Sunday, April 24, 2011

Upcycled Bed Sheets Become Blinds and a Braided Rug

Last summer I purchased three king sized, white, flat bed sheets for two dollars each.  That's a bargain especially considering the prices of new fabric these days!  I thought I could use the sheets in various sewing projects. 
I was making a set of blinds for my dining room and needed a white backing fabric.  The sheets worked perfectly, or half of one sheet worked perfectly. The blinds were super easy to make.  I just cut the inner and outer fabric pieces to size, sewed them together, sewed two ribbon ties for each blind and sewed a pocked for the tension rod.  I found the tension rods at the Thrift Center for $1.99 each.  Not bad considering they are $6 brand new.  The black and white fabric was given to me by my very generous mother-in-law.  In the future I plan on using sheets for the decorative fabric as well.  

The total cost of these blinds was about $5 altogether!

There is no fancy dancy system to lower and raise these blinds.  I simply roll them up to the desired length and tie them up with the ribbon.  It works just fine.

One up, one down :)
Both up, the usual position.
The color scheme for my dining room was to be black and white that way the accent colors could be changed with the seasons.  I had the blinds made so the next order of business was a rug.  Well my dining table is a small, round, black table with four black chairs.  I decided that a round rug would be really cute in the small space, so I started pricing rugs. YIKES!!! Rugs are expensive. 
I researched the web for easy rug ideas and found a tremendous amount of information and inspiration.  I decided to make a braided rug out of the remaining sheets using  this tutorial from Check it out if your interested.  It is much more informative than this post :)  I ripped the sheets into two and a half inch strip that ran the lenght of the sheet.  Then I braided all the pieces together.  I ended up with a small, heavy bundle of braided sheet. 
The next step was to sew the braids into a circular rug. I started sewing the braids together by hand, but in the middle of a Florida summer that is a HOT job, so I used my machine for this and I doubt it will ever forgive me :)  My shoulders were also very upset.  The bigger the rug gets the heavier and more cumbersome it becomes. 

I broke the sewing up by doing just a little bit each day. 

The rug is not finished because it does not cover all the floor space under the table. 

It has been a long process because I was hired for a very demanding teaching job while working on this project and it was put on the back burner for months.  I hope to finish it this summer.  I need at least two more sheets to finish the rug.  In the end I will have spent maybe ten dollars on the whole project but a whole lot of time.  This doesn't bother me because I am more than happy to have more time than money :)