Affordable Art for staging your home

Date: 18 July 2017

Congratulations! You’re making the big step of selling. So much to do: de-cluttering, cleaning, all those little DIY jobs that you’ve been putting off forever? With so much on your ‘To Do’ list and so much money floating out the door to get them all done, things like art often take the lowest priority, especially for areas like kid’s bedrooms, laundrys or bathrooms. But little touches like this can make all the difference – and tea towel art is your answer. Yes. Tea towels. 

This is very best kind of DIY: easy and cheap! Such fantastic designs are now available as the humble tea towel, you can even get your favourite artist in linen form. Here are some favourite local options:


See? Tea towels as art is totally legitimate. Once you’ve made your design choice (this one was from Citta Design, their current season is here) , here’s how to get it on the wall in a totally pro way.

  • Tea towel 
  • Canvas. You just need to make sure that the tea-towel can wrap around the canvas and be stapled onto the back. Hot tip: buy your tea-towel first and take it with you when choosing your canvas. Plenty of cheap options at The Warehouse, Warehouse Sationery or at places like Pete’s Emporium. You don’t need to worry about canvas quality at all, it won’t be seen and is just being used for its frame. For this project I used a 50cm x 60cm canvas.
  • Staple-gun and staples. Available at places like Warehouse Stationery or Mitre10 Mega.
  • Iron
  • Hammer (only if you need to hammer in any stubborn staples)
  • Pliers (if you need to pull out any staples).
Iron any creases out of the tea-towel. Be fussy, it pays off. Use it on steam setting for a super smooth surface, but iron it on the reverse to protect the screen-print (smudging the print with the heat of the iron would be game over).

Line up the tea towel on top of the canvas so you get the image positioned correctly, hold tightly and flip over onto a clean bath towel on the floor. I recommend the floor not a table so you can really put your weight into the stapling.

Pull the fabric taut so that it’s the smoothest surface possible on the reverse, just be careful you aren’t pulling so tight that the image distorts. Staple gun the tea towel to the inside edge of the canvas.  You’ll note that the intro image at the start of the post features some screwed up staples, a hammer and a pair of pliers? Stapling sometimes doesn’t go to plan. Hammer is if you need to hammer in any staples not quite in properly, pliers are for pulling out any really bad ones. Other than that, the only tricky part with this one is the corners. 
Here’s how we did it (and save this post if you ever plan a DIY upholstered headboard, it’s the same concept for that project too):
1. Pretend you are wrapping a present the proper way. You’ve got a top piece of material and a bottom piece right? The top piece is on the reverse of the frame, and the bottom piece is on the front of the frame. Place your finger at the corner. Use the length of your finger to create an indent in the material. Slide your finger in to the edge of the frame, then flip the top piece of material up and over your other finger. Probably best to leave this description to visuals!



2. Fold this top piece of material out of the way of the corner, hold in place and then staple:



3. After you’ve stapled, find a natural point to lift the remaining fabric from.



4. Lift over and staple the top piece. This approach means you don’t get any excess fabric on the edge of the frame.



5. Why go to all this trouble on the corners? Clean tidy finishing – Exhibit A:

You’re done! 30 minute project if that. This one was done for a kid’s bathroom to add a bit of interest  but this doesn’t have to be for the kids. Kitchens, offices, laundries, bedrooms, hallways: any room could benefit from this project really. Enjoy the hunt for the perfect design! 


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