New Linens for Less

Good morning everybody!  Today I wanted to share a guest post I wrote for Cassie of Primitive & Proper a couple weeks ago.  It’s all about getting creative with linens and using them to really polish off a space, and I thought you’d be interested in reading in case you missed it the first time around.  Now before I lose you non-sewers, let me just say that a few projects on my list don’t require thread at all!

We’ve all been there.  You search high and low for the perfect curtains or pillows you’ve been imagining in your head, only to find out that they don’t exist.  Never fear!  Here are a few creative ways to find your perfect linens without breaking your budget.


Sew them yourself. When I was working on our guest room, I envisioned a bright citrus-y floral pattern for the curtains and accent pillows.  After months of looking for pre-made curtains, I finally found and ordered the perfect fabric online to sew my own. The curtain materials I bought ended up costing about what two neutral lined panels would have cost me – but my curtains made me 100x happier than any store-bought panels would have!

Sewing Lined Curtains IMG_7388

Since then, I’ve changed the color scheme in this room and sewed a new pair of curtains. This time around I didn’t bother sewing tabs for the back of the panels – instead I just hot glued on some ribbon and hung ’em up!

Adding Tab Backs Guest Curtains Angle

Better yet, turn a flat sheet into a pair of curtains. So you say you hate to sew?  If you are lucky enough to track down your perfect curtain material in sheet form, why not cut the flat sheet in half, Heat N’ Bond (or straight stitch) the side seams, and hang those bad boys up? That’s essentially what we did for our dining room curtains, and nobody would know they started out as a $10 sheet.

Dining Room Curtains

Shower Curtains

While you’re buying flat sheets, pick up one for a new shower curtain. Are you convinced I’m crazy yet?  When we were working on our bathroom remodel, I spotted what I thought was my DREAM shower curtain online.  It was $40 + shipping, but I thought totally worth it until it arrived and was the worst shade of pistachio green you’ve ever seen!  I sent that baby back asap and dreamed up a DIY solution using a flat white sheet.  Our new shower curtain cost about half what the previous one did, and as a bonus, it’s the perfect shade of yellow!

Flat White Sheet DIY Shower Curtain

Instead of using a shower curtain in your bathroom, turn it into a pillow. Say you’re not necessarily working on a bathroom redo, but rather wanting to spruce up your couch with some new throw pillows.  Don’t pass by those shower curtains too quickly! Sometimes the patterns and colors you’ll find on a $20 shower curtain will be exactly what you’re looking for, and the fabric will be extra durable to boot.  I was thrilled when I found the perfect fabric for our living room pillows on a chance stroll down the shower curtain aisle at Target.

Shower Curtain Pillow


Think outside the box when it comes to pillow fabric. Sometimes buying fabric in curtain form can be much less expensive than buying it by the yard.  The heavy gray linen I used on our Euro shams in our master bedroom wasn’t from the fabric store.  It was a leftover Ikea curtain panel.  It was cheaper, and now our new pillows match our actual curtains perfectly!

Euro Shams on Bed

You don’t have to know how to sew to make a pillow from a placemat. Fabric placemats, pillow stuffing, and a hot glue gun can be your best friends when it comes to making pretty (and pretty cheap) pillows.  I made two accent pillows out of placemats using this method.  The pillows only cost a few bucks to make, compared to the $10 and up I would have paid elsewhere.

Yellow Placemats Placemat Pillows

The moral of the story?  It’s ok to get creative with fabrics in your home, rather than settling for off-the-shelf linens.  Sheets can become curtains and placemats can become pillows.  Think outside the box when it comes to fabric, and you (and your wallet) will be pleased with the results!

Have you used fabric for a unique purpose in your home?  Any fabric-hacking tips to share?


The Shabby Nest The DIY Show Off

This entry was posted in Crafts, Home Decor and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to New Linens for Less

  1. Regina Helms says:

    What a great idea, I love your colors!
    have a great day,

  2. Marcie says:

    Well we must be kindred spirits … I have the same napkins-turned-pillows on my couch 🙂 It must be the yellow-love 🙂

  3. Amber says:

    Where do you buy your material?

  4. I’m totally loving the shower curtain. I’ve been looking for a black and white striped shower curtain and couldn’t find anything I love. This may be the solution.

  5. Great tips! Your shower curtain is still one of my faves. And I totally agree about the placemat pillows – I’ve done them where I sewed the seams with thread and where I’ve just fabric glued the seams, and both are super easy!

  6. Morgan says:

    I just received my guest room curtain fabric in the mail yesterday and I’m so excited you did this post today! I still hadn’t decided what I wanted to do to hang them up — grommets? curtain hooks? But now I think I want to just hot glue some tabs on like you did! It seems pretty easy, but it looks fabulous! Thanks Meredith. =)

  7. I love your ideas. I first read them on Primitive and Proper and still think they are great! I recently scored big time at Hancock’s with red tag $16.99 fabric marked down to $5 a yard! Will be blogging about it soon, be watching for it!

  8. nora says:

    Love the shower curtain pillows too! My grandmother always buys her comforters and quilts at Home Goods and they never have the matching shams. If she sees one she likes in a king size, she’ll cut it down to a full or twin and use the excess for shams or curtains. I also love using old pillows (those crappy thin ones from the college bedding sets) for pillow inserts instead of buying new ones!

  9. Ches says:

    These are really great ideas, never thought about using a fitted sheet before. Tablecloths are also great to use as fabric for curtains. Heres a link to my tablecloth drapes

  10. LOVE IT! Now if I could just learn how to sew 🙂

  11. Terrific ideas. I recently saw such a pretty shower curtain at HG for clearance price of 7 bucks, that woulda made a great pillow!

  12. Latoya says:

    These are some really awesome tips! I have always saw nice patterns on pillows and shower curtains but I never thought to utilize them in other ways. I’m definitely going to give this a try! Please keep those tips coming!

  13. Kim says:

    Loving all these great ideas! My favorite is the pillow out of the placemats, so cute!

  14. Jan says:

    I have used tablecloths, placemats, napkins, and thrifted clothes for fabric sources, as well as sheets and bedspreads.

  15. M&S – This is such a great post. I’m finding it hard to find the right fabric for curtains for my dining room. This post inspires me to think outside of the box and open my mind to the linen, bedding, and bath aisles for inspiration.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. Katharine says:

    Since I can actually sew pillows (but not much else) I usually make my pillows. I love to change the look in my living room often. Four years ago I found the perfect pillows at Bed Bath and Beyond and bought them ready made for a good price. In my daughter’s room, several times, I have used shower curtains as a curtain for her closet door. I would fabric to the bottom or created extra long valances on the top. One time I sewed little butterflies, from, to her sheer white curtains in her bedroom. Thanks for your article. I’m keeping the ribbon tab idea, in my head, to make curtains. It makes so much sense. I came from to your dining room curtains, then I clicked on this link. Thanks for sharing. Katharine

  17. Afryka says:

    Just found you through Pinterest. I’m in Fayetteville, also, and love your home! Thanks for all of the great ideas. 🙂

  18. Carol says:

    I have used sheets for curtains, shower curtains, clothing, etc. for 40 years. The fact is, there is no better bargain for fabric than sheets. That much fabric for that little money?!? Sheets are a deal.
    When my girls were small, I’d take the floral sheets (much more popular 4 decades ago) that I wasn’t hanging in windows and make their summer clothes. Yes, everything they wore was the same fabric from sheets but I did use different patterns for sundresses, shirts, tops, etc. Easy wash and dry and held up to daily wear wonderfully well!!
    I just completed a project for church using sheets from Walmart. People are astounded that the curtains are “just sheets”.
    I usually just measure for the right length, hem, run a straight stitch the width of my rod in the large hem at the top to create a header, make a slit at the edge from the back and I’m done!
    Love using sheets! Glad I’m still in fashion!!

  19. Angelica Hedges says:

    You are a genius. I have been living with the curtains that were already in my house since I moved in 3 yrs ago. they are ugly. but don’t have the money to buy new ones. Now this I can do.

  20. Jennifer says:

    OMG I will never get off your website…. Thank you Thank you Thank you.. Cant wait to see the finished Guest Bathroom. That is what brought me to your site. I want to replace the pink backsplash in our master bath…

  21. Kim says:

    I found a rectangle tablecloth at TJ Maxx that was exactly what I wanted for valances on my kitchen windows so I from both ends and only had to sew the pocket for the top to slide on the rods and they are beautiful!

  22. Vunita says:

    Be very when using Mainstays sheets. They are now made with very very low grade fabric. Is. No longer 200 count. Look closely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *