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.
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.