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. FoldĀ 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

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!

OfficeChairRedo