How-to’s: Turning a graphic-patterned bed sheet into curtains

Whenever I go thrifting, I always venture into the section that houses bed sheets, remnant fabrics, pillowcases, or coverlets that I can wash and reuse for my upholstery projects.  A few weeks ago, I found this bedsheet that has a cool southwestern, maybe Turkish pattern in the perfect color combos.  You know, I used to be a solid color, no patterns kind of girl.  But my play it safe personality had since gone out the window.  I’ve been looking for more patterns and textures to test out in our house before presenting to clients.

Now the thought of reusing bedsheets for its actual purpose is just pure distusting (no offense to anyone that does that) but my wandering mind would wonder.   I just loved the pattern and colors so much that I knew I’d figure something to do with it.  And I think it costs around three bucks.  The size of the sheet, which I think fits a king bed, is perfect length and width for two curtain panels.

If you know the basics of using a needle and thread, you can hand sew curtains.  Or you can use fabric glue/strips.  But the steps are quite simple.  You lay the sheets flat, fold it in half and cut it into two even panels.  What I also did to thicken the curtains and provide some privacy and shade, I also took a white king flat sheet, cut that in half and use as curtain liners.  ( Actual curtain liners aren’t too expensive either).

Lay the white bed sheet behind the patterned panel and fold over the patterned panel so that the white sheet falls underneath it, creating a seamless curtain look.  I used a needle and thread to sew the panels together and then ran that the panels through a sewing machine (a new skill that I’ve recently picked up).

The curtains are done and ready to be hung.  You can see that I left a little puddle on the floor but if you want the curtains to just touch the floor, you can seam it by hand while it’s hung.  Here it is in my boy’s room.


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Vintage kilim rug

I picked up a wonderful Turkish kilim wool rug for my etsy store, which I loved.  The colors are neutral and wonderful.  It’s has a bit of a Southwestern pattern in it, which goes well with our decor.  I took it outside and gave it a good clean with some dishwashing soap and water.  Obviously, it’s pre-owned so it has it’s wear and tears, which gives it it’s vintage characters. It now sits in my den and balances the dark couch quite well.  Sadly, I don’t want to part with it but I can’t keep hoarding stuff and be poor (and the inventory at the store is running low).  While I research and price it correctly, I’ll just enjoy it for a little while.

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Friday affordable finds: kitchen and bath tiles

Today, I stopped by a remnant yard that sales leftovers from construction projects.  If you ever decide to renovate or remodel your home, I would suggest stopping by these  thrift stores to look at what you can find before hitting up your local home improvement stores.  Chances are, you’ll find boxes and boxes of your favorite flooring options, fixtures, kitchen cabinets, plumbing supplies, you name it.  I saw someone buying enough wood flooring to cover their entire house!

I quickly browsed around the stone yard outside and I scored 13 boxes of subway tiles, all for $130.  That’s $1 per square feet, folks.  You couldn’t beat the price (they usually sell for $7 per sq. ft.) but most importantly, I love the clean, classic look of these tiles in bathrooms and kitchens.  I’m definitely saving these for my favorite kitchen renovation (possibly our next house)?

If you can’t visualize what I’m talking about, check out these beautiful baths and kitchens I found via Pinterest.  You can see that the tiles pair well with both modern and vintage styles.

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Sources for bedding

Whew.  It’s been a hectic last few weeks with work and mothering.  Daylight savings is no bueno with a baby when trying to schedule work around it.   I did a few projects around the house but haven’t even gotten a chance photograph them.   With spring in the air, I’ve been thinking about getting a lighter color bed set for our room.  It’s always nice to have an extra set in the linen closet for times when you get too busy to do laundry.

1. This linen duvet cover and shams from Land’s End.  Linen is great if you’re going for the casual look since it can get wrinkly but that’s how I like my bedding.  Who has the time to iron bedsheets?

2. Okay, who haven’t heard of bedding from Dwell Studio?  They are everywhere and look amazing.  I have been eyeing this Draper set for a long time.

3. Using a white paisley pattern gives the room a country cottage vibe and puts me  into a farmhouse somewhere quiet, outside the city.

4. My last option would be to buy this coral fabric and making my own coverlets and shams.



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Tips on restoring vintage artwork

If you find a good artwork, don’t overlook the ugliness of  the frame.  You can easily re-stain the wood frame or paint over it.  In this piece, I chose to paint over it since the frame was in really bad shape.  It seems easy enough but don’t forget to follow these simple steps below.

1. Prep work – you don’t want to ruin the art especially if it’s an original.  Therefore, be sure to cover up the art with newspaper and use painter’s tape to tape off the edges between the art and the frame. If the frame has holes in it, make sure to use wood filler and sand it off before painting.

2. Choosing the right stain or paint color – don’t pick a color for the frame that will clash with the artwork or one that stands out too much.  You want the art to be the center of attention.  In this piece, I chose a dark navy color to tie in with the navy color on the canister in the picture (I wanted the red apples to stand out.)

3. Painting – apply at least two coats of paint to the frame to get a uniform look.  Usually, I let it dry out for a couple of hours to see the unevenness of the paint job before applying a second coat.  While the paint is still wet, take off all the painters tape.  This is very important  to not let the paint dry otherwise once you take the tape off, it will take some of the dry paint away with it.

4. Choosing a place to hang your artwork – I learned that in order to keep a room cohesive, don’t use more than 3 colors in that room.   The same goes for hanging artwork.  Choose art that shares the same color hues as the room you’re going to put it in.

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New item on Etsy

After opening a store on Etsy for two weeks, I’ve gotten multiple inquiries on the few items up.  Finally, this past weekend, I sold my first item! Pretty excited I must admit.  This got me on a roll and today, I posted another item in the store.  Please check it out!  I love this chair and did a two-toned upholstery spin on it.

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Friday affordable finds: the sofa

I love fun sofas.  Whether I want the room to look neutral and moody or vibrant and exhilarating will depend on the couch I put in the room.  At home, we have three seating areas (thanks to living in Texas).   In the den, we have a huge, dark leather sofa for tv watching.  In the living room, we have a white, tufted one  for a more light and airy feel.  In our master suite, we have a slip-covered couch good enough for naps.  I often look for clean lines and neutral colors so that my art pieces will stand out.  Lately, though, I’ve gotten more adventurous and have scoured for fun, colorful sofas as well.


1. This sofa is as neutral as you can get.  Put it against a cheery colored wall or a dark blue painted one to set the mood.

2. Macy’s have really good deals on furniture, especially if you wait for holiday discounts.  This set is so fun and retro. If you can’t tell how amazing this couch is, is because here in the picture, they have it against a neutral beige background.  Imagine this baby against a deep blue wall or a crisp white one with a wooden sunburst mirror.

3. Believe it or not, but you can buy an Ikea sofa in basic white and have it slipcovered through Bemz, a company that makes covers specifically for Ikea furniture.  Now, you can have a tailored piece that you don’t see in every home.  Here, I chose the Karlanda couch covered in a grass green cotton fabric.

4. Who doesn’t love a classic Chesterfield sofa.  These can go for as much as $10,000 if you land on a vintage one.  And for those of you with children in the house, leather is a worthy splurge for durability.  Plus, if there’s one thing I’ll buy used is a piece of leather furniture because it can easily be cleaned.  If you have time and patience, you can find great ones on eBay or craigslist.  I’ve seen some for around $2-3K.

5. This one from CB2 is pretty slick and compact for city-dwellers.

Anyone have good sofa finds that they’d like to share?


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collected, and now up on the wall

There’s no rhyme or reason to these art pieces, except that I love them and have been collecting them from old and new places.  It makes our living room larger than it already is but a cozy sort of way.  I am starting to realize that when I purchase an item on a whim, it turns our more beautiful and I love it even more (like that painting of the trailer home in the woods shown in the last picture).   This is a sign that I need to take more risks in life and work.

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Before & after: upholstered slipper chairs

This is my first upholstery project, and I think I bit off more than I could chew.  Thanks to Lynne at L + J Furniture, I was able to completely turn these slipper chairs around in two days.  After stripping the first chair off, we measured the fabric and realized that there wouldn’t me enough to cover both chairs.  Since this fabric was ordered online by my friend who owns these chairs, I couldn’t reorder in time got completion.  I rushed off to High Fashion Home and chose a complementary fabric, which turned out better than I had anticipated.    The chairs are much more interesting than if we had covered them all in the citrine geometric pattern.



You can see how we were able to have the birds face each other, a detail I really love.

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Liem’s nursery: camping days

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