How to make a Padded Wall Hanging


 I call this a padded wall hanging because is is decorative.  It has a purpose beyond looking good, however.  It helps this bench ottoman serve the purpose of a love seat, that only is 22" deep.

Years ago I had a similar situation in a room being used for billiards.  That time to get seating for the players in very limited space, I came up with this idea except the wall hanging was made more like a wrestling mat and hung on the wall with hooks.

Working with my clients on this job we decided to be a little more structured than a hanging mat.  The firm seated bench with the padded back is comfortable, but designed for players to sit for seconds or minutes depending how good his opponent is.

Measurements and a rough sketch was done.  The job quote was  accepted and the job begun.    
                                                                                                     Because the piece was planned to be wider than the standard
48" width of plyboard.  A width had to be added to the left edge.  This was done with wood glue a piece of 1/4" plyboard and short drywall screws.  Once the glue was dry the screws were removed.                                                                        


Next a pattern is drawn on the plyboard and cut out.  This maintains stability and eliminates weight.

Inexpensive fabric is stretched and stapled over the cut outs.

2" Low density foam is glued to the new fabric surface.

Because I plan to pull the diagonal parts down, lines are made on the foam and it is cut part way to make the pulling down easier.

A thick layer of polybatting is laid on top of the cut foam.

Now it is time to make the cover.

8" wide strips of the stripe pattern are cut.  They all are of the same stripe pattern.

A framing square is used to mark and cut the paisley pattern for the center part.  I should note here that the room started with gold walls and carpet.  The client had introduced a dark brown sofa and wanted to also bring in aqua.  These fabrics were selected to do just that.  The stripe was particularly important because it contained the wall color.

A bright velvet aqua cord is made and attached to the edge of the paisley fabric. When cutting the striped strips of fabric always be sure to add 2 x the width of the strips + 3" to allow for overlap when it is time to mitre them.  The stripe fabric is then sewn to the selvedge of the welt and paisley fabric. The aqua welt is used here to help transition from one pattern to the other and to brighten the rather somber colors.

The stripes are now mitred.  I find the best way to mitre in this situation is to lay the piece flat on the table, turn one end of the paisley under until the end of the fabric is parallel with the side of the same strip.  This creates a 45 degree angle.  Press a crease to mark the angle.  Then being sure the stripes are converging repeat the process on the adjoining stripe fabric.

Now put the two pieces face to face, pin both creases together so that the stripes are one on top of the other.  This was a particularly slick fabric
so I pinned in short intervals to prevent slippage.

Until you get experienced at this it would be a good idea to use a medium to large stitch length because you may have to pick out some and re stitch until you get it right.  Once you feel it is matched well then carefully sew a smaller stitch exactly on top of the larger stitching.

This is how it should look when finished.

When all four corners are done, trim off the excess stripe fabric and the cover is ready to be attached to the padded backing.

When attaching the cover to the plywood you may have to staple a few different times to get it right.
Start like you were stretching an art canvas.  Start in the middle of the cover.  Mark the middle of the backing board.  Staple the fabric where you think it will be tight enough to be smooth when all sides are done.  Be conservative.  You don't want to come back and make it looser and have staple marks showing in the fabric.  Put a few staples in the center of the fabric on the center of the mounting and go to the opposite side and do the same.  You should be sure the stripe on the edge on each side is the same stripe.  Repeat the process on the other two sides.  Keeping the stripe at the same place on the edge on all sides add a few staples on each side of the center ones and work out to the corners.  When you have stapled about a foot on all four sides you should be able to guage is the cover is too loose or two tight.  If too loose remove the staples and re staple on the next stripe in.

I lobbied my clients hard to convince them to let me put the bright aqua velvet X and oversize button on the piece.

9" strips of velvet were cut, folded double and edges stitched together.  They were then refolded so that the seam was in the underneath middle.

I decided I wanted to pull the velvet strip deep into the corner to give some definition.  After the aqua strip was firmly attached to the corner, I used an ice pick to work a small hole down through the fabric and foam.  I drilled a hole in the backing board  and using several pieces of florist wire pulled through with a large upholstery needle; pulled the strip and fabric down to create the indention I wanted.

Here you can see the holes that were drilled on the back and the florist wire that holds the strip in place.

Now that the velvet strips are secured and pulled into place it is time to make the huge center button.

A piece of 1/4" plywood is cut into a circle.

Two holes are drilled in the center and several pieces of heavy florist wire twisted together are put in place.

 A small piece of thin foam is cut to pad the button.

 A circle of the velvet is cut about 1" more in diameter than the wooden button circle.

Using a strong button thread a single stitch is sewn around the outside edge of the fabric circle.

The foam is placed under the fabric and the fabric and foam are put on top of the button form.  The edges of the fabric circle are gathered and secured.

The edges are pulled toward the center in a few places on the gathered button covering.  The button is now ready to be threaded through the pulled down center, through the two holes drilled in the plyboard backing and wired tight.

Done!!    iI know this may have limited uses, but some of the ideas I have illustrated could have other uses in headboards, ottoman and chair seats.  I hope you liked it.  Please let me know what you thought.
Bill Gantt