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.
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!