Quick Knits & Crafts, Sewing & Fabric Crafts

Home Decor Craft: “Is it worth it? Let me work it” Edition

In the last year, I did three home decor projects for our apartment: a window shade, a rag rug, and two bench cushions.

Here, I will evaluate each craft in the style of Missy Elliott’s “Work It.” (Yes, the post title is a Missy Elliott reference)

 

Roll-up paper window shade

Worth it? Yes.2018-08-09 09.33.51

I spent about $3 to purchase the paper panel curtain from a thrift store and the screw eyes from the hardware store. The panel curtain is Anno Stra from Ikea but it looks like they don’t carry it anymore—they have similar panels for about $10. I already had the string on hand.

Time wise, it only took me about 15 to 20 minutes, start to finish.

Work it. 

2018-08-09 09.34.19      2018-08-09 09.47.04

I watched several videos to get ideas for installation. Ultimately I went with Bob Bee’s DIY Roll Up Blinds as my model. Screw eyes and string work well for a lightweight panel, and the paper curtain rolls up with ease.

There are two main differences between my window shade and the video version. One, instead of a wood piece at the top, I incorporated the cardboard tube at the end of the panel roll to keep things, well, rolling. Two, instead of using zip ties at the top, I used a staple gun to staple to panel to the cardboard roll. It faces the wall, so it won’t be visible.

Put my thing down flip it and reverse it. 

I like how the shade provides privacy (bathroom faces a busy street) while still letting in a lot of natural light. Here it is in the dark:

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Sheet yarn rag rug

Worth it? No.

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I’m happy with the end result, but there is no way I would make this rug again.

Sure, the cost was right—I already owned this Full-sized fitted sheet and I wasn’t going to use it again after it ripped in the wash. But it was time consuming and not at all fun to knit.

Work it. 

2017-08-03 12.17.06 Cutting up a sheet into strips and winding it into a continuous ball takes a surprising amount work. There are plenty of video tutorials for making continuous strips (here’s one with a kitty!). But it took me almost two hours. I don’t have a rotary cutter, and I was using a fitted sheet so I had to work around the gathered corners. When I took the above photo, I still thought I might do a second sheet. I did not.

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I tried several crochet and knit stitches before deciding that linen stitch would make a nice, woven, flat surface for a rug that wouldn’t curl. But it’s a time consuming stitch, and the weight of the rug on the huge needles slowed me down. I had trouble keeping the yarn on the needles, and I had to cut a lot of little threads that unravelled and gummed up  the stitches.

Put my thing down flip it and reverse it. 

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Look closely at this photo. Notice that the top half doesn’t match the bottom. That’s because at some point half way through, I started the next row of linen stitch on the wrong side. And so I made the second half backwards. Ti esrever dna ti pilf, nwod gniht ym tup indeed.

I think it looks alright, as the switch happens right in the middle. But one side of the stitch is smoother than the other, and when I stand on it in bare feet, only half of my feet are on the smooth side.

Fabric bench cushions

Worth it? Yes.

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When moving into an apartment with a built-in kitchen bench, I knew I wanted to sew removable, custom-fit bench cushions. I’m glad I did.

I didn’t purchase anything to make them, as I’ve had this Ikea fabric for ages.  I sewed these last year, just a few days before moving. I think it took me about four hours.

Work it. 

After measuring the bench, I cut up an old foam mattress topper to the exact dimensions to create a kind of pillow form. Then I followed a simple pattern in my Sewing 101 book to make zippered “pillows” to fit. I even had red and blue zippers to match the fabric.

Here’s the only caveat. The foam mattress topper I used is a little too squishy. It provides only light cushioning. And getting the pillow forms inside the cushions was a challenge to say the least. I don’t remove them often. So those zippers don’t see much use.

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Put my thing down flip it and reverse it.

On the bright side, when the cushions get a bit misshapen, I just flip them over or swap the top one for the bottom one.

Here’s one last photo of the bench cushions, along with a bird print pillow and tree print chair I also made.2017-09-13 16.03.33

TL;DR . If you’re going to work it, make sure it’s worth it. If you put your thing down flip it and reverse it, try to make sure you do so intentionally!

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