"There is great satisfaction in making something out of nothing, in restoring some old cast-off to a place of usefulness and beauty, or rescuing some discarded piece of wood, stone or metal from the dump and turning it into an object that has purpose and charm in your home."
~ Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking
I have shared awhile back how I have a goodly supply of tablecloths which don’t fit my tables (it is a long story and has something to do with very hot water 🤦♀️ ). Since I love all of the fabrics, rather than donating them, I decided to repurpose them. Here is the story of one... a neutral, striped, cotton cutie. I believe I shared a few of the projects in my monthly newsletter but I thought it would be nice to place them all together in one post for inspiration.
The top part of this tablecloth was cut in half and used as a curtain in my stand-alone pantry. To remedy the piles of bulk flour, sugar and so forth on the floor, we had bought a cabinet to store our excess in at a second-hand store.
We painted it up nice and pretty and attached a spring rod with this "curtain" to keep the area looking tidy. Now I feel we have a nice storeroom area that blends in with the house.
The second piece was cut into four dish towels. I had this lace from grandmother’s stash that I used for a romantic trim contrast. I call them prairie dish towels. I love how they came out and may give my second set as a hostess gift. I love this type of repurposing because you can't find something like this in the stores and it appeals to my old fashioned taste.
I refashioned another part of the tablecloth into these homespun potholders... I liked the idea of making potholders as the fabric coordinates with my dishes and would look nice on the dinner table. They certainly didn’t come out as planned with my humble sewing skills. So, when all else fails you label it “homespun” and declare it a success. To make them, I cut the fabric to my desired size and placed a piece of a cast-off bath towel in the middle for more thickness. Then I stitched around the whole thing with a machine and hand stitched around the edge with contrasting embroidery thread. No money was spent.
The last piece was repurposed into this oversized, reversible dish drying mat. I had only enough of the striped tablecloth fabric left to make one side of the mat. I used a piece of a thrift store flannel sheet to cover the other side making it reversible! I was really excited about this project because I always use a dish drying mat and the store bought ones are too modern looking for my taste. It was nice to create something to my liking while costing little.
To prepare it is similar to the potholder: I cut the fabrics to my desired size and placed my other half of that cast-off bath towel in the middle for more thickness. Then I stitched around the whole thing with a machine, turned it right side up and stitched around the entire edge once again. Have you ever made a dish drying mat? How did you go about it?
Up and down goes the needle, followed by the thread, the ritual of sewing has been the same for centuries. There is solace in a simple task, that has the same basic rules, which permits you to fashion what you please in the comfort of your own cozy home...
What about you? Do you like to repurpose old linens? What do you like to make with them? From one unused item to many makes me very pleased! Do you have anything gathering dust that could be given a new purpose and meaning in your home?
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.