For the Home: Decorating With What You Own

03 Mar5 APT Collage

Inspired by a Glamour article titled The Case for Shopping Your Closet, I’m trying to spend 2015 Shopping My Stuff. Meaning– before I go out and buy some Necessity of the Moment, I’m going to take a look at what I have. I’ve noticed, for example, when I start to covet a particular sewing pattern or outfit or shade of nail polish, if I take a moment to go through what I already own I find something fairly similar or even something else entirely better. And bonus points– it’s my stuff so it’s free.

I tried to keep this way of thinking in mind as I decorated my new apartment. Granted, most any move requires purchasing new things– who wants to move their old trash bin? Hint: not me. But it’s far too easy for me to forget about what I already have in search of the shiny new thing. So, I’d like to present some of these ideas to you…

Cafe Curtains (tutorial)

It is no secret that I’m not a big fan of wearing pants. But I am a big fan of abundant light in my apartment. Now that I’m in a street-level unit, I thought my days of feeling the sun on my haunches was over. I’ve been an adult for almost a dozen years and yet, I never realized how expensive curtains are (and they only come in packs of one?!?!). Plus, the windows in this unit are so wide (69″), I’d have to buy two each. Screw that, I like to spend my money on non-essentials.

So I improvised some cafe curtains using only one 84″ x 54″ panel from Target ($20) and some pink stretch lace from FabricMart clearance ($2 per yard).

Cut the curtain in half the long way (hot dog style, if you will). If you’re using the same size I did, it’s now 84″ x 27″. Keeping your lace fabric folded, cut it about two inches shorter than the curtain, then cut the fold so you have two pieces of lace (in my case, it’s approximately 82″ x 24″ since the lace was 54″ wide).

Pin one length of lace to one of the curtain halves, wrong sides together. Serge, stitch, or zigzag the raw edges together.

03 Mar 5 curtains1

Lie the sewn pieces out flat. Make sure the edge of the lace lines up a bit shorter than the hem of the curtain:

03 Mar 5 curtains203 Mar 5 curtains3

The top of your curtain should be curving over the lace. This will be your rod opening (heh heh). Pin it.

03 Mar 5 curtains5

Sew along serged seam or seam allowance so that it lies flat.

03 Mar 5 curtains6

Iron it out.

03 Mar 5 curtains7

Then, bask in the sunlight knowing none of the sidewalk pedestrians can see you.

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Make another one with the other half for your sewing room!

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They look really nice from the outside, too:

03 Mar 5 curtains1103 Mar 5 curtains10

Hope that makes sense! Here are some other things I did to spruce up the new place:

Display clothes

Why only display pictures? Hang some ric-rac up and clothespin expensive and now-too-small undies above the bedroom closet…

03 Mar 5 undies on display

Replaceable photo display

If you’re like me and too commitment-phobic for a hallway gallery, nail some pom pom or other trim to the wall and hang your photos with clothespins (I once bought a large bag of clothespins, ok? They seemingly never run out). Switch out the pictures when the mood strikes.

03 Mar 5 photo pom poms

Doodad jar

I easily get emotionally attached to inanimate objects. By piling them into a clear jar, I can display things others might call “garbage,” such as a special-occasion champagne cork, rocks picked up along the beach, and the metal measuring spoons that I accidentally ran through the disposal and now look like an art piece.

03 Mar 5 doodad jar

Shabby chic shelving

Shelving is pretty easy to put together, even if screwing them into the wall most likely means losing some of the deposit (which always seems to happen anyway, even when I’m a model tenant, so I might as well do as I please). The wood boards were offered by a co-worker, I simply sanded and stained it, and drilled in some 50-cent brackets. If you don’t have a co-worker with unwanted wood (heh heh x2), someone on Craigslist always seems to have…free…wood boards.

03 Mar 5 shelving 1

So what if the corner shelf doesn’t match up exactly? That’s why we call it shabby chic.

03 Mar 5 shelving2


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