform. Flat simple pieces of furniture work best, but it can be done on any surface big or small. I would not do this on a pricey antique, but it works great on painted furniture as well as:
- Kitchen cabinets
- Lining the inside of drawers
- On china cabinets backdrops
- Covering window panes
- On painted walls in place of wallpaper
The fabric flower knobs were created by layering fabric flower cut outs under the drawer knobs. The fabric flowers make the dresser perfect for a spring re-fresh or a little girls room that can be coordinated with bedding and curtains.
Using fabric and liquid starch is also a very budget friendly way to transform furniture since you don’t need a ton of fabric yardage to make the piece take on a new life. A bottle of liquid starch costs around $3.00 a bottle. For this dresser I used about 2 cups.
Furniture Makeover Using Fabric and Liquid Starch
- Waverly Inspirations Fabrics – I used 5 different fabrics – Measure your piece of furniture to figure out yardage you will need
- Liquid starch – aisle where laundry detergent is sold
- Measuring tape
- Small tipped paint brush
- Plastic drop cloth or dollar store shower curtain liner
1. I only covered the top and sides of my dresser, but you can cover the drawers also. I laid the fabric over the top and taped it to the sides so I could cut it close to the size I needed. Leave a little extra for shrinkage. It does not have to be cut straight or to exact size yet. You will cut it later exactly to size once the fabric has dried on the furniture.
2. Place a plastic drop cloth under furniture. Working with fabric soaked with liquid starch can get messy.
3. Pour a few cups of liquid starch in a bucket. Place fabric in and swish it around to saturate it with starch. (You can pour more starch in bucket to cover fabric, but you will only need a few cups. Once you have the fabric on the furniture, you can pour the unused starch back into the bottle).
4. Once fabric is saturated, pull fabric out and remove some of the starch by running your fingers over it. Place the wet fabric over the surface and smooth with a plastic spatula making sure to keep the pattern straight and removing all air bubbles and wrinkles. Let dry.
5. Wrap the fabric around the corners and edges of the furniture and use a small tipped paint brush to make sure there is enough starch under and over the fabric to hold it in place. Let dry.
6.When fabric is dry, use scissors to cut excess fabric from corners as shown above.
7. Use a small-tipped paint brush with starch on it over cut sections to make sure they are glued down.
8. When fabric is dry, use a craft knife with a sharp blade to cut excess fabric wrapped around edges. Hold excess in one hand and use knife to cut in the other. It will slice right through the fabric.
9. Use the craft knife to cut away excess fabric along bottom edges. Follow grooves or use a straight edge or ruler to make a straight cut.
How to Make Fabric Flower Drawer Knobs
- Existing or new drawer knobs – Similar ones found, here.
- Flower pattern .pdf to make template
- 4-1/4″ diameter plate
- Plastic spatula to smooth fabric
- Plastic wrap
- Download: Patterns for Fabric Flower Drawer Pulls
2. Make fabric yo-yo rosettes. Trace a 4-1/4″ diameter plate on fabric. Cut out. With a needle and thread, use a basting stitch about a 1/4″ in from the edge of the circle. Once you have stitched all around, pull thread to gather fabric. Stitch raw edges together using a few stitches. Flatten and set aside.
3. Trace small and large flower pattern on fabrics. You will need one of each for each knob. Cut around the flower shape, but do not cut out in detail yet. Wait until the fabric is stiff from the starch to cut the traced lines of the flower shape to keep cut edges from unraveling.
4. Pour starch on plate and soak cut squares with the flower tracings on them into starch. Remove excess starch with your hands and lay each on plastic wrap to dry.
5. When fabric is dry it will be slightly stiff, cut flower shapes out following the traced line. When cutting a few pieces, pin them together and cut them out all at once.
6. Assemble fabric flower cut outs and rosette as shown.
7. Use an awl or snip a small hole using scissors to make a cut for the knob screw to go through the fabrics.
8. Attach to drawer using nuts that came with the knobs.
I used a mix of fabrics in each flower, but you can use all one color or pattern of fabric to create different looking flowers.
Do you have a piece of furniture around your house waiting for a spring refresh with some colorful fabric and liquid starch?