Sep 21, 2012

Fall updates using fabric.

I often see great fabric remnants at Crate & Barrel outlets, interesting napkins and tablecloths at import store like Pier I, and swatches of fabric at Joanne Fabrics.  Take a look at some some great ways to use swatches you collect without spending a lot. You can do many yourself, but don't hesitate to ask for help, buy what you need, and do it right the first time so you love the results.  

1. Add a bright fabric wall hanging.  A great way to brighten a bedroom, small bath, a multi-use dining room-office, or a dark hallway is to hang a colorful piece of fabric. You may have a quilt or remnant already. There are several ways to do it. Determine whether you want a single wall-hanging or a vignette of small ones.  Purchase inexpensive frames in a color that works with your space. Cut the fabric to fit and hang. Two is to create a hanger, much like a towel rod, to drape a large piece or quilt over. You can also get a window rod in the right size, and using clip on rings, attach your fabric. 

2. Cover existing pillows with a slipcover. You can use fabric, napkins or be creative with place mats and table runners. Create a pocket - sew or use an iron-on adhesive tape to make one - and slip your pillow inside. Slip stitch the pocket closed, use a zipper, or add snaps or buttons if you are able.  Alternatively, tie colorful scarves around the pillow to create seasonal style.

3. Create a new piece of furniture. Cover an old piece with fabrics.  Cut pieces of fabric evenly and cleanly so the edges are straight and without frays. Using a fabric glue that dries clear, paint the door or drawer and wrap fabric around.  You can paint over the top of fabric edges to affix well. Make sure you can still close doors and drawers. You can also use a heat and bond fusable bed to iron the fabric on.

4. Dress up a chair.  Add a skirt to the underside of a chair with staples. A good staple gun can be found for $15-20 at craft and big-box hardware stores and had many uses. If the chair has value, don't use staples, instead attach the skirt to the underside of a chair cushion - that you can also make yourself - and admire the results.  Sewing is best if you don't staple.

5. Cover a window.  For a simple, colorful look to a window that you won't need to open during the winter, or one where the view is not nice year-round, hang a colorful fabric from the top, and add a window rod at the bottom for interest. You can sew, fuse or even staple the tabs to hang a rod at the bottom.