Upcycled kitchen chairs painted in a variety of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints

Re-Using And Upcycling Old Fabrics In Interior Design

If you learn a few basic skills and use your imagination then you will find that there are plenty of ways to make use of old pieces of fabric to make your home into the interior design gem it was always meant to be. Re-using and upcycling projects of this kind are easier than you might think.

Why Re-Use And Upcycle Old Fabrics?

You may be asking yourself why you should re-use or upcycle old fabrics at all when it is so easy to get new ones. Well, it is important to remember that buying new not only costs money that you do not need to spend, it also costs the environment too. All fabric comes with a carbon cost – utilising polluting fossil fuels to grow and/or create. That cost is usually higher than most of us imagine. There is also the high water cost associated with growing and manufacture. Unfortunately, often humans suffer to create the fabrics too, either directly in fields and factories, or indirectly as a result of the pollution problems.

Of course another reason to re-use and upcycle old fabrics is that this will stop them from heading to landfill and contributing to the waste problem that society creates. We should always think twice before buying new. Fortunately, it is easy to create beautiful interior design schemes using old materials. Here are a few ideas:

Upcycled kitchen chairs painted in a variety of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints

How To Re-Use And Upcycle Old Fabrics:

Curtains and Blinds

With a few rudimentary sewing skills and ideally a sewing machine you can learn to run up some curtains or blinds quickly and easily. You can make a simple roller blind using almost any fabric and this is a simple project that even complete novices can tackle. If you do not have pieces of fabric large enough to cover your windows, you can still make a window covering by patchworking pieces together. Stripes of fabric work well for a blind or curtain and can look chic when paired well with other elements in a room. Doesn't match your décor? Fabrics can be painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in whichever shades you desire.

Cushion Covers

Cushion covers are another of the most simple projects for your interior design schemes. You can use old bedding, old clothes etc. to customise your living room, kitchen chairs or bedroom with comfy cushions. Old buttons, zips and other features from old clothes can also be incorporated. Strips of fabric can be used to tie cushions onto kitchen chairs to keep them in place.


Old chair upcycled with new upholstery

As you gain in confidence you will be able to tackle slightly more complicated projects. Old pieces of fabric from, for example, an old, ripped sofa, can be used to re-upholster a chair. Soon you will see how much can actually be re-used or upcycled rather than being sent to landfill.


Rugs are another way to make use of old fabrics. You could use small fabric scraps to make a rag rug, for example, or layer up a thicker fabric to make an area rug that you could customise with paintwork and stencils.

There are no rights and wrongs when it comes to re-using and upcycling, so use your imagination, some old fabrics and some Annie Sloan paints and see where they may take you.

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