I know it’s still August, but I’ve been thinking about fall this week. I’ve designed a cute fall printable on a DIY drop cloth wall hanging.
If you are short on time, it will be faster to make your project 8.5 X 11. The bulk of my time for this craft was spent tiling my transfer sheets, trimming the edges and lining them up. If you keep your image smaller, this project is very quick to make.
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- Drop Cloth
- Transfer Paper
- 5 Gallon Paint Sticks
- Parchment Paper (optional)
- Hydrogen Peroxide (optional)
- Spray Bottle (optional)
CUT THE PAINT STICKS
You need to cut the handle portion of you paint stick off. I measured 17 1/8 inches and marked a cut line. Then I stacked the sticks and cut them on my miter saw. I purchased my paint stick from Home Depot and they were very high quality. The length of the paint sticks, before cutting them, was 20 and 15/16″. The width is 1 3/8″ and the thickness is 3/16″.
If you don’t have a miter saw, you can cut them at Lowe’s or Home Depot. They have a cutting station down the molding aisle, where you can cut them by hand.
PREPARE YOUR FABRIC
The final measurements of my wall hanging were 17 1/8″ by 27 inches. Using fabric scissors, I cut a rectangle to these dimensions from my drop cloth material. Then I frayed the edges of the fabric by pulling the end strands down the length of the fabric.
Another option to fray the fabric edges is to cut the fabric a little large and run it through the washer/dryer. With this process, you will have to cut the stray strands off and even the edge up.
If you don’t want to fray the edges, just make a faux hem by folding over the fabric edges and ironing them. Then run a little hot glue under the fold on the back side of the fabric.
TIPS TO BLEACH DROP CLOTHS
I had some leftover bleached drop cloth from another project. If you don’t want to do this, you can purchase canvas type fabric at a fabric store or online. Farmhouse on Boone has a good tutorial for bleaching drop cloths. I do not have a top load washing machine, so this didn’t work for me.
When I first bleached a drop cloth in the bath tub, it made my whole house smell like bleach. Even with the bathroom fan on and the door closed. I’ve also heard you can damage your tub with the bleach. Not to mention any rugs, shower curtains or clothing that come into contact with the bleach water.
The second time I bleached a drop cloth, I used a clear storage tote with hot water and 1/2 bottle of bleach. I kept the whole process outside on my driveway in the sun. This worked well. After soaking for 24 hours with the lid on, I wrung out the cloth (wearing gloves) and placed it in the storage container lid. Then I brought it inside and washed it twice in my front load washing machine with a little detergent. This process did work better, but it needs to be warm outside, so the water remains hot.
PRINT IMAGE ON TRANSFER PAPER
Note: All printers are different. I have an HP Envy 5660. These instructions are written for the printer that I use. You may need to change some of your settings for your own printer. I used plain paper the first time to make sure everything lined up. Then I loaded the transfer paper and printed the final copy.
- Load the transfer paper in your printer with the plain white side set as the side you will print on.
- Open the PDF in Acrobat Reader.
- Make sure you are using the mirrored image that is the correct size for your project. If you are using a different image than the one I provide, you will need to mirror the image.
- Select File (Print) from the Menu.
- Under Page Sizing & Handling, choose (Poster). Your page orientation should be set to portrait.
- Under Properties, (Paper Type) choose Presentation Paper.
- Under Print Quality, choose Best. Borderless printing should be set to off. I tried it and the image didn’t line up.
- Now Print. Your image should print out on 6 pages.
Cut the extra paper off as close to the image as possible, then the clear part of the paper will be less visible on your fabric. If you aren’t doing multiple sheets, you only need to go around the outside edge of your image.
Be sure to iron your fabric and remove any lint with a lint roller. Measure and find the center of your fabric. Use some masking tape to mark the fabric for placement. Don’t run over the tape with the iron.
Next, place a hard flat board below your fabric. Make sure all of the water is emptied out of your iron. You should not have steam with this process.
Place your image face down on your fabric and press it with your iron for 30 seconds. Your iron should be on the hottest setting. Let it completely cool. If your iron wasn’t large enough to cover the whole image, move it and press again for 30 seconds. Let it cool. Then peel the backing from the image.
TILING MULTIPLE TRANSFER SHEETS TOGETHER
This is the part of the project that was the most difficult for me. It is a challenge to line your images up perfectly. Here are some tips:
- If you have multiple sheets, cut the connection points for the image exactly to size. This will help you line them up on your fabric.
- Work in a pattern from left to right, starting at the top. Once you finish a row, move down and to the left. Cover the area that has been transferred, so it doesn’t smear on your iron. Smearing the ink is the one problem that cannot be fixed.
- Get some extra scrap fabric and practice before you begin, so you get a feel for how it works.
I would love to tell you that this was a simple process, but it wasn’t. There is a learning curve with heat transfer. I ran into multiple problems. Below is a list of problems & solutions.
- What if the backing won’t release? Don’t force it, it should release easily. You need to let the transfer cool before you peel it. If it still won’t release, press it again for 30 seconds and let it cool.
- Why do the edges of the transfer show? You probably didn’t heat it long enough. Cover it with a piece of parchment paper and heat it again in 30 second intervals, allowing it to cool completely in between. If you heat it too long, you will get scorch marks.
- How do I fix scorch marks? Put some hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and spray the scorch mark. Then cover it with parchment paper and heat it up for 10 to 15 seconds. The scorch mark should disappear.
ASSEMBLE YOUR PIECES
Cut a piece of twine to hang your project. Open a regular stapler and staple the ends of the twine on one side of your paint stick. The wood is soft and will take the staple. Then hot glue that paint stick to the top of your fabric. Next, hot glue another paint stick to the back of that. Repeat this process for the bottom two paint sticks.
FREE FALL PRINTABLE
If you would like a copy of my free fall printable, you can just hit the subscribe button below. You will be sent a welcome email with the password for my free printable and cut file library. You can also find it on the top navigation bar of the blog. Just enter the password and you can download any file from the library.
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I hope this DIY drop cloth wall hanging inspires you for your next home decor project!