Tuesday, March 20

Family Room Gets Some Repurposed Color

Giving your family room a fresh splash of color may be cheaper than you'd think.

For just under $15 
I was able to repurpose some great thrift store finds. 

One fabulous table cloth which inspired it all, three coordinating sweaters, six clean pillows 
and I had what I needed for a nice fresh look!

Here's to hoping my thrift adventure will encourage someone else to be adventurous!

To get started, if you've never been thrifting, here are some pointers:

Know your local thrift stores. They are not all created equally and different ones will have different strengths (furniture, clothing, housewares, linens). Some are just down right gross. Can't go wrong with a good DAV or Goodwill, but I also love locals like Hillcrest Ministries
So clean and they get the best donations!

Start checking in with your favorites every couple of weeks. This is a bit like a good hunt! And you'll begin to become familiar with fair prices and what you can find where.

When buying anything with fabric like pillows, clothing, furniture, linens, lampshades, stick your nose in it and really give it a good sniff! What does it smell like? That can tell you a lot about where it came from! And I always check for pet hair. Does it have pet hair? You may want to pass! 

Now down to business!

I started by checking inside each pillow to see if they have a second case under the decorative ones. 

Some did.

And some didn't.

Once I knew what I was working with, 
 I went to work using my seam riper and tore the decorative cases open.

I didn't damage them, because I would need them as a pattern for the new pillows.

And I didn't completely dismantle the pillows without a second case inside. 
I just opened one wide enough to pull the stuffing out, turn it inside out, and then used it as my pattern. 

(When I was done making the pattern, I put it all back together.
I needed the decorative casing for under my slip cover. Read below.)

Now for making slip covers.

These pillows are for our family room where LIFE happens!

My boys watch cartoons, wrestle, play wii, drive cars, play ninjas, eat snacks, sneak snacks
all in this room!

 So I decided I wanted slip covers 
which can be easily removed and cleaned.


And they're pretty easy.
No zippers.

For the front, just lay your old pillow case over the fabric, pin, and cut.

But the back piece will be made of TWO pieces that overlap over the old pillow case pattern. 
I chose to overlap a little more than 1/3. That worked reallywell.

Don't forget to hem the exposed edges before you sew the whole case together.

Here's a great tutorial if you need more help!

Working with sweaters

The table cloth was easy to cut up.
Just one big 'ole piece of fabric!

But the sweater cases took a bit more thought.

I started by cutting the bottom off the sweater to form the front piece and one of the overlapping pieces of the back. This allowed me to use one of the sweater seams to my advantage! 

Always looking for those short cuts!

(Note: For some reason my overlap was way more than 1/3 in this picture. Not sure why.)

The back of the sweater had a lot more left over fabric to work with because of the high neckline.
So I cut my last piece out of the back.

Note: I'm not sure I could have made slip covers from the sweaters if my pillows hadn't been so skinny.
You may have to make a plain pillow if the pillows are larger.

You might also check out these sweater pillows for some inspiration. 
They inspired me!


Once I had my cases sewn, I began playing with embellishments.

I ended up making lots of yo-yos.
I found this great tutorial for making them.

The ruffly navy flower is my own invention. 

If you'd like to add those, you'll need to use sweaters or t-shirts 
because the edges of those fabrics won't unravel on you.

Cut a circle and fold it in half.
Then fold it like you would a fan.

Pinching the bottom to hold it the folds in place, put a few stitches through about 1/3rd up.
 Be sure to go through all the folds. You don't want any falling out. 
You can then cut the bottom off.

To make it fluff, pull the folds apart a bit.
When you attach it to the pillow, stitch it down in several places to open it up a bit.

And there you go!

Coordinated color!

From bare...

... to fresh cleanable color


Perfect for a family room where life happens!

Hoping you find easy ways to brighten your family space and make it welcoming, too.

Happy thrifting friends, BE ADVENTUROUS!


  1. well look at you, fancy pants!! i'm inspired, this has been on my to-do list for a long time.

    1. Oh you must try! And post pictures! It was super easy and it's really nice to have some new color in there!