It's nearly time for white sales to begin. While these sales offer us great deals on linens, they offer so much more for the more creative consumer. By far, bed sheets are the most valuable item on sale this month. There's so much more than can be done with them than putting them on a bed.
Keep an eye on sheet prices. Some stores offer the same price for full, queen, and king. When the purpose of the sheets is going to be more creative than fitting a mattress, the king sheets offer more fabric per dollar. Similarly, sales may ask a slightly higher price for king sheets in comparison to a doubles, but the added 22 inches in width and 5 inches in length in the king may make it a better deal.
It doesn't take a sewing mastermind to create a basic set of curtains. Get that idea out of your head, and the task becomes much easier. Search the internet for easy curtain patterns and directions; try http://interiordec.about.com or www.ehow.com. A simple set of panels can be made from a set of bed sheets. Paired with some sheers or lined with some heavier fabric, a set of matching curtains can be made to coordinate with your existing bed ensemble.
Children's sheets come in a variety of characters who can adorn windows. For those who are experienced sewers, valances and other exciting features can be added to a room for the price of a clearance set of sheets.
Ever want to have a great coordinating dining room set? Try a set of sheets to do the trick. Depending on the size of your table, a double sheet set should do.
For the tablecloth, use either the flat or fitted sheet. With an oval or circular table, the fitted sheet will work well for the tablecloth since the corners need to be cut. Lay the sheet over the tabletop and mark where the tablecloth should hang. Then, cut the sheet two inches larger than the desired tablecloth. Sew a hem around the edge, and add a cheap fabric lining if desired. (Lining can be gotten in the clearance bins as either fabric yards, flannel sheets, or a bed blanket. Something densely woven in a neutral tone is ideal, such as felt or flannel.) Feel free to adorn the hanging edge of the cloth with yards of fringe.
Placemats can be made from pillow cases. Each pillowcase will make one mat. Purchase plain vinyl placemats for less than a dollar. Slide each placemat inside the pillowcase. Then, sew shut the open end of the case. Sew the case close to the vinyl placemat if needed to secure it if the pillowcase is too big; this will create an edge to the placemat, making it look more tailored.
The remaining sheet in the set (either the flat or the fitted) can be used to make cloth napkins or extra placemats if needed. (Extra pillowcases are often expensive to purchase separately.) Cut the sheet to the size of the pillowcase plus some extra for seaming and sew three sides to make extra pillowcases for placemats. Extra fabric can also be cut into squares and hemmed to make cloth napkins.
Want the matching comforter for less than the expensive store cost? Make a duvet. Buy two extra flat sheets for your bedding set. Then, lay the sheets on top of one another, good sides facing each other. Sew three sides of the sheets. Now, purchase a plain blanket or use one you already have and lay it inside the casing you've made with the sheets. Sew the fourth side together. To hold the inner blanket in place, sew a grid through both sides of the duvet with blending thread in tic-tac-toe style.
About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at http://www.kellybutterbaugh.com
If you are buying sheets on clearance and they are out of matching pillowcases, buy an extra flat sheet and make your own cases. This is also a great way to make some extra cases for those long "body pillows" to match your sheet set.
Sheet fabric is nice and sturdy and makes great tote bags - consider making simple totes for taking to the grocery store, a book tote for your child out of their favorite character fabric, and more.
Shower curtains are easy to make. Simply put button holes in the top hem for the rings to go through, and measure how long you need the curtain - cut off and turn up the bottom. extra could be used to trim matching towels or curtains.
And all these things can be done with thrifted sheets and pillowcases as well -vintage patterns are very popular right now.
I hardly ever throw out sheets - some of the older one are great for me in summer as I have allergies and I can use them to make simple caftan styl garments for around the house. The really old ones get used for duster or dust covers or protectors when painting - as aboe I have used new ones for curtains and throws for the lounge - bit of trimming to swank then up a bit - a ruffle here and a ribbon there
When my kids were young, they would want movie theme sheet sets. (Toy Story, Disney movies etc.) They never used the top sheet. So, I would trim it up into curtains for their window and make a matching set. A lot cheaper than buying movie theme curtains! Now that they are older, and no movie themes, we still do it at times with colors of sheet sets they like. And you can do all sorts of curtain styles, not just long panels.
I've used sheets for so many things. I even created a set of matching cushions for patio furniture, with several large flat sheets purchased at Wal-Mart!
I too have made many curtains, shower curtains and table cloths from sheets. But most recently I buy sheet sets that are on sale or clearance and use them for th quilts I am making for my grandchildren who graduate from high school (each one gets a twin size sheet for college). I use the flat for the back of the quilt, give them the fitted and pillow case to match. They love them. I have never had a sheet wear any different that buying fabric, and find it much cheaper. If a king or queen size is cheaper than the twin I buy it and resize for my use. The fabric is used for other things. I also took some old sheets and stenciled on them and hung over the storage space under my downstairs stairwell and they hide all the stuff that is there.
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