Planning to redecorate? Rather than heading to the local home-goods store, break out your sewing machine! Custom pieces let you create a unique look and feel without breaking the bank, and it’s a great opportunity to learn new skills and get creative. Need a little inspiration? Here are 16 ideas to get you started.
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- Throw Pillows
Great for beginning and experienced sewists alike, throw pillows are quick projects that can add the finishing touch to your decor, or change up the look of a room without a lot of effort. For a textured look, try smocking or other fabric manipulation techniques, or add fun appliques for a pop of extra color.
- Lined Curtains
Sheer, floaty curtains are great for filtering light and keeping out prying eyes, but sometimes you need something a little more substantial. Lined curtains are perfect for blocking light and can even help lower your heating and cooling costs by helping to insulate your windows.
- Table Runner
Whether it’s a family dinner or a special occasion, table runner is a special touch that's easy to create. Use your favorite quilt piecing techniques for interesting patterns and textures, or simply hem a length of beautiful fabric to create an understated runner that's easy to toss in the wash.
- Embroidered Wall Hanging
If you enjoy embroidery, whether by hand or by machine, why not display your work as art? Use a range of inexpensive wooden embroidery hoops in different sizes to create a gallery-style display on your wall. If something bigger is more your style, use a quilt-hanging rod to display your work.
- Rag Rugs
This is an excellent scrap-busting project, though you can also use other fabrics, like upcycled t-shirts. There are plenty of ways to make rag-rugs out of fabric. One of the easiest is to use a core of soft cord, like cotton clothesline, wrapped in the fabric of your choice. Use a heavy-duty needle and thread in a zig-zag stitch, and assemble your rug by coiling the cord into a flat mat, stitching as you go.
- Custom Shower Curtain
Add a little flair to your bathroom with an easy custom shower curtain! For a soft, vintage look, add layers of ruffles to the bottom of a pastel curtain, or go glam by adding a scattering of sequins or rhinestones.
- Throw Blanket
This is a project that makes a great gift as well as a fantastic addition to your decor. Use a weighty woven fabric like woolen flannel for an upscale look, or opt for the plush luxury of minky for something a little more casual.
- Custom Pet Beds
Though you may not think about Fido's bed as part of your decor, it can easily be an eyesore. Why not create something that looks at home in your space, and gives your pet a place to curl up in comfort? Removable covers make cleanup a breeze, plus you can always change the color if your design needs a refresh.
- Handmade Quilt
Quilts are certainly a labor of love, and not always the best for beginning sewists. They can be absolute showstoppers, however, so if you're willing to invest the time and patience, a handmade quilt is a beautiful centerpiece to any design, whether it's a lap quilt in the living room or a full-sized quilt spread over a bed.
- Tufted Headboard
This project requires only minimal sewing, but can be a great way to use up a leftover length of sturdy fabric. Cut a piece of pegboard to the desired size, and layer on upholstery foam, batting, and your fabric of choice. Use a large tapestry needle threaded with cord to create the tufted look by stitching buttons to the headboard, tying these off through the pegboard at the back. Staple down the edges of the fabric, and hang your finished headboard.
Slipcovering your furniture is a much less expensive way to get a whole new look. Use muslin to create a pattern for the chair or sofa to be recovered before starting in with your chosen fabric. Sturdy materials like canvas and denim are tough enough to wear well, but still light enough to toss in the washer.
- Color Block
Color blocking is a great way to add a pop of color to your space without introducing noisy patterns. Pillowcases are an excellent way to practice this technique. Use two or three different colors to create panels with large blocks of color before assembling your pillowcases. Contrasting colors give a bold look, while complimentary shades are more subtle.
- Kitchen Appliance Covers
Tired of your counters looking cluttered with appliances? Give them a cohesive look with quick and easy covers. Quilted covers give a retro look, and add an extra layer of durability that makes it easy to toss covers in the wash. Choose a fabric with blend of natural and synthetic fibers; synthetics tend to shed stains better than natural fibers, but they can be risky around high heat.
- Floor Cushions
Give the kids' somewhere to lounge after school, or the materials for excellent pillow forts, with thick, squishy floor cushions. Use a combination of upholstery foam and batting for the interior of the cushion, cut into your desired shape. Add piping to the cover for a fine finishing touch.
- Duvet Cover
A duvet cover is like a slipcover for your bedding— an easy, impermanent way to give your space a whole new look. Though colors and patterns may be limited, you can even make them out of store-bought bed-sheets for a quick and easy DIY.
- Dining Chair Cushions
Upholstered dining chairs may be classy, but they're also tough to clean if a glass spills or plate is dropped. Instead, opt for separate cushions that can be cleaned or even replaced, and they're easy to make yourself. Choose foam rather than fiber to fill your cushions, as this will hold up better to repeated use.