retro room divider,

Fashion a retro room divider

Whilst many of us would love to have more space to play with in our homes, casually knocking up an extension is simply not always a viable option. A cheaper and more practical solution is to make the most of the space you have, and zoning it off using a room divider is a great way to do this. Ideal for creating separate dining or lounging areas in an open plan home or as a privacy screen in a squashed house share, they are not only efficient and easy to fold away, but will also make a chic accent piece. Choose fabric that complements your home’s colour palette or do a throwback to where the trend first began in China with a pretty oriental pattern.

You’ll need:
    • MDF

    • Ian Mankin fabric

    • Wadding

    • 3M Spray Mount

    • Braid or ribbon

    • 4 x brass hinges

    • Hot glue gun

    • Jigsaw

    • Ruler and pencil

    • Scissors and pins

    • Staple gun

    • Staple remover;

    • Hammer

    • Pliers

    1. The MDF sections for this project were bought and cut to size at B&Q. The sections were cut so the pieces to be covered would fit across one width of fabric by the height required, and another width to cover the other side. The dimensions for this screen were 43cm x 170cm x 3. If you wish the sections to be wider you will need more fabric. The top corners of each section were rounded off by drawing around the edge of a side plate on the top edge corners, then cutting with a jigsaw around each curved line.You could leave the corner square, though.

    2. Cut out six pieces of wadding to the same size as the MDF sections, using one as a template to draw around and cut out. With Spray Mount adhesive, stick the wadding to one side of an MDF section.

    3. Cut a piece of fabric into three equal pieces for one side of the screen and three for the other side; we have used a contrasting colour to cover each side (46cm x 175cm). Lay one of the fabric pieces facedown and lay the MDF section wadding side-down onto the back. Centre the wood over the fabric so approximately 1.5cm is showing on the two long edges and at the base. Staple the fabric onto the base edge first and then up one of the long edges, stretching the fabric between each staple. Repeat the process on the remaining long edge.

    4. You should be left with excess fabric at each curved corner; pick up the corner of the fabric and pull this in towards the centre, across the corner of the wood and staple in place. Evenly stretch and pleat the remainder of the excess fabric either side of the centre and staple onto the front of the wooden section. Trim away any excess fabric.

    5. Turn the wooden section over and centre it onto the contrasting piece of fabric. Leave 3cm at the base, fold 1.5cm in, and then another, and staple along the base. Make neat corners and continue as before stretching and stapling the sides, this time stapling the curves along the edges of the wood.

    6. Trim the excess fabric around the entire piece, making sure that no raw edges of fabric are extending over the front surfaces. Anchor the ribbon or braid with a staple on the base edge corner of the section and then use a hot glue gun to stick the ribbon around the remainder. Secure the end on the opposite base corner again with a staple.

    7. Repeat the process on the two remaining MDF sections and join them together with the brass hinges. The sections need to be joined in a zig-zag manner with the two outer sections folding in opposite directions. When screwing the hinges in place, leave 5mm between each piece to enable the sections to fold with ease.