October Treat (no trick!) of the Trade: DYI Artworks

At Maison KoduZen, we have noticed along the years that artworks are either what lead the decoration process as the starting points - OR come in at the very end, along with accessories and other finishing touches to complement what is already in place. Either way is fine by us as both approaches get great results.

Now, if you are finishing with artwork you also have to pick something that works well with your design: colors, style, patterns, overall design and... Budget. And this is where things get complicated: you may have splurged on that particular sofa, thinking you would cut down on other areas of your budget - and more often than not, you did not cut on budget anywhere else and you end up with very little to spend on the final touches: accessories and artworks. The good news for accessories is that it can be reasonably cheap so you can buy little by little over the next coming months - but artwork can come in at a high price.

So we thought, we would give you a little 'treat of the trade' for this month of October with a method to create stylish and cheap(ish) artwork you can hang until you have secured more funds for proper artwork purchases or keep for ever if you like it (some fabrics are not that cheap and you may just want to keep it).

STEP 1: The basic criteria when picking artwork - whether at the beginning or at the end of the process is the size, so it fits the area where it will be on display - which can already be rather difficult. The basic thing to do here is to check with a piece of artwork you already owned, get someone to hold it on your wall so you can establish how much larger (or smaller) the new piece needs to be in comparison - and how high it should be on your wall. Once you have determined this, make your way to an art store and purchase a canvas the size you need - or simply the wood trims you will assemble yourself with glue and some nails to create your frame. 

STEP 2: Go online and browse various fabric stores (yes, fabrics. We have put our listings below) to find one pattern you truly like. Be mindful to filter by width so only one piece will be sufficient to cover your frame: unless you are a sewing master, assembling pieces without messing up the pattern can be a real headache. If you have the chance, we recommend to go to the store itself to check how the color and pattern actually look like for real - as at times there might be a difference. We recommend selecting patterns that can easily be mistaken for paintings for best results.

NOTE 1: Be careful with the fabric you pick: velvets, leathers and sturdy interior/upholstery fabrics do the job rather well but avoid at all costs stretchy materials and delicate ones that will rip easily. You can also select severals to layer on top of each others if you feel creative!

NOTE 2: You can do the same with wallpaper for small artworks if you like but width options can be limited.

STEP 3: Once you have bought your fabric, get a large upholstery stapler and align the pattern perfectly with one edge of your frame/canvas before stapling it onto the wood. Do the same thing with the opposite side, then with either perpendicular sides. Be careful to stretch the fabric as much as possible when you staple it to make sure it does not get wrinkled anywhere as it can ruin your pattern and give away the trick. 

Below is a short selection of fabric stores where we would typically go for searching artwork options. (this is a really short selection, in alphabetical order, offering a wide range of styles and colors - feel free to suggest your own in the comment section). 

Designer's Guild

Ikea (yes, Ikea: they actually have a very cool option here)

Kathryn Ireland


Liberty of London


Mood Fabric

Have fun creating artwork and do not hesitate to share your own favorite fabric stores and the results of your artworks!