Fabric To Wood

How to Glue Fabric to Wood – Step-by-Step Guide


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If you are a person who likes to do DIY projects using wood, then you might be interested in knowing how to glue fabric to wood. The knowledge will help you to churn out more personalized objects, for example, upcycling a piece of old furniture to give it a special look. Of course, the easiest way of attaching fabric to wood is by using fasteners like fabric nails or landscape staples. But sometimes using these, doesn’t look good. A unique furniture item will not look as charming when the fastening is visible. This is why you should prefer using glue.

Before you learn how to glue fabric to wood, you need to know you cannot use any regular glue to stick fabric to wood. Most glues will leave a stain on the fabric. There are fabric glues available in the market which allows the fabric to be stuck on wood without damaging the wood. Before you start applying glue, you have to prepare the wood. This article will give you all the information about what you need for this tutorial and give you detailed instructions on the steps you have to take to attach the fabric to wood.

Materials you will need

  • Scissors
  • Wood
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Selected fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric glue
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Foam paintbrush

While gathering all the things you need while learning how to glue fabric to wood, you might wonder which is the best glue. You are certain about the piece of wood and have chosen the fabric that you will use. (Reminder: Keep some extra fabric than you think is required. You don’t want to fall short once you get to work!) There are kinds of adhesives available that you can use, but they aren’t fool-proof. They either won’t work at all, stain/damage the fabric, or be visible.

The best glue we would recommend you to buy is the very popular Mod Podge. It is a strong adhesive that you will find easy to apply. Mod Podge dries quickly too and can be used as a sealant too. If you cannot buy a Mod Podge, purchase any spray adhesive manufactured for fabrics. You can very conveniently apply the glue evenly and the glue gives a nice hold too. Avoid standard craft glue. If you are keen on knowing how to glue fabric to wood, you obviously would learn to know how to do it step-by-step.

How to glue fabric to wood – Follow these steps

1st Step: Sanding the wood


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The very first step is to prepare the wood using 100 – 200 grit sandpaper. If you bring the wood piece from a sawmill, you will initially need 800 – 1000 grit sandpaper. If you are reapplying fabric on a block of varnished wood, 100 – 200 grit sandpaper will do the job of removing the varnish efficiently. The adhesive will not stick properly if the wood is not smooth enough. You have to sand the wood so that the fabric does not pull off later. This is a very vital step. Be patient and devote as much time as needed to make the wood very smooth.

2nd Step: Washing/Cleaning the wood


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The second step ensures there is no wood dust on the surface. You can wipe it using a paper towel. Next, take a damp microfiber cloth to wash and remove any oil, dirt, and remaining sand dust. Don’t forget to wring out the excess water before cleaning the wood. Otherwise, it will become unnecessary wet and take longer to dry.

3rd Step: Letting it dry


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Once you are done with cleaning, you must give the wood enough time to dry completely. If the wood remains damp, the adhesive will not stick to its surface. The time the wood will take to dry will be based on how wet the fiber cloth you used was, and how much you had to wipe down. It might even take a few hours to dry out 100%.

4th Step: Making your fabric ready


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This is the time to cut your fabric. This step has to be done before using Mod Podge so that you can stick the fabric. You can either measure the wood using a measuring tape or transfer it to the fabric. Or with the inside of the fabric facing up, you can put it on the wood and mark it with a pencil. Leave an extra inch on all sides. The fabric might shrink after you put adhesive. This will also leave you with enough fabric if you do any wrong cutting by mistake.

5th Step: Applying Mod Podge to the wood


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Wondering how to glue fabric to wood by using Mod Podge? You have to apply the Mod Podge on the wood evenly using the foam brush. You can also use a paintbrush. After dipping the brush in the Mod Podge, move it on the wood as if you are painting the wood. Be careful to not leave puddles while doing so. Start painting strokes from the outside and gradually come to the middle. Cover the surface quickly as Mod Podge starts drying fast.

6th Step: Attaching the fabric


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After you have applied the Mod Podge, you have to lay down the fabric very carefully on the wood and gently press it. This step will be less stressful if you have left the extra inch as advised earlier. The extra fabric will overlap the sides.

7th Step: Smoothening the fabric


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After laying down the fabric, we are certain you are going to see a few wrinkles on it. You must use your hand and smoothen them out. Don’t apply too much force as it can lead to the Mod Podge squeeze out. If you smoothen using your hand, the result will not be perfect. The other things which you can use for a better result are a brayer or a roller.

8th Step: Letting it dry


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It is time to display your patience. Do not touch it for 24 hours, though the Mod Podge may dry earlier than that. But keep a watch on the fabric. If you find that it has moved, give a slight tug to bring it in place. Allowing more time will let the adhesion be stronger.

9th Step: Trimming the edges


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The Mod Podge has dried and all the edges and corners are safely attached, you can now cleanly cut off the excess fabric. Take the scissor and trim the fabric overlapping the edges of the wood and giving it a finished look.


Well, now you are well aware of how to glue fabric to wood. We would again remind you to be patient while doing any project which includes this process. Crafting with wood is no less than any artwork. Also, remember to wear a mask and glove as a precaution. You can now go ahead and start restyling and recycling to give an old piece of furniture a new look!