Sometimes a girl just needs some fabric. You can use fabric for so much stuff, even if you don’t sew. Chair covers, tablecloths, throws, blankets, ottomans, pillowcases, table runners, dog crate covers. You name it, fabric can cover it. And it can totally change the look of something. It’s like paint for your furniture, except a lot less messy.
I’m going to start with the obvious option: thrift stores. Sewing people have a tendency to take on too many projects, and their fabric selection can tend to get out of hand. Or stores might donate the leftovers to the thrift store. Or, my favorite, someone had a huge project and bought too much fabric. Then you can get a huge chunk for practically nothing. I have a nice grey piece 5 yards long yearning to be something really cool. I found it at Goodwill for about $5. A steal, I know. It’s even a nice thick denim-ish piece, too. You just never know what you find at these places. You can even look at the sheets or bedding department for cool fabrics. That’s always the first place I look for project inspiration.
The second, less-obvious option is Harbor Freight. They have amazing deals on drop cloths, if you don’t mind it smelling like China for a few days. If you sign up for their emails and newsletters (or are just really nice to the person ringing you up), you can get 40% something almost all the time. Their drop cloths are huge and come in at a cool $12 for 3 yards. And, they’re a great neutral creamy color to boot. I love this stuff. I’ve used it to cover a huge dog crate, an ottoman, and a few other small projects around the house…all on $12.
And my favorite option of all is the Ikea As-Is bin. I always go straight to the as-is bin when I get there. I go the wrong way through the registers and see what Ikea wants to give me that day. And I always take my time to look through the fabric bin. It’s strangely an exhausting arm workout, but it’s oh-so-worth-it. They practically give away odd-shaped couch covers in luxurious upholstery fabric and hand out huge, continuous pieces of fabric in the form of duvet covers for super cheap. Sometimes, you just don’t want a seam running down the middle or sides, you know? My favorite score was a white 100% (timeless) linen duvet cover and shams, two tan linen pillowcases with two matching curtain panels. I paid a little more for the duvet cover (I think $25) that I would normally have, but come on, it’s linen. It’s the timeless fabric that has outlived generations. It gets softer with time and is oh-so-luxurious. But the pillowcases (still covering my couch pillows today) were a cool $3 each. So, if I didn’t want a tan linen pillowcase for $3, I could have totally given it a snip here and a snip there and turned it into something else totally cool like a set of linen napkins. And do you know how much that would cost you at a place like Pier1? Or even Etsy? I know.
So, there you have it. My fabric hunting on-the-cheap secrets. I hope I don’t see you there (or if I do, that you’re looking for something totally different). 😉