Re-purposing for Home Decorating

As an only child growing up, I recall having a lot of time alone. To alleviate my boredom I gravitated towards making things. You could say I started young as a do-it-yourself gal, as I must have been only about 7 years old.  My first re-purposed item was from old jeans. I made mod pillows from worn out dungarees.  I would cut off the pant legs and sew them shut, stuff the insides, then close up the waist. Voila, it was a plush denim pillow. The fun part was stitching decorative designs all over. I would use bright rainbow colors across the back pockets and sew hearts and polka dots anywhere I saw fit. 

I also had some pretty interesting re-purposed furniture as a child, like a old phone booth that I used as a play space. Then when I was about 12, my parents gave me an indoor tire swing chair made from an actual tire. I thought that was the absolute best seat ever, and it was fun to swing in fun too. I guess when you have a mom that’s an interior designer, your room can be pretty awesome. She also decorated the living room with interesting antiques, including a set of old wooden theater chairs. There were four connected in a row as seating. It was a conversation piece for sure.

Monogram Cornice using pillow covers, quilt and ribbon

Fast forward decades later and you can still find me making pillows out of odd things like throw blankets. I especially like to use tapestry style throws. As a window treatment designer, I have made many window coverings from re-purposed household items. My favorites are table runners, fabric shower curtains, and coverlets which are great for the bedroom. It reminds me of  the movie “Sound of Music”. I fancied the way Julie Andrews made a complete set of matching play clothes for the children out of the old tapestry and velvet drapery panels.  They were disposing of them so she remarked, “It’s was perfectly good material!”

I am all for cleaning out the clutter,  but next time before you throw something away, just see if you can give it some new life. Think creatively and re-purpose when you can! 


  1. Debbie Reply

    I would like to start by saying. Very clever and functional idea. Before ordering I have two questions. Would there be a way to add returns so you don’t have a pleated look on the ends and is there a way to hang the cornice flush on the wall so you don’t see a gap. Thanks, Debbie

    • dana Reply

      Hi Debbie-
      The product is not designed for side returns. I have made returns as an experiment but it is not easy to do as you have to miter the corners and the angles have to be very accurate. Also it is not as simple to wrap and tuck the fabric. To make the cornice flush you would need shorter screws. It is possible to use angle irons, L-shaped cornice screws or something similar that you could probably find in your local hardware store.
      I hope that helps!

  2. Debbie Reply


    Thanks for getting back to me. Are your saying that the wrap and tuck of the fabric is not easy to do? Because the videos I have seen on GVC they are making it look very easy and that was a concern of mine. Is the reason the hardware does not allow the cornice to lay flush against the wall due to the fabric that needs to be tucked?

  3. Dana Barone Reply

    Hi Debbie- Covering Deco Wrap with fabric is extremely easy. Anyone can do it, 5 year old children have done it. What I was saying is if you put returns on the ends it becomes a little complicated. The screws provided are long enough to allow for clearance of a window blind or thick molding for example.

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