This homeowner gets creative with fabric leftovers, paper scraps, and bits of everyday ephemera to craft a designer look for less.
The homeowner hired a couple of carpenter friends to fashion built in bookshelves (an expenditure she could afford thanks to her thrifty accessories and DIY ottoman). The inexpensive lamp base is topped with an old drum shade recovered in scrap fabric.
DIY Tip: Crown molding stained a rich dark brown frames a door size mirror that leans against the wall.
Make a Ruffle Pillow
A cinch to stitch in an hour, this pretty pillow requires less than a yard of fabric.
Gather materials: 1/2 yard of solid-color cotton quilting fabric (44 inches wide), 1/4 yard quilting cotton in four different fabrics (for ruffles), sewing machine, thread to match fabrics, pins, 16-inch pillow form.
1. Cut the solid-color fabric into three pieces: a 17x17-inch front and two 10x17-inch back pieces. Cut the four ruffle fabrics into 2½x35-inch strips. You need nine of these.
2. Turn the 10x17-inch pieces wrong side up. Fold one of the 17-inch edges over 1/4 inch, then again 1/2 inch. Iron folds. Do this with one side of each piece. (This will be your finished edge and the opening to slip your pillow form into the sham.)
3. On each fabric strip, sew a gather stitch 1/4 inch from one long edge. Gather to be 17 inches long. Pin a gather strip onto the right side of the front piece, positioning it 5/8 inch up from the bottom. Sew, following the line of the gather stitch. Continue pinning and sewing on strips to within 3/8 inch of the top of the front piece.
4. Finish sewing the pillow sham. Lay the front piece ruffle side up and the back pieces right side down so they overlap slightly. Pin the outer edges and sew the pillow together with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Turn right side out, iron, and stuff the pillow form into the sham. Finish by hand-stitching the opening closed.
Wall Art That Wows
In the living room, inexpensive frames around scraps of wallpaper embellish the mantel.
DIY Tip: Try fabric, wrapping paper, or even linens for another twist on this budget friendly artwork.
To combat the cold, electronic look of her TV, the homeowner found an ornate frame that fit the room's feel. After applying molding to the back of the frame to add depth, she nestled her TV inside the frame, bringing together the entire aesthetic of the room.
This papier-mache bowl cost pennies to create and provides the perfect catchall for living room stuff. Under the bowl, a piece of scrap wallpaper lines a simple retail tray.
Make It: Papier Mache Bowl
1. Cut or tear strips of magazine, newspaper, wallpaper, etc. Old blueprints were used here.
2. Make papier mache mixture: Stir together 1 part white glue with 1 part water.
3. Coat paper strips in the glue mixture and form over a bowl covered in plastic wrap. Apply two to four layers of paper. Let dry.
4. Remove plastic wrap and bowl. Use fine grit sandpaper to smooth the edges for a finished look.
The homeowner replaced dated, '80s era green marble around the fireplace with an affordable glass mosaic tile from modwalls.com. The green marble found a new home as a walkway in her garden.
DIY Tip: A downed sycamore in the homeowner's neighborhood became fireplace art. Corral cut logs with colorful fabric strips and you have an instant art piece.
Too Cute Kitchen
The homeowner stapled fabric scraps to canvas stretchers from the crafts store to fashion wall art. To protect her plaster walls, she used 3M Command mounting strips to hang each piece. Below the art display is the dining room table she and her mom repainted. A close look reveals lingering bits of blue paint. Fabric scraps make colorful coasters or an abstract table runner (see next slide for how to make your own).
Make a Rag Rug Doily
A basic coiling technique is all it takes to turn skinny strips of fabric into a striking take on a doily.
1. Cut or tear scrap fabric into thin strips. Roll them up bandana-style and coil into tight circles. Pin, then loosely stitch the coils together.
2. Customize! One circle works as a coaster. A few stitched together make a sweet centerpiece.
You'd never guess this handsome buffet was once a baby's changing table. The homeowner whipped out her old standby a can of matte black spray paint and updated its icky yellow color to something much more mod. Replacing the hardware completed the look. The purple-tone art above is a wallpaper sample wrapped around scrap board. A blooming bouquet of paper flowers creates dinner party ambiance and never wilts .
Be Our Guest
The homeowner uses leftover and remnant wallpaper to add fresh personality and seasonality to her guest bedroom. She cuts three equal size lengths of wallpaper, then simply hands them from bulldog clips. The bedside chair has been recycled countless times with spray paint and fabric scraps.