Quick and Easy Fabric Projects
Floral Lampshade and Cafe Curtains
Breathe new life into a boring lampshade or cafe curtain with iron-on transfers. Try a collage approach, as shown on the lampshade, or print the same pattern several times to create a repeat, as shown on the cafe curtain.
Go to the next slide to learn more about ironing on transfers.
How to Iron On a Transfer
Watch to learn how to complete an iron-on transfer project.
A collection of comfy pillows creates a tempting curl-up-and-relax spot. Re-create this ivory pillow by cutting a wool sweater or throw to the desired size and stitching it into a pillow cover. To prevent raveling, use a no-fray product on the edges after cutting the sweater. Insert a pillow form and hand-stitch the cover closed.
Quick Fabric Art
What do you need to create art? A yard of fabric, a canvas, and a few basic tools is all, it turns out. Watch and see how!
This cozy rug made from old T-shirts looks right at home in any room. Cut canvas backing into a circle. Fold edge of canvas circle under 1 inch. With a heavy-duty needle in sewing machine and settings adjusted for heavyweight fabric, sew folded edge. Cut T-shirts into 2-inch-wide strips that are 6 inches long. Fold T-shirt strips in half lengthwise so each measures 1x6 inches. Place center of a 1x6-inch strip on canvas edge. Sew across center of strip. Without removing canvas from sewing machine, abut a second 1x6-inch strip against the first. Sew across center of second strip. Continue adding and sewing strips to canvas edge until edge is covered. Continue sewing strips in concentric rings until canvas is covered. Shake rug and hand-brush strips outward.
Give old dining room chairs new life with this simple seat reupholstery technique. Watch and learn how.
Transport dinner guests to a coastal retreat with a table setting anchored by these pretty napkins. To get the look, combine fabric paint and water until the mixture achieves a watery consistency. Use the paint mixture and a flat brush to paint stripes across white napkins. The color should bleed slightly to achieve a watercolor-like appearance once the paint mixture dries.
Transform an ordinary canvas slipcover with one (or more!) of these creative ideas. From a yard of colorful patterned fabric, you can fashion a seat cushion, a simple band to embellish the bottom of the slipcover, and a flower where the ties meet in the back of the chair.
To re-create the monogram, print out a letter in the font and size of your choice. Press the slipcover. Place slipcover on a work surface with a piece of cardboard between the layers. Position dressmaker's carbon paper on the slipcover according to manufacturer's instructions. Place the monogram on top of the carbon paper and use a pencil to trace it. Use a paint marker in the color of your choice to paint the monogram. Use the paint marker to embellish the perimeter of the monogram. Let dry.
The pretty petals adorning this lampshade add texture and dimension. To do it yourself, dip-dye bits of unbleached canvas drop cloth in the color(s) of your choice. Cut 2- to 3-inch-diameter circles from the dyed cloth, fold the circles, and glue the folded circles to a lampshade. Give the shade an ombré effect by placing petals with the most saturated colors on the bottom and working your way up to the top of the shade with ever-lighter hues.
In the Pocket
Showcase and store your favorite magazines in fabric pockets. For one fabric pocket, cover a piece of plywood with upholstery-weight linen fabric. Fold a second piece of the same fabric and use a staple gun to secure it to the fabric-covered plywood for the pocket. Frame the piece with wood trim attached with wood glue and pin nails. To embellish the piece, tuck ephemera, like this cute owl postcard, under the frame or clip pretty cards to the pocket edge.
Boost the style of plain glass vessels by slipping them into something more comfortable. Stretch a piece of felted sweater around the vessel, right side in. Pin for a snug fit, then remove and sew where pinned. Cut off the excess, then turn it right side out. Add embellishments, such as buttons and fabric florets, to provide texture and dimension.
Grass Motif Pillow
A few scraps of fabric are all you need to create this three-dimensional effect. The grassy design is a fanciful layering of felt and cotton scraps that were cut into grass-blade shapes. The first two layers are secured with fabric glue. A single line of stitching down the middle of the top layer creates blades with a breezy texture.
Go with the Flow
Re-create this modern-style chandelier in no time. Spray-paint a wire hanging basket (used for plants), dip-dye fabric strips, and drape the strips over the wire framework in a cascading pattern.
Heart of Gold
This button-embellished pillow is a quick and easy project that surely will add wow to any room of your house. Simply spray-paint a collection of mismatched buttons gold (or another eye-catching hue) and stitch them in a heart shape onto a pillow.
Stamp It On
When used as stamps, veggies such as celery, cabbage, and bok choy produce pretty floral shapes. Two celery stamps gave this once plain-Jane seat cover oodles of style.
To make a celery stamp, cut a celery bunch 2–3 inches from the end, then wrap tape around the end to hold the stalks together. Let the taped celery sit for 20 minutes. Pour paint onto a paper plate. Use a small paintbrush to paint the cut ends of the celery. To stamp, firmly press the painted ends onto the fabric seat cover, then remove them without sliding. Rpeat as needed to create your desired motif. Let dry.
Go to the next slide to see a step-by-step demonstration.
How to Make Stamps from Vegetables
Watch to see how you can make stamps from vegetables and add designs to fabric.
Make use of old fabric scraps to create artwork that's reminiscent of a vintage quilt. Cut fabric into varying-size square or rectangular pieces. Lay out the pieces on a blank canvas. Cut and add additional squares and rectangles until you're happy with the design. Starting in a corner, lift a shape and apply decoupage medium to the canvas beneath it. Press the fabric firmly onto the canvas. Repeat for the remaining pieces. Let dry for at least 2 hours.