Thursday, May 7, 2009

#15....the magic of starch

My brother Mike, and sister-in-law (to be) Kelly, had a plain corner of their kitchen that was just calling out for some type of functional yet pretty cabinet. They purchased the smadal bookcase with glass doors from Ikea to house Kelly's red Fiestaware collection.

The cabinet looked good, but I really wanted to punch it up, and turn it into a one-of-a-kind piece. Using fabric and liquid starch, I was able to give this piece some personality. Here is how I applied the fabric to the back of the cabinet, resembeling wallpaper.

1. Cut the fabric to the shape of the back panels of your chosen bookcase or cabinet.

2. Pour a mixture of 3 parts liquid starch to 1 part water into a bowl big enough to dip and submerge the fabric. (The mixture of water to starch does not have to be precise. Mixing some water into the starch simply stretches your starch, giving you more mixture for dipping.)
    3. Dip cut fabric pieces into the mixture making sure to get them coated with the starch. Squeeze out any excess, as it is messy if the fabric is so wet that it drips.
    4. Position the dipped fabric in place and smooth out any air bubbles.
The fabric will dry in a few hours and the beauty of using starch as glue is that it will stay up as long as you want it too, but when you are ready to take it down, there is no damage or messy residue left on your cabinet. Simply peel off the fabric and wipe the cabinet with a damp sponge.
The total cost of this project was about $4 for the starch. I used fabric from my stash, so I did not have to purchase new. It took me about 1 hour to complete this project.


Teri said...

O how happy is my heart that you started this blog! Will pass along to crafty friends :)

Amanda said...

I love the fabric!! Where is it from?

Christie Chase said...

The fabric that I used is
Whirligig by Paul Kaufmann. I got it at a local fabric store, but you can buy it online at this website.

Porter said...

this is sooo cute! i am planning to get this bookcase for my small little kitchen and am looking forward to doing this project now! thanks!

Andrea said...

I found your blog while searching for how to put fabric on the back of bookshelves. I love how easy the starch method sounds but I have some questions. 1. Did the fabric shrink at all as it dried after it was put inside the cabinet? 2. Since there is no sewing involved, does the starch help prevent the fabric from fraying?

Christie Chase said...

Hi Andrea,
The starch can shrink the fabric, depending on what the blend. I usually cut the fabric a little big and then soak it in the starch solution and then spread it on the cabinet back. While still wet you can use scissors to trim the fabric to size....or you can use an Exacto knife. The starch does keep the fabric from fraying a little bit. Again it depends on the blend of fabric, but I just smooth the fray down, and once dry it will not fray further. Hope that helps!

Jacqueline King Designs said...

Love it - My mother put a border at her kitchen ceiling using this technique. I just found you when I googled where I could buy liquid starch. I can't find it in local grocery stores in south Florida. :-(