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 about 7 years old. My first re-purposed item was made from old jeans. I made mod pillows from worn out dungarees. I would cut off the pant legs and sew the body 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 sew bright rainbow colored yarn across the tops of the back pockets, and stitch designs like hearts and polka dots all over.
I also had some interesting re-purposed furniture as a child. My favorite was an old phone booth that I used as a play space. When I was about 12 years old, my parents gave me an indoor tire-swing chair. It hung from the ceiling and was made from an actual tire. It was not only cool, but it was so fun to swing around in. 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 and it was a seating conversation piece for sure.
Fast forward decades later, and you can still find me making pillows out of odd things like tapestry style throws. As a window treatment designer, I have made window coverings from common decorative items. My favorites are table runners, fabric shower curtains, and coverlets, which are great for a coordinated look in the bedroom. It reminds me of the movie “Sound of Music”. I fancied the way Julie Andrews made the children a complete set of matching play clothes out of the old 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 before you throw something away, think creatively and see if you can give it some new life. Re-use and re-purpose when you can!