Re-Use and Re-Purpose for Home Decor

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.

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 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!

Post your thoughts