Creating a Design Wall

Many have asked about my design wall.  It surely isn’t fancy and I’ve seen a lot of design walls that are really nice.  Mine isn’t “nice” but it works.

Will those of you with design walls, however simple or however complicate, please comment and describe you design wall or write about it on your blog and leave a link in the comments.  Those of you looking for a design wall or unhappy with your design wall, read through the comments and maybe find something that will work for you.

I have sheetrock or drywall . . not sure what is the right name but I hope you all know what I’m talking about.


I used some really fluffy poly batting, maybe 16 ounce, and some push pins and pinned the batting to the wall.  Then I took two strips of 45″ wide flannel and placed it over the batting.  I pulled the push pins out, one at a time, and re-positioned them so they’re going through the flannel and batting into the drywall.  There are push pins down the middle where the two sections of 45″ wide flannel overlap.

Unless you’re willing to climb up on a step stool or ladder to add blocks near the top, there’s no reason to make it a lot taller than you can reach.

When we move or when I quit quilting (that ain’t going to happen!), I’ll take down the design wall, then I’ll use a Q-tip with a little touch-up paint and fill the tiny  little holes left by the push pins and no one will ever know . . unless one of you buys my house and then you can just ask me and I’ll leave the design wall up for you if you want it. 🙂

If you have paneling or wall paper, you may not want to leave holes so my method probably won’t work for you.  But . . that’s what I use!



  1. 1


    I have an 8’x8′ design wall in my dining room. (doesn’t everyone?) I made it by glueing the 4×8 sheets of insulation boards to a pegboard on a frame I made, then used Elmers spray glue in a can and applied burgandy fleece to the insulation boards. Then I stained skinny wood trim and applied it around 3 sides each so when put together it is a framed 8’x8′. It is heavy and sturdy and it won’t fit in my quilting room. I made it to fit in a different room. I Should just get rid of it and buy the foam insulation again and cover it with fleece, that way I could take it down. You can pin to it if needed or just stick onto the flannel. It works…it is just overkill.

  2. 2


    My design wall is a flannel backed table cloth I got for 70% off at Joann’s. It was the largest one they had. I used thumbtacks to tack it to the wall and has served me well for several years.
    If I need a larger space, I lay my quilt out on a queen size bed.

  3. 3

    Mary says

    I have a small room, so ran a plastic covered wire from wall to wall, then used alligator clip curtain holders to put up a piece of vinyl with flannel backing. It’s about 60 inches wide and 8 feet tall. Sometimes I get on a step ladder to get the top I’m working on all the way to the top. I used to have a flannel backed table cloth and that worked just fine too, I just wanted something with a little more weight.

  4. 4

    Sharie - Moss Bluff says

    I have three design boards up. They are actually different sizes. One of them is insulation board covered with a cheap flannel tablecloth from the dollar store. My “sewing room” is actually my sunporch. The room is either glass or brick. I have that one leaning up against the glass side (I have a shade behind it to keep out the heat from the sun). My cutting table has extensions on the legs so I don’t have to bend over to cut. The corner of that table holds up the design board to keep it from flopping over.

    The second one is made from several pieces of foam board. I taped them together with clear packing tape. It is covered with dream cottom batting. There is a door entry to my bedroom, so I have it on one side of the door and then on the other side of the door I have a piece of insulation about 18″ wide. If I need a larger design board, I can slide these two pieces together.

    The third one is insulation board. It is covered with dream batting and it is small. I can put up a few blocks on it. I use it for a bulletin board a lot. I pin patterns, notes, and etc to it. That way I know where these things are. I am always making up names for quilts. My memory is good for about a day, if I am lucky, so I write down the names and put them on the “bulletin board.”

    Check out my blog. All three of the boards are on there.


  5. 5

    Kerstin says

    My design wall is two sheets of rigid foam insulation (aka styrofoam), covered in flannel and sandwiched around an Ikea clothing rack with wheels. The only space I have to park it is across the room. When I want to sew the blocks together, I wheel it over to the sewing machine. And I can have two projects up at once, one on each side. I can’t take credit for this idea, I got it from someone’s blog a few years ago, but I can’t remember who.

  6. 6

    Rona says

    My design wall is made of warm and natural batting. Predrilled holes into wooden clothespins and then drove nails through them into the studs in the walls with small finish nails that were long enough to make it through the sheetrock. Hung the batting by the clothespins.
    Helps to have a husband that is a carpenter and all of the tools. If you don’t predrill the holes the wood will split and they don’t stay on the wall very well.
    You could use the plastic clothespins that have holes already as long as you use nails with a larger head so they don’t work off the nail.
    Quick and simple. Everything sticks pretty well until someone opens or closes the door really fast.
    Can then use the clothespins to hang a quilt to take pictures. Someday may need something stronger than clothespins because the quilts are heavy.

  7. 8


    My design wall is in the family room, right outside my quilting room. I used Judy’s method of puffy batting, flannel, and push pins. The only difference is I sewed my two widths of flannel together instead of push pins down the middle. (I just have pins at the top.) So mine is 80″ or so wide, and runs from the ceiling to nearly the floor. If the Pope or the Queen of England should stop by, I can quickly pull out the pins and drop it off the wall. Otherwise, it stays up. I love it, and it couldn’t have been easier.

  8. 9


    My Design Wall is made of the ‘sound board’ you buy at the hardware or Lumber store. I have two pieces covered in Muslin because I ran out of the flannel. I have a piece of flannel over part of one. I used the staple gun to attach the muslin and one of mine just leans against the wall horizontally. The other one I had DH cut off a foot or so and it stands against the back of the door in my guest room. The extra piece, I covered also for smaller projects. The ‘soundboard’ costs about $9 a sheet around here and a friend hauled it home for me.

  9. 11


    I have two 8×8 design walls made of the insulation panels and flannel. They allow me to have 1 – 4 different projects up at one time, or one almost complete quilt when they are all sewn together. Having a design wall really made a difference in the enjoyment of making my quilt tops.

  10. 12


    My design wall is pretty basic. 1 piece of flannel, about 60″x45″ I think. I hung it against my wall using 4 or 5 push pins to hold it up. Simple, quick, and easy to take down when a visitor arrives and wants a place to sleep. I should buy another section and sew it on the bottom, because this is definitely too short for a full-sized quilt. But it does the job. It hangs on the wall to the right of the sewing machine, so it is very simple to grab 2 pieces, stitch them together, and put them back up on the wall to check the orientation of the next piece.

  11. 14


    I made my Design wall, not too long ago and I have pictures on my blog.

    My Design Wall is made out of PVC pipes and felt. I love how portable my wall is.

    Happy sewing!


  12. 15


    I enjoy looking at other design walls and seeing how creative everyone is! Sharie – Moss Bluff, I would love to see yours, too. What is the addy to your blog?

    I have paneling 🙁 and have used a flannel backed tablecloth for my design wall. I attached it to the wall with small nails, being sure to place them in the groves so not to leave obvious holes in the wood. I recently turned my sons bedroom into my sewing room and I have left a spot to put up another design wall. Please hop on over a take a look.
    Hugs, Trish in Kansas

  13. 16


    I went to Office Depot and bought some foam core poster board, I don’t remember the size, but I used 2 of the biggest they had, I used spray glue to adhere some white felt to it and my husband nailed them to the wall.
    I’ve been thinking about expanding it, but I haven’t done so yet. I normally do big quilts, so need it a bit bigger. I do have a stool in my studio that I use to put blocks on the top part of my design wall.

  14. 17

    Linda says

    I don’t have a lot of wall space for a permanent design wall. We had a large cardboard appliance box. I cut and used two sides (keeping the corner intact) plus the height of the box. I then opened out the corner bend of the piece so that it was flat. I used spray adhesive and attached a thin polyester batting to the cardboard. Then I covered that with flannel and using duct tape, I went around the whole outside edge. I can fold it in half when not in use and stand it out of the way. When in use, I lean it up against the wall or a piece of furniture. It is large enough for wall hangings and lap quilts. For larger quilts, I can lay out about a quarter of the quilt at a time. Most of the time blocks will stick to it, but if I need to, I can pin right into the cardboard. A larger one would be nice, but this one has worked for me for many years.

  15. 18

    blop says

    I use white fleece, instead of flannel or batting…easier to clean off. I hang a piece over the bathroom door and it works like a charm. It is nice to be able to roll up and put away when company comes to sleep in my sewing room….it does sleep 7 so there is plenty of room.

  16. 19

    Denise says

    I use two slabs of sound board that I duct-taped together. (The sound board had a plastic coating around some foamy stuff. I got it at a building store with the pick-up, a similar product was not available at Home Depot or Lowe’s at the time). I cut a little section out with a exacto knife where a electrical outlet was on the wall. I spray mounted (do this outside on the picnic table) a queen-sized Warm and Natural batting to it. The duct tape acted as little hinges so I folded it in half and took it upstairs (very light to carry), and mounted it with industrial velcro on the walls. (I have no idea if the industrial velcro is easy to remove from the walls, I don’t care. It is sturdy. ) This design board is big enough for a queen-sized quilt. I have a little stool if I need to get all the way to the top. What I like about this method is that there is no problem with the design board flapping against the wall and losing all the blocks. So consider spray mounting your flannel or batt. I also love the Warm and Natural queen-sized batt for this, you can get them on sale at Joanne’s, and I looked all over for a full bolt of neutral colored flannel and could not find one and it was much more expensive to begin with. Plus it’s a good use for leftover Warm and Natural as it does not make cuddly quilts. This board has been very sturdy and I just vacuum it occasionally to get rid of all the threads.

  17. 22


    My hubby bought “blue board” at Lowes. I covered it with cotton batting and he screwed it into the wall of the sewing room. If he wasn’t available I would have used duct tape….

  18. 23

    Linda says

    A dollar store flannel backed tablecloth, push pinned to my wall…been up there a couple of years now, works for me!

  19. 25


    I don’t have a design wall yet, but my super handy Dad is coming in December and I will have my ideas, some cash and a print out of these comments waiting for him when he gets here. (and a pie….to pay for labor)

  20. 27


    My design wall isn’t fancy, but it works for me. I used velcro to attatch flannel fabric to my wall. The velcro came with one side of it as a sew in application(which went on the top edge of the flannel fabric) and the other part of it as a peel and stick application (which I placed directly on my wall). It went up quick and easy. I can pin into the flannel if needed, and the design wall comes down easily if needed.

  21. 28


    Wow! What great ideas. I have been wanting to make a design wall for quite awhile. My hubs isn’t very handy in that way…works his butt off, but not very crafty. I am thinking that the fleece idea sounds really good. And core board. What a great idea. By the way…fleece is supposed to be on sale right now at Joanns…hopping to it. Maybe I can participate in design wall monday next week!

  22. 29


    Since I am still testing my quilt room layout, I bought a curtain rod at Bed Bath & Beyond that extends to 122″. I bought extra hangers. I have attached this to my longest wall and I use the standard plastic tablecloth on one side as a design wall. Since I took the picture, I folded over the top of the cloth and sewed a slot that contains another rod to stiffen it up. On the other part of the wall, I can hang quilts.

    The tablecloth just doesn’t have enough stickiness to it, so I have been thinking about getting some flannel or, now fleece, to hang in place of the tablecloth. Beware – since this is a curtain rod, whatever you hang moves a bit, so I do have to find a way to stiffen the bottom, otherwise, it hangs like a curtain.

    When I decide the final arrangement of the room, if I am able to have something attached to a wall, then I can always use the curtain rod to display quilts.

    Here is the link

    Oh, since I am 5’2″, I knew that I would need a stepstool to hang anything, so I just hung the rod high so I could put up any quilt.


    • 29.1


      reading about your design board, it’s alot like mine. you might try a rod pocket on the bottom and run a dowel thru the bottom to stabilize it.

  23. 30


    I have 2 sheets of foam insulation – very lightweight & inexpensive. I started with one sheet, covered it with warm & natural – only because I had a ton of it – you can also use flannel. I needed more design space so got another sheet and covered that. I can use them side by side or on separate walls. They work great – very portable. Bob cut off a few inches so they stand up along the wall and slide along the wall depending on where I want them.

  24. 32


    I use a flannel backed tablecloth tacked to the wall in my sewing room for smaller projects.
    I use another idea (see below) in the area outside my sewing room for larger quilts. It is not an original idea, I read about it somewhere, but can’t remember the source, sorry.
    I use three large cardboard accordian-fold cutting boards (you know, like the ones you used to buy to cut out clothing on), 6 prefininshed 1x4x72 boards from Lowes, 3 pieces of flannel trimmed and hemmed to fit each cutting board with about 4 inches overlap on all sides except the bottom, a couple of boxes of the largest paper clamps you can buy at an office supply store. Clamp the boards to the cutting boards and then smooth and clamp the flannel on. Stand them side by side for large quilts or use individually for smaller projects. They can be pinned into, and can be taken down and stored very easily or the location changed, if desired. Not always large enough for my larger quilts, at which time I will work in sections. This idea works well for me since I don’t have a large wall space available on which to mount a permanent design wall. I actually lean these boards up against some shelving. This idea is very portable and can be packed up and easily transported to teaching gigs, or quilt retreats or classes.

  25. 34

    Linda C says

    I made my design wall for less than $20, if I remember right.

    I bought a white fleece blanket (just about queen size) on sale for $10. After measuring the width, I bought two pieces of lathe as long as the blanket was wide, and stapled the lathe to the top and bottom edges of the blanket. Put a couple of eye screws at either end of the top and bottom lathe. Then put a couple of hooks into the molding of the living room wall. The top eye screws go onto the hooks on the wall, then small bungees hold the bottom eye screws and hook into the trim at the base of the wall, keeping the whole thing taut. It works perfectly, and it’s pretty unobtrusive against the white wall when it’s empty.

  26. 35


    I made my design wall out of four 2′ wide pieces of pink insulation board. Since my wall is in the basement, it is slightly shorter than the 8′ tall that the boards comes in, so DH and I cut the pink foam board to the right length for floor to ceiling. I duct taped the pieces of insulation board together so that they won’t move, then I covered the whole thing with 108″ wide flannel, which I pulled around to the back and duct taped on there. DH put some firring strips onto the wall around the edges of where the boards go, and also down the middle lengthwise and crosswise, then he used some screws, nuts and washers to attach the insulation baord to the firring strips (and yes, those washers stick out thru the front of the flannel here and there) and the whole thing is permanently mounted. If we ever move (God Forbid) he’ll have to fill in the nail holes where the firring strips are attached to the walls. Blocks and tops usually stick to the wall fairly well, but I often stick a pin or two here and there so that kids or cats running by don’t rearrange things on me.

  27. 36

    Cindy L says

    I have a new design wall – got my idea from Vickie C – my neighbor – and our local quilt guild nite president… 🙂

    We used a 4×8 sheet of Foam Insulation – Roofing Insulation – Blue board – about 1 1/2″ thick .

    Vickie has hers screwed horizontally to the wall – but I left mine free standing – vertically (could turn it horizontal, i suppose, if I wanted to .. ) We covered it w/ white felt – wrapped around the edges – stapled and pinned w/ long round top pins for security.

    I can stick blocks to it or pin into it – works just Great ! for under $25 .

    By the way – Really enjoyed your presentation last nite at our guild meeting in Springfield, MO – LOVED your quilts ! Meant to buy the book – and then forgot – so went home and ordered it off Amazon !!!