We transitioned Jack to his new room recently, and I have been excited to make the decor more child-friendly. The room used to be our office so it was pretty plain, and it has large sliding wooden doors for the closet so I decided to use wall decals on them. We live in an apartment so I didn’t want anything permanent, and of course I didn’t want any toxic vinyl decals, so I started looking up fabric ones. However, the ones I found online that were nontoxic like these were adorable but pretty expensive! Most of them also seem to be made of polyester (not the most natural) and use water-based glue which seems ok but didn’t have an ingredients list. So I looked into DIY options and was so excited to find a really natural alternative that is cheaper and still cute!
- cotton fabric
- optional: some kind of brush or foam brush like these
- Look around online for inspiration of what you want to put on the wall. Once you decide, you can search for “silhouette” of the thing on google images and pick one you like to copy. For example I searched for “bird silhouette” to find some birds I liked that looked somewhat realistic.
- Find some fabric or use some that you already have. I used lightweight cotton which worked well. For the birds I used an old organic cotton pillowcase and for the animals I ordered organic cotton fabric online from here.
- Draw the designs onto your fabric and cut it out. I just used a pencil and looked at the picture and freehanded it onto the fabric. After I cut the design out I erased the visible lines with an eraser. You can try to cut slightly inside the lines to skip the erasing step. You could also print the image out and cut it out and trace it.
- Clean off your wall
- Get materials for cornstarch glue. The ratio of cornstarch to water I found worked best after trying several was 5 teaspoons cornstarch to 1/2 cup water. If your project is big, double the recipe. If you use too little cornstarch (I tried with 3 teaspoons first) the decal may come off when dry, but you can just try again with more). If you use too much it might look slightly white.
- Take your 1/2 cup of water and microwave it for about 1.5 minutes so it’s boiling or very hot
- Mix 5 teaspoons cornstarch with a little cold water just to dissolve it
- Add the cornstarch to the hot water and stir (if it’s really thick add a bit more water until it’s like dense water, but not like jello)
- For small fabric pieces pour the mixture onto a plate and dip both sides of the fabric in it, then place on the wall. For large ones paint the mixture on the wall, put fabric on top, and paint mixture over the fabric
- Smooth the fabric so there are no bubbles, and if there is fraying go around the edge and push it back into the fabric
- Clean up the drips with a rag or paper towel- don’t worry if it’s not perfect because it dries clear
- Let it dry overnight
- Watch your child get excited about his new art which is totally edible if he (like Jack) decides to lick his animal friends!