This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in September 2012.
I love a nice tablecloth, although not always for the obvious purposes. When I spied this striped number at Ikea, I picked it up for a few reasons:
- It was big. I knew I could cover a lot of ground with this IKEA tablecloth, a rectangle of fabric sized 57″ x 94″. It allowed me to make what you see in this post, and I still have extra for when I decide to make something else!
- The olive green matched my color palette perfectly, while the white stripes added a new pattern and dimension.
- It was radically inexpensive. It’s hard to find a nice piece of printed cotton canvas for just $19.99.
There certainly was more wrapped in that little Ikea bundle than you’d believe:
Because the olive green color flowed so well with the rest of the colors in my home, I set out to make a few new home accents. You too should consider this challenge if you find an inexpensive tablecloth or sheet of fabric at a secondhand store; a little fabric can go a long way. In the past, I’ve used sheets like this to make bedroom curtains and shower curtains, woven rugs and casual dresses, tote bags and dog beds, but this sheet was going be stretched in a new direction:
1. New pillow cases:
This newly sewn set of shams was quick to make, and helps to pull in some of the olive green into other rooms of our home that don’t feature that specific color prominently. The pop of color serves as a nice accent amongst the grays, blues, and whites in our bedroom, and as an extra cushion in the white sunroom. And they were easy to make too.
Quick tutorial: Take careful measurements, or use an existing pillowcase to form a template on your fabric. If you don’t want to deal with installing a zipper, add a few inches extra to one edge of the fabric, and then overlap the edges to create a little access hole in the back of the sham. Sew around all four edges, flip right-side-out, and stuff with your pillow form. If the flaps on the backside seem loose, adding a button or set of ties can help keep the case closed nicely.
2. New placemats:
It’s not a far stretch of the imagination, turning one table covering into another table covering, but because we don’t often use full tablecloths and usually opt for washable placemats, converting some of this already-heavy fabric into a set of 8 matching placemats worked really well.
Using a cutting board as a template (something just a little bigger than a traditional placemat), I cut out six to match in size, and then hemmed the edges by rolling them in twice and stitching the edge straight with the sewing machine. The finished pieces look great with our dinnerware, and add a fun little pop of color to our tables both indoors and out.
(If you’re left with smaller scraps, you can use the fabric to make cloth napkins too.)
It would have been one thing to frame a simple scrap piece of this fabric (pretty idea!) but I took it a step further, turning a few pieces of fabric into framed canvases in two different executions:
In one, I painted on top of the fabric to create a custom print with a cursive letter J, but in the other frame I decided to experiment by layering other textiles to create a scene, in this case, using paper elements trimmed from an old Anthropologie catalogue featuring Kiev Caroler Ornaments that translated nicely as singing girls on a hillside. And who wouldn’t like a little bunny?
Consider all of the uses for such a large piece of fabric! What would you make for your home?