Have you ever seen something in a thrift store and you had to buy it, even though you didn’t know what you would do with it? That happened to me a few weeks ago – let me tell you what I did! Upcycling came through and I made something that looks amazing. I almost feel like I cheated because it was so easy! I made pillows with thrifted pillows and napkins – seriously – no kidding!
So, hubby just got a new job (yay!) and along with the job came a new office. Although I’m sincerely glad he has the office, let’s just say it’s rather…..ummmm….. beige! I have tried to be very creative with decorating – not going too frou-frou but still making it look inviting. It’s quite an interesting little tight rope to walk LOL
He also inherited a 1970s couch. It’s one of those that has the solid wood sides that look like pallets and blue cushions covered in something similar to burlap. It holds up extremely well….. but as far as comfort? Not so much. However, it was free and part of the office so hubby asked I could make cushions to go on it and it would at least help some.
Enter my impulse thrift store purchase. A few weeks ago, I found these napkins. I really liked them but couldn’t figure out for the life of me what I was going to do with them. I laid them down probably 3 times and finally figured “What the heck – they’re only a dollar for all 4 – if nothing else, we need new napkins around the table!” So into my cart they went to stay.
I brought them home and added them to my way-too-high “someday I’m gonna” fabric pile. You know the one – “someday I’m gonna sew those into a tote bag,” or “someday I’m gonna make curtains from that.” Yep – that pile – I see you glancing over your shoulder guiltily! Anyway, I figured I would eventually need them and could be smug in the future when I pulled them out, ready to use.
When hubby said for the third time “Have you gotten those cushions finished yet?” I figured I had better get my fanny in gear and make them before he decided to just go buy some. I will admit that I went looking at the local Goodwill first but couldn’t find anything that would match. However I did find two purple pillows. These had feather pillow inserts – and they were $2! These inserts are very similar to what I found at the thrift store – and I only paid $4 for both! I figured I could use those and cover them with fabric I already had at the house – no sweat!
I didn’t get to start on the project right away. You know how life is – you gotta do all the “must dos” first – laundry, supper, cleaning up, finding the children :-). Once all that was finished, though, away to my sewing machine I went.
I started by trying to simply cut the purple fabric away from the insert, thinking to myself “That will be easy.” Ummmmmm – nope – apparently those particular inserts were SEWN to the fabric! You can see from my pics that I made a bit of a mess with that before I decided to scratch the idea and simply cover the purple LOL.
When I went looking for fabric, what was the first thing my hand landed on? The blue napkins from a few days ago. I had four of them, and when I laid them over the pillow, lo and behold, they were the PERFECT size. Enter the smugness I spoke of earlier 🙂
I began by sewing the napkins with wrong sides together. In other words, I sewed on the right side of the fabric to make an envelope of sorts. You can see what that looks like – I like the little “flange” it made because I felt it made it more masculine.
Once I had them sewn together, I slipped the purple pillow into the “envelope” and then sewed the bottom part together, again on the right side, on the hem. I was thrilled – it looked professional, at least to my eyes!!
I stacked the pillows on the couch for hubby to take to his office the next day. When he arrived home from work, he saw them and said “Hey, those are great! Where did you buy them?” My day was officially complete – he thought they were store bought! LOL
So what’s my moral for this long winded story? Always look at things in an out-of-the-box, unusual way. Napkins as pillows? Old pillows as inserts? Sewing the right side of the fabric? LOL Things do NOT have to be done the way they always have been, nor do they have to continue to live life as what they were intended to be. When it comes to trying to be frugal, I’ve learned that items can usually have 2, 3 or more lives!
Tell me – what have you upcycled recently? I have some other upcycling ideas I want to share in future posts, but I would love to hear what YOU have done, or what you might want to hear about!