6 Fresh Uses for Beautiful, Vintage Linens

 

Have you ever been to an antique store or thrift store and found some beautiful, sometimes hand-embroidered, linens? They could be curtains, handkerchiefs, tablecloths, anything. I love finding gorgeous pieces like this, as they seem to hold a lot of love. However, sometimes these linens are stained or faded with age. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still use them! Often, these damaged pieces come at a discounted price. I’ve gathered some ideas for how you can use these linens in your own home.

1. Display Handkerchiefs in Embroidery Hoops

This is one of my favorite DIYs. All you need is a few embroidery hoops. You can stain them, paint them, or even buy colorful ones. If you have found a vintage handkerchief with some great embroidery, but damage on one section, you can choose to frame only the intact section, giving you a sweet use for something that may have been discarded.

 

 

The rosy patterned embroidery hoop actually came from a partly stained handkerchief. Now its beauty is lighting up the room again!

2. Adding Handkerchiefs as Accents

I have a beautiful handkerchief from my great-grandma. It has little butterflies embroidered on one section. Since I wanted to keep this handkerchief intact, I chose to use it as a bit of interest on my bookshelves. You can apply this same idea to a vanity display or centerpiece for your tables!

 

 

3. Reusing Table Runners

If you are a parent like me, you probably know how messy little kids get when they eat. I found a nice table runner at an antique store, but some of the stitching was a little worn. I loved the colors, and, since it was already imperfect, I knew it would be okay if anyone spilled on it!

 

 

On a later trip to the same store, I found a matching, smaller runner. I am currently using this as a draping in a basket on the table.

 

 

4. Use Doilies and Handkerchiefs in Craft Projects

Love a doily, but not sure what to do with it? It can be used as an accent to your decor, or you can use it to spunk up a craft project! There are several pins on Pinterest that involve using lace as a stencil when spray painting or for pressing in clay projects. You could also put these pretty little pieces to work in your scrapbooks or wedding decor.

My mom did a great project with a doily for my wedding. She draped it in the background of a vintage suitcase. Guests were able to put their cards in the suitcase. Since I had a vintage-themed wedding, this was perfect!

 

 

5. Fold Faded Blankets at the End of Your Bed

I love chenille! I think it is such a great, textured fabric. I found a chenille blanket in one of my favorite colors at a local antique store. Unfortunately, some sections of the blanket were very faded and discolored. This is where strategic folding comes in handy!

Since I was just going to use this blanket as an accent piece, I folded it so only the portion of the blanket that wasn’t faded was showing. The best part about this find? It was only $9 and is a huge blanket!

 

 

6. Stitch Vintage Handkerchiefs Together to Make a Set of Curtains

This last idea I found in a vintage inspired magazine. All you need is a large collection of handkerchiefs and a sewing machine.

Measure out the dimensions of the curtains you would like to make, and arrange your handkerchiefs so they will fit these dimensions. Then just pin and stitch away!

 

 

I did this set of curtains in just one night. Since I was keeping it for myself, I wasn’t too worried about perfection. I love the boho feel!

How do you use vintage linens? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO…PB

A Pop of Color on Drab Chairs

A few years back, I was in love with Monica’s table set on Friends. I loved the multicolored chairs mismatched with the table. Watching Friends again recently, I’ve found I love the whole style of the apartment in general!

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Isn’t is so cozy cute?!

I wanted my own shabby chic tablescape! I went to several different antique stores and got a few different sets of chairs. A couple of them were pretty beat up and looked like this:

The most important thing for me when buying chairs is how sturdy they are. I have bought several chairs with loose spindles that are seemingly impossible to fix. (No matter how much nailing, gluing, and clamping you try!) These chairs passed my sturdy test!

In order to paint them, I quickly sanded and cleaned them. I did not use a primer as I didn’t mind if the paint chipped (shabby chic!).

Then, I simply picked out a few sample tubs of Valspar paint and went to town painting! My favorite is the bright blue.

What color would you paint your chairs?

XOXO…PB

Furniture Overhaul 3: Updating an Office Chair

Every year, my town has a cleanup week where residents can put their unwanted garbage by the side of the road to be picked up. It isn’t always useless stuff either. Many people put out furniture that they no longer need. I love this week! I take my husband with me to go look for anything worthwhile by the side of the road.

This past year, on our way to church, we walked past the pile by our condo with no luck. On the way back from church, I found the perfect little office chair in that same pile! It was a blessing that we had walked by that pile twice within two hours. I knew then that the upholstery had not been damaged by the rain. I had my husband sniff the chair for smoke residue, and we were in the clear!

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Definitely not the sightliest chair in existence!

Earlier that week I was mourning the fact that most office chair were now made with plastic. This guy had a solid metal base! The perfect fit for my desire to have a timeless piece replace our leather monster. But this thing had the ugliest fabric. Ooffda.

The first thing I did was remove the cushions from the frame using an allen wrench and a screwdriver. It was actually easier than I thought it would be!

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The next step was to spray paint the metal frame. I figured white would look nice. If it chipped, I would just get the shabby chic look I loved!

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As you can see, I covered the wheels with painters tape to avoid having to get them perfectly painted. I am not the best at spray painting, but I wasn’t too concerned since this was going to be my personal chair.

Next step, remove that horrible fabric! If the cushion underneath was in bad condition, I was going to replace the cushion with new foam. LUCKILY, I did not need to go to that hassle. I hate having to do that when reupholstering.

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That fabric smelled bad! Since I didn’t have a carpet cleaner, I sprayed and wiped the original cushion underneath with carpet cleaner, water, and Febreze.

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Once it was all dry, it was time to add new fabric for the chair. Instead of sewing and adding in the cushion curves, I opted to just cut big squares and staple them down. The previous fabric actually eventually formed to the cushion’s shape, so I figured that would be the case with this as well.

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I used a staple gun and secured the fabric around the bottom of the seat. Any place where the fabric covered the screw holes I simple cut out.

For the back of the chair, this process was a bit more complicated. The old fabric had been glued together to create a seam in the back. I opted instead to use the staple gun and gather the fabric in the place where the metal back would cover. You can see the imprint of the back of the chair on the cushion in this next photo.

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I only stapled in that spot, making sure not to cover the holes for the screws again.

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Finished with the fabric, I put the chair back together! I love it so much more than any chair you can buy today that costs less than $100. Next time, I hope to use a bold, vintage looking floral fabric. I can’t wait to give it a shot! Since we are currently on a budget, I only spent about $8 on fabric for this piece.

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Total cost = $7 for paint + $8 for fabric + FREE chair = $15

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Here are some tutorials from other blogs for office chair redos:

Remodelando la Casa

Dream a Little Bigger

Issamar Sellene Design

Share your own experiences in the comments!

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Making Your Bed Cozy

I love bedding. Absolutely love it! It’s actually a terrible addiction of mine. I see a cozy bed and I immediately want my own bed to be its twin. I actually have a Pinterest board just dedicated to comfy looking rooms:
https://www.pinterest.com/buttercupcycled/soft-and-cozy-rooms/

My own bed has achieved max-cozy level in my opinion. It took a few years of collecting and trying different bedding styles.

The first thing I did was buy this amazingly huge comforter from Amazon. It is from the Lush Decor collection, and I bought a king-size for my queen size bed. It says dry-clean only, but a large enough washer gets rid of this need.

 

 

I had a solid wood headboard that I bought from a thrift store for around $30. I liked the style, but I wanted to paint it. Luckily, my husband is cool with my feminine side, and I got to paint it a bright pink. I can’t remember the exact color, but I got it from Lowe’s and I think it was Valspar’s antique rose? I got two samples of it mixed in order to cover the headboard completely. I actually didn’t need to prime the headboard before painting.

 

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In order to get the distressed look, I sanded the edges so the original wood stain came through. I then used some antiquing wax on the detailed portions and in the corners of the wood. The wax had a brown tint to it. I brushed a little on, then used a clean rag to clean off any excess. If you do too much distressing it looks a bit obvious.

 

As you can see in the photo above, I also added twinkle lights to the headboard. The light came on a wire, so I could bend it in any shape I wanted. Any part of the strand that needed to be secured I held down with Scotch tape! Nothing fancy here!

The pillow sham on the right side was also an Amazon find!

 

The other shams were from various Etsy stores. Buying a pillow form is inexpensive, and you can find all sorts of shams suited to your taste.

One of my favorite features that pulls the bed together is the giant pink chenille blanket. I got this beautiful find from an antique store for only $9! It has fringe on the ends and a lovely color. Part of the chenille blanket is actually discolored, but since I was using it as a blanket for the end of the bed, this wasn’t an issue. These things are warm and hardy!

 

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This bed just makes me want to snuggle!

*Note: I do use affiliate links to help support my stay-at-home income. I hope you are able to use these links to get the products you need to do your own projects!

Furniture Overhaul 2: Shabby Chic Soft Pink End Table

Have you seen those large, intricate end tables at thrift stores lately, circa the 70s, I believe? They are not the best to look at in their dark, dated condition, but they can be updated easily with a coat of paint! I went to a thrift store a couple years ago and got one for only $1! For solid, non-laminate wood, this was a STEAL!

Unfortunately, when I did this diy, I didn’t get a good before picture of the end table, but I got a few pics of the process. I can say that it looked similar to this end table when I started!

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I chose a light, blush pink for the paint color. If you haven’t noticed, that’s one of my favorite colors. After a few coats of paint it looked like this:

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You can see that it had drawers instead of doors, like the table in the first picture. I took out the drawers and painted them separately. If you keep them in the table while you’re painting, it just won’t look good when they’re pulled out. Next came the distressing! I used this Valspar antiquing glaze. It works perfects if you want to brush it on, but make sure to wipe off any excess so it doesn’t look intentionally distressed.

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The glaze sets perfectly into the detailed section of the drawer! After I finished glazing, I did a couple coats of polyurethane, then I spray painted the hardware gold! Here is some gold spray paint you could use: Krylon 1000 Premium Metallic Spray Paint, Gold.

I was able to sell this beauty at a local festival. I loved making it!

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*Note: I do use affiliate links to help support my stay-at-home income. I hope you are able to use these links to get the products you need to do your own projects!

My Blush Pink and Gold Vintage Wedding

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I got married last September, and I thought I’d share some photos from the wedding ceremony and reception! I wanted a vintage feel and collected lots of different antique and thrift store pieces to make it all come together. I ended up saving a lot on my decor because of this. All photos are courtesy of Kate Heiberger Photography.

I used an antique cricket box for our rings. The best man held it for us during the wedding.

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The inside had an old cushion in it, so I recovered it with a blush pink fabric. I LOVE the color of the box!

Baby’s breath and tulle were hung in the aisles. I got my inspiration from Pinterest, but there actually wasn’t a tutorial I could link! My mother-in-law helped me get the dried baby’s breath, painted it gold, and we cut lengths of tulle to drape over the end of the pews. It was actually perfect because we weren’t allowed to use anything to secure the bows to the ends of the aisles.

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My cake was soo beautiful and delicious! We got it made by the Hy-Vee bakery and had them add the almond flavoring they use in their wedding cupcakes! My florist made a beautiful cake topper.

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I had brass candlesticks and candelabras on ever table and vintage mirror trays as the centerpieces. Antique perfume bottles and vintage cards were sprinkled around the different tables as well.

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My mother made a perfect card hold out of a vintage suitcase. She made the sign for it with scrapbook paper. It looked perfect!

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The pink champagne was served on a large gold mirror. The cocktail tables had sweet little books I bought from andyourbirdisgreen on Etsy! She does an amazing job of painting hardcover books.

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Don’t forget the candy table!

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It was the best wedding my husband and I could ask for.

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*Note: I do use affiliate links to help support my stay-at-home income. I hope you are able to use these links to get the products you need to do your own projects!

Turquoise Vases DIY

Have you seen the beautiful vases that are circulating around Pinterest? I know I loved what I saw, but when I clicked the link, there were no instructions for how to make them! So I attempted to make my own, and loved the results.

What you need:

  1. Glass Vases
  2. Spray paint in a turquoise color, or another light shade
  3. Liquid gold leaf, like this kind from Amazon. –This stuff is not safe to be used with contact with food.
  4. Sandpaper (120 grit is fine)
  5. Rubber gloves
  6. Spray paint topcoat (matte)

Here’s what I did:

  1. Buy some glass vases from your local thrift store. The more intricate the crystal pattern, the prettier the result.
  2. Clean the vases off so you have a clear surface to paint on.
  3. PUT ON GLOVES
  4. Pour a few drops of the liquid leaf into the bottom of the vase. Have the vase on a surface that can get paint on it, and turn the vase upside down so the liquid in the bottom run down the sides of the vase. Swirl the vase if needed to get as much as possible of the inside covered.
  5. Paint a thin layer of liquid leaf on the outside of the vase. This is an optional step, but will help the gold shine through better.
  6. Let the liquid leaf dry.
  7. Spray paint the outside of the vase in the color of your choice. It is a good idea to wear gloves in case any rogue spray paint shoots out. Make sure to get the bottom of the vase, and sometimes this is missed when spraying the outside.
  8. Let the spray paint dry.
  9. Sand off spray paint on any of the glass ridges, and to the desired amount you would like. The more the sandpaper, the more aged it will look.
  10. Spray paint the final layer of clear matte topcoat.

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Teacup Pincushion Inspiration

When I am on Pinterest, I often look at the DIY tab for inspiration. I can’t take credit for all my different diys, often I see them and want to share my experience with them with you. The blog where I found this diy can be found here.

I found a great teacup at the thrift store, once again, for $2! If you want a teacup that has its own plate, you can use that too. Antique stores are guaranteed to have tea cups, but you will pay at least $10 to $15 each.

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This is my teacup 🙂 It has a very wide cup, so it can hold lots of pins in the cushion. Here are my steps:

1. Pick out a favorite fabric and cut a circle out of it. You should only need a fat quarter of it. I did not measure my circle precisely, I just winged it with scissors. The first circle I cut out was too small, but I made a second circle for the cushion that was perfect.

2. Run a threaded needle with stitching all around the edge of the fabric circle. It’s a simple in and out stitch. The stitching is shown in the picture below, but the thread is white, and may be a bit difficult to see.

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4. Pull the needle tight, so that the stitches come together to form a tight bunch. Make a knot at this point to keep the stitching pulled tight for when you stuff it.

5. Stuff that thing to bursting! Be careful when stuffing to know put too much strain on the thread opening. I found that just using one finger worked best.

6. If you would like, to keep it in place easier, but some hot glue around the bottom of the pincushion so it keeps it’s place in your teacup. Then, push the cushion into place in your cup.

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Enjoy!

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XOXO…PB

Thrift Store Finds

Like I said before, I love thrift stores! One of my dad’s favorite things to do when we go shopping at a thrift store is to find the one object that no one will ever buy. I’ll have to post about those adventures sometime. But for now, I wanted to share with you some great finds from when I’ve been shopping at my local Goodwill. Since I love gold, you will see the color often in my purchases!

 

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I love that I have a plaster take on the Last Supper. Compared to the many 70s prints of it available, I much prefer this in my dining room!