What to add a bit of style to you home? Consider fabrics, a simple way to add flare to your home without having to redecorate. Here a four wonderful ways to jazz up your house with fabric.

Embellishment for cushions

To jazz up throw cushions and cushion covers, look through your sewing box for interesting and unusual embellishments. Ribbons, lace, braid, buttons, beads, tassels, bits of fabric for appliqué, wool, netting, old handkerchiefs andantimacassars, stencils and decorative stamps for fabric painting – practically anything that won’t break and will wash can perk up a plain cushion cover. Here are four simple, quick and virtually cost-free ideas:

  •  Tie on a satin or grosgrain ribbon. Two metres or less will wrap around a 30 x 30cm cushion and let you tie a pretty bow. Tack under the bow and on the back of the cushion.
     
  •  Sew a band of lace or decorative trim around the hem of an open-ended cushion cover. Seam the trim to cover the seam line at the opening.
     
  •  Sew a row of mismatched buttons in any direction – vertical, horizontal or diagonal – on one side of a tailored cushion for a fun, trendy look.
     
  •  Sew pretty tassels to the corners of a cushion or sew or glue tasselled fabric trim around the cushion edges.

Make a quilt cover with sheets

Sleeping under a down-filled quilt is blissful, but washing or dry-cleaning it frequently can be costly. Make a protective cover out of cheap white cotton or a couple of flat bed sheets that are correctly sized for your quilt. Pin the sheets together, right sides facing, and sew bottoms and sides together with a straight seam. Turn the cover right side out and slip it over the quilt. The simplest closures are sewn-on ribbon or fabric-tape ties, Velcro, or press-studs.

Now you have a low-cost quilt cover that can be washed as often as you like. Under normal conditions, your quilt will need washing just twice a year.

Save a too-short curtain

If you’ve just moved house, don’t throw away the old curtains if they are too short for your new windows; just add a bottom panel. If you have a collection of fabric remnants, search through them and be adventurous. If not, look out for some similar-toned fabrics at a furnishing fabric shop. For one panel, measure the width of your curtain and add seam allowances. Now work out how much you need for the length you want, including seam and hem allowances. Remove stitching from the curtain hems and trim. Cut the extra fabric to fit your measurements. Seam, hem and then hang up your ‘new’ old curtain.

A plush bath-towel shower curtain

If you enjoy the feeling of thick towelling bath towels, use them to make a luxurious shower curtain – with a waterproof liner, of course. Two large bath towels are a similar size to a standard shower curtain. Use bath towels that you already have: white bath towels create a spa feeling, while bright colours can add punch to a plain bathroom. Don’t seam the towels; simply overlap the edges and sew together, stitching down the selvage. Add eyelets near the top (eyelet kits are available from most fabric shops). The standard number of holes is twelve To determine the spacing, measure the full width of the sewn curtain and subtract 10cm so that you leave 5cm free at each side. Divide the remainder by twelve.

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