For quilters a design wall is essential - it can be used to plan and organize your next masterpiece, build confidence in the combination of fabrics you’ve selected, or simply offer an all-encompassing view of your work in progress.

From professional accessories to makeshift solutions with minimal effort, there are a variety of ways to make a design wall for both personal use and public display.

Whether you’re outfitting a studio space or creating something more compact for small spaces, this blog post will explore the options available so that you can choose which works best for your needs as well as your budget.

So put down that needle and thread for now – let's get crafting!

What is a Design Wall and How Is It Used in Quilting

A design wall is an essential tool for quilting.

It serves as a place to plan and organize your project, allowing you to view the fabrics that you’ve chosen in combination with each other.

This helps to give you a better understanding of the overall effect of the finished product.

Design walls are also invaluable when it comes to assessing whether or not a certain combination of fabrics is working for the quilt.

Quilting can often be a time-consuming process, so it’s important to get the design right from the outset.

Professional solutions for setting up a design wall

Here are some professional solutions for setting up a design wall:

Store-bought Design Wall:

One of the most popular options for setting up a design wall is to purchase one that has been specially designed for quilting.

These come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to consider how much space you have available before buying.

Store-bought design walls are typically made from foam board or muslin fabric, both of which can be easily pinned to the wall and provide a flat surface for pinning up fabrics.

Fabric-covered Plywood Wall:

For quilters who want something more substantial, fabric-covered plywood walls offer an ideal solution.

These are typically created by covering a sheet of plywood with batting and then securing it in place with staples or tacks.

This provides a more rigid structure that won’t budge when you’re arranging fabrics on it.

The fabric can also be cut to fit the size of your wall, giving you an even larger surface area if needed.


The Magna-Rack is another option for quilters who want a professional design wall.

This is an adjustable, lightweight rack that can be mounted on the wall and used to hang your fabric pieces.

The Magna-Rack also comes with several accessories such as hooks and shelves, giving you more options for organizing your fabrics.

DIY solutions to creating your design wall

If you’re on a budget or prefer to make things yourself, there are plenty of DIY solutions for creating your design wall.

Here are some ideas:

Foam Insulation Board Wall:

Foam insulation boards are an excellent choice for creating a makeshift design wall as they’re lightweight and easy to cut.

All you need is a board of foam insulation and some fabric, both of which can be found in most hardware stores.

Once you’ve got your materials, simply cut the foam to size and cover it with the fabric of your choice.

Then use pins or tacks to attach the fabric to the wall, and voila! You’ve created your design wall.

Bulletin Board Wall:

Another great DIY solution for creating a design wall is to use a bulletin board.

Choose the right size and cover it with batting or fabric, then secure it in place with staples or tacks.

This works well as you can also hang other things on the board such as notes, sketches, and swatches.

Hang a Sheet on the Wall:

If you need a more temporary solution, simply hang a sheet or blanket on the wall.

This is an incredibly easy and cost-effective way to set up a design wall, as all you have to do is find some large fabric and pin it up.

If you’re worried about the fabric drooping due to its weight, try using a few clothespins for extra support.

Tips for keeping your design wall in good condition.

Here are some helpful tips for keeping your design wall in good condition:

Avoid putting pins directly into the wall or fabric:

If you’re using a professional design wall or foam insulation board, avoid putting pins directly into the wall or fabric as this can cause damage.

Instead, use tacks or small nails to secure the fabric to the wall. This will ensure that your design wall stays intact for longer.

Dust regularly:

Design walls attract a lot of dust and dirt, so it’s important to keep them clean and free from debris.

Regularly dusting the wall will help to prevent buildup which can interfere with the visibility of your fabrics.

Watch for mold:

If your design wall is in an area with high humidity, it’s important to watch out for mold.

If you notice any signs of mold on your fabrics or on the wall itself, it’s best to take them down and wash them thoroughly.

Take Down Design Walls When Not in Use:

If you’re not using your design wall, it’s best to take it down when possible. This will help to prevent any unnecessary wear and tear.

Professional design walls can usually be folded up or taken apart for easy storage.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to keep your design wall in good condition and extend its lifespan.

Now that you know how to make a design wall for quilting, it’s time to get started on your next masterpiece!

What to expect when displaying your quilt on a design wall

When displaying your quilt on a design wall, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First and foremost, make sure that the lighting is conducive to seeing the full effect of the fabric colors and pattern combinations.

If you’re using natural light, it may be beneficial to move the design wall around throughout the day to take advantage of different light angles.

It’s also important to keep in mind the background of the space when mounting your quilt.

Depending on what type of design wall you use, it may be helpful to add a neutral-colored backing behind the fabric for contrast and clarity.

This will help to make sure that the fabrics stand out and don’t get lost against the wall.

Additionally, it will also help to ensure that the quilt is secured in place and doesn’t move around too much when being viewed.

Finally, keep your design wall organized by using color-coded pins or labels to identify fabrics and quilt sections.

This will make it easier to review the progress of your work and make any necessary adjustments to complete your quilt.

Home-made Alternatives to Create a Design Wall

If you’re not looking for something as permanent as a fabric-covered plywood wall or Magna-Rack, there are plenty of homemade alternatives that can still provide a great way to plan out your next quilting project.

Here are some ideas:

Wall Mounted Pegboard:

For a more lightweight and adjustable option, try mounting a pegboard on the wall.

This will allow you to hang fabric pieces as well as other quilting tools and supplies such as scissors, rulers, and rotary cutters.

Plus, pegboards come in different sizes so you can choose one that fits your space.

Corkboard Wall:

Corkboard is a great option if you’re looking for something that will provide a strong grip for your fabric pieces.

You can either purchase a pre-made panel or make your own using cork tiles and an adhesive.

Just be sure to mount it securely as the added weight of the fabric may cause it to come off the wall.

Window Frame Wall:

If you have an old window frame lying around, this is another great way to create a makeshift design wall.

Simply attach batting or fabric to the back of the window and mount it on the wall. You can even hang a rod between two frames for extra support.

How to Choose the Right Design Wall for You

Here are some elements to consider when selecting the right design wall for your needs:


The size of the design wall will depend on the space you have available as well as your quilting project.

If you’re working with larger pieces or complex patterns, it may be beneficial to go for a larger design wall.

However, if you don’t have much room to spare, something more compact such as a pegboard or corkboard wall can be just as effective.


If you’re using a professional design wall, make sure to check the weight specification of the product before purchasing.

Some designs may not be able to support the added weight of quilts and fabrics.

Additionally, keep in mind that some materials such as foam insulation boards may need extra support if they’re not mounted securely.


The cost of a design wall will depend on the type and size you choose. Professional options such as Magna-Rack and Fabric-Covered Plywood can be more expensive, but they are usually designed to last longer and provide more stability for quilting projects.

Home-made options such as pegboard and corkboard walls are usually more cost-effective, but they may require additional accessories or supports to ensure that the fabric pieces stay in place.

By considering these elements when choosing a design wall, you’ll be able to select one that best suits your needs and budget.

Now that you know how to make a design wall for quilting, you’re ready to get started on your next masterpiece!


How often should I dust my design wall?

It’s best to dust your design wall at least once a week.

This will help prevent any buildup of dirt or debris which can interfere with the visibility of fabrics and patterns on the wall.

What is the best way to protect my quilt from mold?

If your design wall is in an area with high humidity, it’s important to take steps to protect your quilt from mold.

Keep the design wall clean and dry and consider using a dehumidifier in the room as an extra precaution.

In Addition, if you no longer need the quilt on the design wall, it’s best to take it down and store it in an area with better air circulation.

What accessories do I need for my design wall?

The accessories you need for your design wall will depend on what type of design wall you use and the size of your quilting project.

For example, if you’re using a professional design wall with fabric-covered plywood boards, you may want to invest in some clamps and tension rods for extra support.

What other surfaces can be used as a design wall?

If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional design walls, you can also use foam insulation boards or canvas drop cloths as makeshift solutions.

Just make sure that the surface is large enough and sturdy enough to support the weight of your quilt.

What type of lighting should I use with my design wall?

When using a design wall, it’s important to have adequate lighting so that you can accurately assess the colors and patterns of your quilt.

Ideally, you should use a combination of natural light and overhead lighting to take advantage of different light angles.

This will help to make sure that all the details of your quilt are visible.


Setting up a Design Wall for quilting is an essential part of the quilting process.

It can be an expensive endeavor if you opt for a professional solution, but DIY-ers can easily create their own by using cardboard and other materials they have already lying around the house.

Protecting your design wall and making it last longer depends on routine maintenance, cleaning it off now and then, and ensuring good positioning to avoid damage from sunlight or moisture.

All in all, a Design Wall is an invaluable tool no matter how experienced you are at quilting; with its help, taking your art form to new heights becomes easier and more enjoyable.

Now that you know how to make a design wall for quilting get ready to put your newfound knowledge into action today!

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