Do you have (or admire) vintage linens and textiles, but aren’t sure what to do with them in your home? Creating that one of a kind look is core to those of us who love the look of a collected home. By using vintage linens you can craft that custom look that makes your home unique to your taste and lifestyle. Today is a fun post collecting a few ideas for adding a custom cottage vibe to your home on a budget. I have a mix of no-sew and sewing projects. This post features a few of the projects, for a full list check out the video “10 Vintage Linen DIY Projects“.
No-Sew Vintage Linens Projects
This first project is super easy! One day while browsing an antique shop I spotted this antique Indian hand-block wall hanging that was being used as a table scarf. It was crammed on a shelf and loaded with dishes. I loved the colors, the peonies, and the animals. The booth owner was only asking $5 and even though I didn’t know where it would go I did know it would work somewhere. At the time, I was focused on giving my pantry/laundry area a face-lift. Here is a dark, dingy corner that needed life and character.
This $5 wall-hanging was the perfect inspiration for this cheery, old world vignette! Everything else in this arrangement was “shopped” from other areas in my home. It still amazes me how a little elbow grease and style vision how an area can be affordably transformed! This was a lesson to me when at antique shops… Often the booth owner is a great stylist and has layered in the textiles is a way that seems so natural that they often blend in. Now I love being in my pantry/ laundry room!
Another simple DIY project that doesn’t require sewing is to adhere a favorite vintage textile to the sides of a cream colored lampshade. I thrifted this silk scarf for $1.00 with this in mind. as you see here I’ve tossed it over the shade to get an idea of how it would look and really like how the designs can be centered on a panel of the shade, and how the border on the scarf can sit on the edge of the shade and look intentionally designed. I would guess that a spray adhesive would be the best route for attaching the scarf to the shade. Such an inexpensive, custom look!
Reupholstering Vintage Chairs
This next DIY project was a great score! Here are a pair of Duncan Phyfe chairs currently listed on Charish.com for $875 ~ definitely outside my budget… Then I spotted a pair of antique Duncan Phyfe chairs at the thrift store for $8, now you’re talking! One of the chairs has a neutral pinky-beige upholstery that wasn’t amazing, but it was in good condition. The other chair had a lovely rose bouquet in needlepoint. either way for $16 they both came home with me.
On a previous day, from another thrift shop I had picked up this vibrant needlepoint for less than $3. Again, I didn’t have any idea, at the time, what I would use it for, but I knew it worked with my home and would come in handy somewhere… Obviously, when I brought home the chairs the fact that one of them already had a needlepoint cover gave me the idea to recover the other chair.
This project was surprisingly simple. I removed the seat from the plain covered chair (there were four screws underneath), then trimmed the needlepoint to fit and stapled it in place. Now this chair with the dark rose seat cover is my favorite and has become my sewing chair. These chairs, with the purchase of the needlepoint, cost less than $20! Not only are they pretty, but as they have a similar profile to our dining room chairs they will come in handy when we need extra seating.
As you might guess, re-covering these gorgeous chair seats is on my list (once I find just the right fabric)!
Our Patio Curtains
Another easy use of vintage linens with great cottage style impact is using flat sheets as curtains. In this case I was working on a patio makeover and a friend of mine, Miss Robin, suggested creating and indoor/outdoor look with curtains on the corners of the patio. I found four vintage twin sized flat sheet for $1 each with lovely green and blue roses, which were perfect for the color scheme we were going for. Matt helped me hang these in the corners with some short curtain rods. Then I tied them back with 1.5 inch burlap ribbon from a home decor store. This entire project cost about $20 and simply transformed our patio!
Here are the before and after photos.
Lastly here is a simple sewing project. Hot pads, or over mitts are great if you have a small amount of cherished vintage fabrics. From my scraps I made a simple quilted hot pad. This is a small project with short, straight lines. This is also a nice project as you can do the quilting on your home sewing machine. It’s also a fun project to play with mixing colors and patterns. These handmade hot pads make great birthday and Christmas gifts!
Sourcing Vintage Linens
Besides my local thrift stores, my favorite place to find vintage linens is on Etsy. There is a huge selection and variety available and you can ofen find great prices. Here are a few of my favorite shops:
Friend, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and gleaned some ideas for how to use the vintage linens and textiles you have collected for your home.
Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely day!