Material Girl

If you’ve gone into fabric stores recently, you’ve probably noticed how expensive fabric is these days. So in my thrift store journeying, I always pause to take a gander at the bedding section. Not only is there a possibility for the kind of textiles that work wonderfully in a romantic home as-is, but vintage sheets and curtains-- with a little out-of-the-box thinking-- can be reused in tons of ways.

Heavy brocade and velvet vintage curtains work well for reupholstering projects. In fact, the very chair I sit in to design this web site is covered in a fabric shower curtain. (Shhh, don’t tell anyone.)

But lately I’ve discovered vintage sheets offer a whole new realm of possibilities. Cut with pinking shears so they won’t unravel, they can be used as soft, pretty cushioning for items inside gift boxes, replacing standard tissue paper. They can be used in place of tablecloths or, secured with a vintage pin, can become easy-to-clean chaircovers. Draped artistically, they can become cheap window valences. Or hung outside, they can be a quirky shade from the sun.

Because, as I’ve mentioned before, I am all thumbs when it comes to folding standard wrapping paper, I’ve discovered that seasonal fabric tied into a sack with a fancy fabric ribbon becomes an easy, attractive way to wrap oddly-shaped gifts.

And thinner fabrics like cotton sheets or satins, with a little craft glue, are effective for covering things like paper magazine holders, boxes or photo mats.

Plus, you can’t beat the distinctly old-fashioned look of some vintage fabrics. I bought this one sheet a few weeks ago simply because it brought back memories of the sheets my grandmother used on the guest bed when I’d visit. I don’t have a plan for it yet, but at $1.00 a panel, it was worth buying to set aside for the right project