New semester, New office decor


In the academic world, it seems like everyone has multiple offices. Even as a grad student, I have two. Two offices to read books in. Two offices to run analyses in. Two offices to write papers in. Two offices to decorate!

This semester, I wanted to decorate the office where I spend most of my time. I share it with 3-5 other grad students, depending on how you count, but I have my own designated desk, guest chair, and section of the shelving. Here’s what it looked like before.


You could call the furniture, uh, traditional, but that might be too much of a complement. What bothered me the most was the giant empty white space above the desk, full of holes from previous students.

I turned to Pinterest to find a remedy. After searching through lots of the same ideas over and over again, I came across a clean and simple way to hang fabric from Nalle’s House. The materials needed can be found in any hardware store. Each banner uses 2 dowel rods (mine are 18″ long each), 2 eye hooks, a piece of ribbon, and a scrap of fabric. I wavered back and forth for a while between 3/4″ and 5/8″ dowel rods. Either would have worked just fine, but I went with the 5/8″ rod due to the measurement’s sewing relevance. I got an employee to cut the dowel rod to length for me. The fabric came from my stash. I was given these two upholstery fabric samples from an unnamed source who used to work at a furniture shop. They were the perfect size for this project.


With all supplies in hand, the construction only took me about an hour per banner. First, I finished the four sides of the fabric. Then, I folded the top and bottom edges over and stitched across them to form pockets, large enough to slide the dowel rod through. On the top dowel rod,  I screwed in eye hooks on either end. The last step was to tie a piece of ribbon to each of the eye hooks so that it can be hung up.


These banners make my office feel much more homey to me. The guys I share my office with probably don’t care – or haven’t noticed – but I like that my office has a little style now.  This might be optimistic, but I think they even tie in the orange chair a little bit for a midcentury modern feel.  Too much? Maybe.

Pattern: n/a, inspired by Nalle’s House DIY Outdoor Art
Fabric: 2 upholstery fabric samples
Notions: 4 eye hooks, 2 36″ long, 5/8″ diameter dowel rods, ribbon
Cost: $4.96  dowel rods + $1.24 eye hooks + fabric, thread, and ribbon from stash = $6.20
Time: 2 hours

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