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How to Put Fabric on My Ceiling

Updated February 21, 2017

Putting fabric on a ceiling is a clever and creative way to hide a damaged or otherwise unattractive ceiling. Cover any type of ceiling, from standard sheetrock to drop ceilings and cathedral ceilings. Fabric ceilings are not a new idea -- this design trick has been used for ages in Middle Eastern, Asian and African countries, such as Morocco. Depending on the colours you choose, this design could have a cultural or whimsical effect in your room. Draping a ceiling with fabric, however, is not the best choice for families with allergies because the fabric attracts and traps dust.

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  1. Measure the length and width of the ceiling to determine how many yards of fabric you will need for this project. Purchase about 5 per cent more than you need to account for any miscalculations and mistakes; if you want the fabric to drape from the ceiling, you will need even more.

  2. Measure and cut a piece of fabric as long as the room, allowing a few extra inches for error and even more if you want the fabric to drape. If you want to run the fabric across the width of the room, measure and cut the fabric as wide as the room instead.

  3. Staple one end of the fabric along the edge of the ceiling, starting in the corner and working your way out and to the other side of the room; cut and staple additional lengths of fabric until you have fabric hanging along the entire side of the room. Be sure to line up the fabric and apply the staples in the straightest line possible.

  4. Measure how far you want the fabric to drape and add another row of staples across the room in a straight line. Don't let the fabric drape down so far that tall guests will brush their heads against it.

  5. Pull the other end of the fabric as tight as you can and staple the end to the opposite side of the ceiling. Follow this step instead of Step 4 if you don't wish to let the fabric drape from the ceiling.

  6. Apply additional staples as needed for support, such as along the perimeter of the ceiling, along the edges where two pieces of fabric meet or sporadically as you desire.

  7. Measure and cut trim to fit around the perimeter of the ceiling. Paint them to match the fabric if you wish. Use crown moulding, quarter-round moulding or paint or stain 1-by-4-inch boards to use as trim.

  8. Nail the moulding boards into place along the perimeter of the ceiling with a finish nailer to conceal the staple marks. The trim will also add support to hold the fabric in place along the ceiling.

  9. Tip

    Try gluing ribbon along the ceiling's edge to conceal the staples instead of using ceiling trim. If the fabric is especially wrinkly or has crease marks, iron the fabric before putting it on the ceiling.


    An ambitious design would be to install the fabric in a tent style so the fabric starts at the ceiling's edge and meets in the centre. While this would add a Moroccan flair reminiscent of open-air markets, keep in mind this means additional, precise measurements, cutting the fabric into shape and stapling all edges of the fabric.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Ceiling trim
  • Finish nailer

About the Author

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.

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