Decorating & Design

October 16, 2015

DIY: Fabric Room Divider

Senior design editor Joel Bray shares step-by-step instructions on how to turn a room divider into a pretty accent piece. 

Joel-Bray-FeaturedImgA fabric screen is a great way to introduce an of-the-moment print — it’s easy to do, large enough to make a statement and less expected than drapes or throw pillows.



You’ll need a folding screen, spray paint, hardboard, fabric, and staples.

Note: A hardware store can cut the hardboard to size.

Step 1: Choose Screen And Take Apart

Pick a sturdy, hinged screen and remove everything but the frame. To do this, I removed the top portion of the frame on each panel by prying loose the staples that held the frame together. Once the top of the frame was removed, it was easy to slide the fabric and mullions out.

Step 2: Paint Frame

After removing the panels, spray-paint the entire frame, including all hinges and any loose pieces, and let dry. I used a bright primary yellow for an edgy contrast to the pastel fabric.

Step 3: Make New Fabric Panels

Have a 1⁄4″-thick sheet of hardboard cut into three panels that will fit inside the frame. Next, cut three pieces of fabric, each slightly larger than the hardboard panels. Wrap each piece of fabric around a hardboard panel and staple on back of screen with a staple gun and 1⁄4″ staples. I laid out the fabric according to its repeat so the screen’s outer two panels have the same pattern, while the middle panel is slightly different. For a more finished look, paint the back of the hardboard and cover the fabric edge by gluing on wide ribbon.

Step 4: Assemble Screen

Slide the fabric-wrapped panels into the painted frame. If you removed the top portion of the frame, reattach with 1⁄2″ staples. Use the screen to add pattern and height to a room.

Author: Joel Bray

Valerie Wilcox


Folding screen, Walmart; hardboard, spray paint, staples, The Home Depot; floral fabric, Nani Iro Freedom Garden Japan by Naomi Ito for Kokka, The Workroom.


House & Home January 2015