Create a tulle wall
Whether it's an art installation, the focal point of a nursery theme, or an accent piece for a design office, this tulle wall is certainly an attention grabber.
At Red Designed Interiors, we insist that functionality AND beauty can coexist and this is a shining example of that insistence. Instead of hanging a painting or photograph and calling it a day, the tulle creates an entire wall of art while also acting as a sound absorption and having insulating properties.
First things first, I must give credit to The Ruffled Blog's Tulle Wall Hanging post for giving me the confidence to bring my vision to life! I've wanted to create a larger-than-life tulle wall in my home office for a while but I wasn't sure where to start and that walkthrough was the perfect jumping-off point. Check out their website for other wedding and party DIY tutorials!
Fair warning, depending on the size of the wall you're covering, a large amount of tulle might be needed (my wall has just shy of 200 yards total on it). However, you can purchase 40 yard bolts on Amazon for a reasonable cost and the rest of the materials are relatively inexpensive and easy to come by.
Tulle in chosen color(s) - how much depends on the wall size, bolts of fabric are significantly more cost effective
Cardboard - thick and sturdy, need enough to cover the wall
Heavy-duty packing tape
French cleats (size and number needed depend on wall size)
Sharp fabric scissors
Hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks
White paint (to cover cardboard only if using white/very light colored tulle)
Spray paint (to blend/highlight - totally optional)
Once you've gathered all the materials, it's time to get started fabricating!
Step 1. Create the backing & attach to the wall.
NOTE: While you could apply tulle directly to the wall, using a backing makes it easy to switch out the design should want to change it in the future or move the tulle to another location.
Start by measuring the wall and cutting your cardboard to the same size. Get as close as you can but don't worry about being exact - you can cut any extra off after you hang the backing. If your wall is large you'll undoubtedly need to piece together cardboard to make a large enough surface. Use heavy duty packing tape on the seams to ensure it's solid and will hold when hung on the wall.
If you're using a light colored tulle, you might want to paint the cardboard white - I did this for mine but after I was finished you probably wouldn't have been able to tell. There will be many, many layers of tulle when the wall is finished, so unless you're using a really light fabric, chances are you can probably skip this step.
After much research and consideration, French cleats seemed like the best way to hang the backing on the wall. Given the overall size of the piece, I opted for 4" aluminum cleats which are large, strong and lightweight. Install the cleats higher up on the wall, approximately 12" from the top, using the included screws (use drywall anchors if necessary). Install the second cleat to the backing in a corresponding location using twine to attach it to the cardboard. Hang the cardboard on the wall by fitting the cleats together. Trim the cardboard at the bottom if necessary so that it hangs freely but is still close to the floor.
Step 2. Cut tulle.
This is the most time intensive part of the project. There are dozens and dozens of yards of tulle to be cut and you're going to want to do this in stages because the fabric piles up. Sketching out your wall ahead of time will give you a blueprint and keep you from getting overwhelmed. I wanted my wall to have different texture as well as an ombre effect.
To create the different textures, my wall has three different types of shapes:
Rosettes (these get lost amongst the pom poms and if I had it to do over, I would probably skip them)
Regardless of the shape, the process of cutting strips is the same. Unfold the bolt to it's full width (mine was 54" wide) cut it into 6 equal sized strips, approximately 9" each but don't get caught up on measuring, equal-ish is fine. The easiest way to cut the tulle is loop it over a curtain rod, pull it towards you, and cut the strips. Once you have about 4' (again approximate) of strips cut you can cut the length. Measure by holding the end in your hand and pulling it to your shoulder twice - it's hard to explain so what the video for a quick tutorial.
The double loop shape doesn't require any extra steps - they're ready to install on the wall when you get to that step.
To make a rosette (again I would skip these if I had it to do over), take a full length strip and cut it in half. Take one of the shorter pieces, tie a knot in one end and wrap the tulle around itself, hot gluing as you go, creating a flower shape. Repeat as needed.
To make a pom pom, take a full length strip and cut it in half. Take one of the shorter pieces and double it back over itself 6 or 8 times, hold in the middle and cut the end loops to create a pom pom shape. Tie it in the middle with twine, double knot to secure and trim the twine ends. Repeat as needed.
As you can see from the photos above, the fabric piles up, so I alternated between cutting strips, making pom pom and rosette shapes, and attaching the tulle to the backing. I used 2 full bolts of the light pink tulle and 2.5 of the dark blue and it took 6 or 7 different batches of cutting strips. Don't worry about trying to figure out how much fabric you need to fill the wall, once you have a few batches attached you'll get a feel for how full it needs to be and how much fabric it takes to achieve that look.
Step 3. Attach tulle pom poms and rosettes to the wall.
You'll want to start by attaching the pom poms and rosettes using a hot glue gun (a cordless one will make this much easier if your wall is large). You'll string twine in the empty leftover areas for the longer strips but until the shorter pieces are finished you don't know how long the twine should be. This takes longer than you think and will take significantly more fabric than you expect. Stay patient and alternate between cutting strips, making pom poms and rosettes, and attaching tulle to the wall until you have completely filled the area you have in mind.
If using different colors, take a step back every now and then and make sure your colors gradually fade into one another.
Step 4. Attach tulle strips to wall.
Now that you've burned your fingers countless times attaching the shorter pieces, it's time to switch to something different - attaching the long strips to the wall. First things first, you'll want to attach the twine lines to the backing. I strung my lines approximately 16" apart from one another, poking a hole through the cardboard and securing the line onto itself. My wall is 4' wide at the narrowest point so I secured the twine in the center as well so the tulle does not droop.
Attach the strips by folding the tulle strip in half, tuck the loop behind the twine and then pull the ends through the hole the end creates (see photos below).
The twine lines that end next to the shorter pieces already in place are more difficult to tie off - I used an apparatus originally intended for creating hairstyles (super cheap on Amazon!) or you could probably find something similar at home.
Continue cutting strips and attaching to your twine lines until you've filled the entire space. Check to make sure your colors transition smoothly. You want the twine lines to be very full or the end result will look too thin.
Leave the top piece of twine a little loose so you can tuck the knots behind the cardboard to create a seamless appearance.
Step 5. Make final refinements.
Step back and check your incredible piece of art. Add tulle strips and pom poms to any thin looking spots. Make sure your colors fade together nicely. Take a pair of scissors and trim the tulle strips around the pom pom and rosette area so the shapes transition smoothly. If desired you could use spray paint to create additional darker/lighter areas - this is completely optional and I would advise against it unless you can either A) take your piece outside or B) tape the area off with plastic (spray paint is messy and tends to get everywhere if you aren't careful) and provide appropriate ventilation. Continue trimming and highlighting/lowlighting until you're happy with the final product.
Step 6. Stand back and enjoy!
Okay, yes, this is a time intensive project, BUT the end result is something truly unique and absolutely breathtaking. It's guaranteed to start a conversation for anyone who catches a glimpse of it and make you smile everytime you walk by.
If you create something similar we'd love to see it! Tag us on Instagram @reddesignedinteriors and #reddesignedtutorials
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