On a daily basis I am a jeans and t-shirt girl; however, were I to come into a glut of time, money, and fashion awareness, I would gladly dress and decorate like a diva. And, so I am pleased to announce that we (the husband and I) have a matching and decorated room (just like grown ups and real divas as shown on TV).
Thanks to my desire to be frugally green (that means saving the planet and saving money) the entire project cost about $260. That is $160 for designer organic sheets and an organic duvet cover with matching shams, and just under $100 on fabric and supplies for curtains, pillows, and recovering our lamp shades. Up front that may not seem cheap (and I am sure someone could do it for less!), but I could have easily spent that much on 4 miss sized curtains from Target or JC Penny and still been left with my old and worn duvet cover that Ive had for over a dozen years!
First I found the duvet cover and sheets. I tried to buy them locally and failed. I considered buying the organic sheets sold by Target, but wed bought a set when our son was born two years ago and they became holey (filled with holes, not religious) after a year and a half. My previous sheets (that are still in great shape, but fit a full and not our queen bed) were hand-me-downs from my mom and are over 10 years old. And, they have yet to acquire any holes! I was insistent on organic given that we spend a good 8 hours per night in our bed and cotton is one of the most pesticide intensive crops. Eventually, I found a designer set (whatever that means) at a discount price on Amazon, so I bought them.
Next, I checked out a few local fabric stores and finally found a striped pattern that matched the duvet cover and would both warm-up and brighten our bedroom. I used these for window curtains and two European Shams (this is a term I just learned, so I couldnt pass it up, Google it if you are unsure). I also bought a simple chocolate brown fabric that matched our sheets to make into closet door curtains and to recover our lamp shades. We have Asian style bedside lamps that we found about 4 years ago and whose lampshades were damaged (bent and smudged) in our move this summer.
The curtains were pretty simple: just measure your window, measure your fabric, hem on all four sides, leave an opening for the curtain rod and ta-da! you are done! The pillow inserts I repurposed from some old fleece couch pillows, so I just lay the fleece covers on the fabric to use as a pattern, sewed three sides shut and left a third open for stuffing in the pillow (I plan to seal the 4th side with Velcro or a zipper, but have yet to do so).
The lampshades were a little more complex and scared me half to death in the making, but turned out really well!
- First, I lay one side of the lamp shade on a piece of paper and traced the outline. I cut out the pattern and compared it to all 8 sides of the lamps (two shades with 4 sides each).
- Next, I used chalk (from my sons chalk board) to trace the pattern on my brown fabric and cut out the pieces. As I cut out the pattern I cut down the chalk line with the knowledge that my fabric pieces would end up slightly larger than my lamp shade. This was intentional, so that I could wrap the fabric pieces around the edge of the shade to the interior for a more finished look.
- With all my fabric cut out I laid a shade on its side, spread sewing glue (not basting glue) on the side facing up and placed the fabric on top. At first I was terrified that this would not work as the fabric glue (white) showed through my brown fabric, but it dried clean and with out a trace!
- Once I had applied all 8 sides I cut 1 inch wide strips of matching fabric from my pillow/curtain fabric. I measured the length of each ridge/corner on the lamp and cut the strips with about an inch of extra length on each end. I then folded the strips in half long wise, so they were 1/2 inch wide and ironed them to make a crease. Next I laid the strips open and folded in the raw edges to meet in the middle at the ironed crease to finish or hem with the iron my strips.
- I then used a paint brush to spread fabric glue on the ridges/corners of the lamps and applied the fabric strips to create coordinating trim.
- Lastly, I realize that this would make a real tutorial with pictures, but I didnt plan for this project to work, so I did not document each step. If I had any more lamp shades to cover Id cover one just to show you want I did step by step. Perhaps Kellie (whos eternal craftiness served as inspiration) will cover some lamps and make a proper tutorial!
I can however provide pictures of the final product!
Curtains for our walk in closet that lacks a door:
I chose this angle for the lamp shade, because on a few sides I did an S pattern with the glue. When the lamp is on you can see the S. Fortunately, on most of the shades I smeared the glue around and the smeared glue does not show through the shade!
Inside the shade: note that the edges are not perfect and see the bent/crumpled spot in the corner? This used to be visible on the outside of the shade!
The whole Shebang:
Last, but not least, I should mention that all the colors, patterns, themes in this room came from my desire to use this picture frame that I painted during a get-together at a paint your own pottery store last December! It is hard to see in our bedroom lighting, but the blue, brown and red in the frame are repeated in the curtains, the sheets, and the pillows!