Recovering Furniture With Pillow Shams

November 27, 2015



Today I started decorating for Christmas. I'm far from finished. I'm taking my time, concentrating on the details and weeding out old pieces that I no longer want or need. I am going for a simple, rustic aesthetic, just like last year, so lots of little makeovers are taking place around here. Some are solely for the holidays, others will last long into the new year.

This chair is getting the best of both...a holiday makeover with a technique that I will use on it over and over again in the coming months to suit the seasons and my mood.

Back in the merry month of May, I posted about my desire to recover this chair. I found it in a neighbor's trash years ago. I loved its low profile and small frame, so I dragged it home with me. I had the cushions professionally constructed and covered to coordinate with my old plaid living room sofas. 

When I replaced those pretties with the plain white couches that are in the room now, I suddenly felt as if the chair needed an update, too. I was going to cover the cushions with this buffalo check, but as the months ticked by, it fell lower and lower on my to do list.

Then recently, I used some of the material to redo my kitchen chair and well, that was the end of that plan.


Tonight, while I was hanging ornaments on the tree, the pattern of that fabric started to bother me again. It's lovely, it's just too busy for me right now. I thought about running out to the fabric store to get something to recover it...then I remembered it was Black Friday.

And that I have never slipcovered anything this involved before.

And that I'm a very lazy decorator...


...but once I get an idea in my head, I just can't let it go.

 Design OCD. It's a problem.

So, I started thinking about how I could cheat my way to a quick cover and remembered a pair of red velvet pillow shams I had stashed in the linen closet. They came with a red quilt I used to put on my bed during the holidays, but the shams are king sized and even though we have a king bed, we don't use king pillows.

I'm not sure why I held on to them for so long, but I'm glad that I did.

I grabbed them and got to work. I needed to slit one of seams on the back of the sham to allow for the thickness of the cushion. Opening the back provided enough give to accommodate the depth of the seat.


I tucked the bottom cushion inside the sham and then placed it back in the chair. The other sham did not need to be cut. The top cushion is thinner and fit just fine.


I dropped the cushions back in the frame. The fit is very snug and a little tucking secured the fabric. Since the cushions are completely encased in the shams, they shouldn't move that much and if they do that's fine. I'm not a perfectionist.

I love the new monochromatic look. It's perfect for the Christmas season.

Even better,  I have two white matelasse shams all ready to go when spring rolls around and I'm ready to lighten up the room. In between, who knows what I'll do. I always see great shams in the clearance aisle.

Of course, that's a while away.



For now, I'll just enjoy my new view, as I decorate the rest of the room.

Have you started decorating for the holidays yet?



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60 comments:

  1. Oh Kim, you're brilliant!! Looks wonderful. I brought down the boxes for my fall decor and packed away one metal-framed. The fall plaid seat cushions are in a stack waiting for a bag and a place to stash them. Does that count for 'starting Christmas decorating?' lol

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    1. Sure it does, Nancy...baby steps, right? ;) And thanks!!

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  2. Kim,
    This is awesome. I love that you will be able to use different pillow covers. The many possibilities. Hope your Thanksgiving was great. Enjoy the rest of the week end.
    Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! I’m so happy I remembered that those shams were tucked away!

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  3. That turned out great! Very festive for the season! I'm finishing up my decorating this weekend......I hope!

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    1. Thanks Rhonda! I'm hoping to finish up this weekend, too!

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  4. Your chair looks so pretty Kim! Pillow shams are a great solution--I used one as a seat cover, while draping and tucking lace and vintage linens on the rest of an arm chair. It's worked great and I love the idea of being able to change it so easily. We're having a rainy weekend--perfect to finish decorating!

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    1. That sounds very pretty, Cecilia! I am really happy with the way it turned out. Glad to hear that yours has worked out well!

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  5. Aren't you smart! I love when things work out perfectly like this! So many possibilities too! I can't wait to decorate for Christmas!

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    1. Thanks Lisa. Laziness is a great muse! ;)

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  6. Hi Kim,
    What a great idea to use the shams, genius! I love that you rescued this chair and gave it a new life, and now it is so pretty with the new covers!
    I am almost done decorating, last weeks snow storm was the driving force for me to get everything done early, while I was stuck inside! ;)
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Kimberley

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    1. Our weather has been unseasonably mild, so we have been taking advantage of the great outdoors. It's hard to get into the decorating mood when it's so warm. Working on it! ;)

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  7. How cool is that? And how fortunate that the cushions fit into the shams so perfectly. Looks great! The only thing I have done is put up my cat proof tree. I have it in my head now to get Christmas/red/winter bedding. I have always loved it and it would not match my room, but I want it! We'll see where that goes!

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    1. I say go for it, AnnMarie. I haven’t used mine in a few years, but I just may add it to the mix for bit this season! :)

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  8. I say we chalk this one up for the 'see, I told you it's a good idea to keep things' folder. ;)

    xxx

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    1. Exactly…so glad I kept these! :)

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  9. A lovely job with the chair, Kim.
    I also like to take my time with fun projects, give myself time to think and enjoy the journey.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. That’s my favorite part about Christmas crafting, Amalia…the journey! xo

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  10. it's beautiful!!!!!!!!

    you are so adept at these things!!!!!!

    lucky you!!!! :-)

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    1. Thanks Tessa. This was a wing it kind of project, but so far, so good! :)

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  11. That looks so cute; I could imagine Mrs. Santa sitting in it having a cup of tea ! :)

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  12. Hi Kim, Love this and been doing it for years too. When the shams happen to fit, it works like a charm. Love your before and after. Have a nice weekend and enjoy being home! xo

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    1. Thanks! Luckily, I have teeny tiny furniture in this teeny tiny house! ;) xo

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  13. What a great idea! Gotta start looking for shams!!

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    1. Thanks Kathy! I was very lucky to have some on hand.

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  14. You are braver than me! I'd be afraid to take scissors to shams!
    Brenda

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    1. Trust me, Brenda, if they were ones I used regularly, I would not have cut them! ;)

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  15. Ha, you are a lazy but clever decorator Kim!! Pure genius to think of the pillow shams! And they look fantastic!! I'va also started slowly decorating for Christmas. But this year I'm being intentional about how I do it, trying to weed out a lot of outdated Christmas decorations or get rid of colors I don't really like. Slow and steady. ANd of course The Nutcracker is playing at full volume!

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    1. I love The Nutcracker, Mary! Perfect decorating music!

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  16. It looks fabulous! You're a genius! thanks

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    1. Thank you Mary....and I am going to share your "genius" comment with my kids! ;)

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  17. Replies
    1. Thanks Carol. Of course, if I had your talent and could recover the chair like you did with your couch...I probably would! ;-)

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  18. Aren't you the clever one! Great idea!

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    1. Thanks Kristi! It was an easy one.

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  19. Oh Kim, this is clever on so many levels. I love that you were able to use the shams rather than tossing them out when they weren't used on your bed. I love that that you were able to add some holiday glamour and decadence without spending so much that you feel you have to use it all year because it cost so much. I love the scalloped ruffled edges and that it will fold up small to tuck away for next year or next time. You have got me thinking about the old sofa in my living room with the loose cushions...

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    1. Thanks so much, Lorri! You are so sweet! This chair has been bugging me for a while. If the fabric store had been open when I got the decorating bug, the story may have ended differently, but I love the way it turned out...for free and in 10 minutes!! Good luck with your sofa!

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  20. Brilliant, my friend. Simply brilliant! See, this is exactly why I hoard old textiles in patterns and colors I love. There's always a way to reuse them. God bless your OCD! LOL Love the chair's new look! xo

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    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! I have a bucket of pretty fabric in my craft area and occasionally I pull something out and use pieces. This is the first time I repurposed shams though and it was so easy...and fun!! xo

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  21. Perfect! You always have the most clever ideas. I've always loved using shams on the couch or chairs in place of throw pillows - so squishy and cozy. Can't wait to see the rest of your holiday decorating, Kim.

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    1. Thank you, Susan. Great idea...throw pillow shams...hmmm! ;)

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  22. Looks great Kim! I like the type of fabric you chose! I try to repurpose a lot too even during the holidays since I don't want to spend much at all with all the gifts I need to buy. :-)

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    1. I agree, Vel, gifts are the priority over here, too!

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  23. Kim, wowee, I love it. What a fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing and making me think non-stop. Ha.

    Barb

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    1. Thanks Barb! I just got lucky this time around! Ha!! :)

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  24. Absolutely awesome, Kim!!! I'm going to be looking at my chairs....and my shams....in a whole new light!!

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  25. Okay, that is absolutely gorgeous!! I would have never thought of that...it turned out so beautiful! You did an awesome job and I love the color!! :-)

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    1. It never dawned on me until that moment either, Benita. I'm so glad I kept them!!

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  26. What a clever idea and the chair looks so pretty! I'm sitting looking at a chair I've said I would cover for year....so wish this would work on mine. So, keeping things, is a good thing!

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    1. It is a good thing Cathy! If I didn't care about wrecking the fabric underneath, I would've used my fusible web trick, maybe that would work on your chair if shams do not? Good luck!

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  27. Wow Kim, the chair looks great and what a clever idea to change the cushion!
    Thanks for sharing this at Cooking and Crafting with J&J.

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    1. Thanks Julie...easy fix, that's for sure! :)

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  28. That is such a clever idea, Kim! The chair is adorable!

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    1. Thank you, Carol. I had a lucky brainstorm moment!

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  29. Well, look at you........the chair is perfect!!!! What a smart lady!
    Blessings,
    J

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    1. Thanks J! I got lucky with this one. ;)

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  30. This is such a neat idea!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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