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This Animal Print Upholstery Fabric Is Perfect For Your Next Glamorous DIY Project

animal print fabric

Bold, adventurous, cheerful and full of energy. That’s how we define “Moxie”. It’s also how we describe one of the design world’s most glamorous DIY queens Jewel Marlowe of Jeweled Interiors. As someone whose rooms make you stop, stare, and think, “She’s the embodiment of Moxie” — our newest collection of fabrics, wallpaper and trim in a debut color way of lilac, teal, chocolate and gray. The Moxie collection features our maximalist take on animal print, a whimsical, watercolor zebra named Moxie (available as fabric and peel-and-stick wallpaper), a coordinating leopard print called Fancy Pants Bob, and a slightly edgy interpretation of a classic plaid, called Plaidish.

“I think the Moxie collection is fun and chock full of whimsy,” says Marlowe. Among designers, Marlowe is the undisputed champion of whimsy and incorporates animal prints throughout her home. The leopard print makeover she gave two chairs that now reside in her lounge space is darn near legendary. “I love leopard and consider it a neutral; it gives me the ability to mix in other patterns with ease,” said Marlowe. “I have leopard in almost every room in my home.” And the home’s formal dining room, with its magnificent botanical wallpaper—a celebration of lush floral and exotic animals living in paradise—is an animal-centric show-stopper.

Our friend Jewel Marlowe is the embodiment of Moxie, which just so happens to be the name of our newest collection, a maximalist take on animal print. When she came across Fancy Pants Bob, she knew it was the perfect upholstery fabric to remake a vintage bench she bought on Facebook Marketplace. Get inspired for your next project with Jewel’s step-by-step process on how to reupholster a bench.

In her recent dining room project, Marlowe added our marmalade trim to her skirted buffet. “I love seeing the reaction on people’s faces when they eat at our home for the first time,” says Marlowe. Marlowe has moved thirteen times in nineteen years—yes, she’s a military spouse—so she’s no stranger to giving her home her own spin by mixing patterns and tackling DIY projects, hands on. So, when Marlowe’s friend and artist Candace Heil recently made a one-of-a-kind Geode Table for Marlowe, she knew a simple “Thank You” card wasn’t going to cut it. Instead she found a vintage bench on Facebook Marketplace, stripped the wood and recovered it in our Fancy Pants Bob fabric. Fancy Pants Bob is made from a cotton linen blend, great for window treatments and upholstery." “The weight of this cotton/linen blend works for upholstering because it will hold up to a bit of wear and tear,” says Marlowe. “It is perfect for chairs, benches, and pillows.” 

Here’s her process for reupholstering a bench: First, make sure you have these supplies on-hand: 

  • Bench to reupholster
  • Fabric
  • Staple remover
  • Pliers
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Trim
  • Hot glue and glue gun

Then follow these 4 simple steps!

Step 1: Remove Old Upholstery The first thing you need to do is rip off the old fabric using a staple remover. You go underneath the fabric and rip it up slightly with the tool. This process is not hard, but it is time consuming. You want to make sure that you get all of the fabric off and each of the staples removed as well. You may need to use pliers to pull some of the staples out. You’ll want to make sure to save the fabric for step 2.

Step 2: Measure and Cut New Fabric Take the fabric that you stripped off and lay it on top of your new fabric and use it as a template. Cut along the edges, giving yourself some wiggle room when you go to attach it to the bench.
Step 3: Attach Fabric It’s time to staple the new fabric to the bench. Starting on one long side, pull the new fabric taut and secure with a staple in the center. Move to the opposite side and add another staple in the center, then repeat the process on each of the short sides. These are your starting points. Then you work out from each center, adding a staple about every inch or so until you get to each of the corners.
Step 4: Add Trim You have plenty of options for trim: fringe, jute, decorative trim or a matching double welt. Once you have your fabric stapled on, all you have to do is glue right along the edges to hide all of your staples. And ta-da!
“My best tip for upholstering is to remove the old fabric intact and use that as your pattern going forward,” says Marlowe. “Also, your goal is to replicate every step the original upholsterer took. As you are tearing down make sure to take pictures to help you remember.”
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By making note of how the fabric was folded, stapled, and secured, or how hot glue or staples were used, you’re helping to set yourself up for upholstery success. And while Marlowe makes it look easy, there’s a lot of experience behind it: “I’m not a professional upholsterer ,” says Marlowe. “But 14 years ago I bought a book on the subject while living in England. I would buy dining room sets and reupholster the chairs before reselling them.” “I’ve done a lot of learning the hard way since then.” If you’ve got an upholstery project on your list of to-do’s we’ve got the designer fabric to match. Shop our Moxie collection for inspiration.

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