Score of the Week! (#13)

In my last ‘score of the week’ post, I explored the first part to my thrift shopping technique (having an idea of what you are looking for) so naturally today, I will be discussing the second half of that with you.  This ‘part B’ of my technique is a willingness to work with and adapt what you find in order to fit your needs.  Sometimes you are aware of these required changes when you purchase your thrifted items (“Say, this would be great if I spray painted it orange!), sometimes these required changes come as a surprise once you get your new treasure home and unwrapped (“Oh no, this clock face has a little crack in it!”).Thrifted Linens

I’ve got a real example or two for you– I’ve been accumulating things for the guest room I’m working on, and I picked up a bundle of peach linens that were oddly marked as a “double.”  I thought that I would use the fitted sheet on the box springs in case I couldn’t locate a dust ruffle (still having trouble with that), and have the pillowcases for the use on the bed.  This leaves the flat sheet open for grabs as fabric in projects elsewhere in the space.   The next day I also got a dark chocolate dust ruffle that didn’t have a listed size on either tag, although in the moment, I did have the boy help me hold it open in the store to at least deduce that it was not a twin.  It isn’t, its bigger.

I took them home and put them through my *super wash,* which involves lots of white vinegar and couple of TBSP of blue dawn.  You would be amazed at the way the wash water looks before it drains on loads like that!  Ew!  Anyway, I paid only a few bucks for each bundle, so I accepted the risk that my size estimate be off and that I may have to reconfigure some things.  I know that at the very least I have some nice fabric to use.  Well, in this case, I guess I’m reconfiguring all things because none of it was what I thought it was….

Um.  What *Is* A Double?

Um. What *Is* A Double?

Rather than wrestle the fitted sheet straight onto the box springs, I decided to test it out in the mattress first, and um, I’m glad I did.  This thing is NOT a full.  This is it stretched within an inch of its life over the pillowtop.  Its weird too, because the tag on this very fitted sheet, the tag sticking out right there in the pic, says its a “double” and I guess I don’t really know what that is.  I thought it was the same as a full?  Nope.  Not gonna work.

Oh, and those pillowcases?  It was only one, and it was stained *inside* the folded part where they’d tagged through it, so I didn’t notice that it was unusable.   Too yucky for me to allow my dear guests to put their head on, I’m afraid, even after the super wash.  And anyway, what would I do with only one for my double bed anyway?

The dark brown dust ruffle has the opposite problem, it is too big, it must be a king size.  If it were ruffled I would simply cut it up the middle and take some of the excess out, but it isn’t ruffled, its tailored with all these lovely pleats and gussets and junk.  Ugh.  Me simply messing with it will ruin the proportions.  It’ll need a complete makeover if I use it.  But on the plus side, its reeeeally nice fabric, its worth using at least, if I never find something I can just slap on there.  Its getting to seem like that may be too easy.

Sooo, now I have assorted linens in the right color and price range, but apparently way off on size.  I can either try again or reconfigure.  These type of situations happen to me on a fairly regular basis… I can either give the stuff back to the thrift store and call it a wash, or I can be creative and adapt what I have into what I want.  Most often, all this takes is a little more time; supplies I already have in my hefty crafty stash; and some ingenuity.  Sometimes you do have to keep hunting to fill in the new gaps, but more on that in a minute.

My Crafted Cases

My Crafted Cases

I had snagged a half a yard of three different fabrics while at JoAnn’s the last time I was through there, (I go through the Mod Podge like Paula Deen goes through ‘ohil,’ ya’ll)  thinking I would use them for throw pillows or doll dresses or something– that Miss Revlon knockoff needs some hawt outfits!  Then all of this size awkwardness went down, and I decided to repurpose the peach sheets.  I did a couple of searches for quick pillowcase tutorials and grabbed my bonus yardage for the mix.

Ohmigod, you guys, this tutorial!!!  I love, love, love it!  This is the perfect project if you’re just learning the sewing basics, it is that easy– and the finished product is so elegant, no one would ever guess if you’re just starting or an old pro.  I am over the moon excited about making a few more of these!  I’m so glad I discovered it on the first bedroom of the house, we will all have custom pillowcases now.

The Fancy Shams

The Fancy Shams

I used the peach fitted sheet for the main body of these pillowcases, adding an accent strip of a chocolate cotton with a feathery design, and a cuff of tone-on-tone peach that is faaabulous!  I really love this fabric for a couple of reasons:  the first is that it has both of the attractive mid-range peaches, a pinky-salmon one on top of the more orangesicle apricot; and the second is that the design echos the look of the apricot and white vintage fifties tablecloth that I used to make a pair of shams.  That would be the shams on the right– these are the ones that I mentioned I don’t want guests sleeping directly on?  (I’m thinking of adding some button embellishments.  ‘Cause you know, ball fringe and ruffles aren’t enough!)  Anyway, I suspect that my little swirly birdie-cuffed pillowcases are going to look stellar next to these.  I can’t wait to get it all finished up and assembled together on the bed…  Hopefully it’ll look as great in action as it does in my head!

Clock, Before

Clock, Before

As for the dust ruffle, I may keep looking for another that is the correct size; I may repair and dye the cream one my friend Amber gave me; I may alter this chocolately number to fit my full-sized mattress.  I’m undecided at this point.  I suspect that if I’ve done all other parts of this room without finding the right match at a thrift shop, I’ll break down and sew something.  Usually sewing is a last resort for me!

I have one more example of fixing up thrifted finds– a faux milk glass hobnail clock (its actually plastic, of course) I bought for a couple of bucks not long ago.  It had a small crack in the clear plastic dome butt I decided was still worth the risk.   I’ve got a bit of a hobnail addiction….  anyway, I’ve been using these coral flower decals all over the room, but this is the actual project they were purchased for!  I worked on this clock in *exactly* the same way I’d done the one  for the downstairs bathroom a few months ago–  The only difference being that I actually placed some of the decals on the surface of the plastic, in an attempt to cover the crack.  The clock has now been on the wall with a battery in it for a week, and it keeps perfect time!  And I think it looks better than ever….

Clock, After

Clock, After

You’ve got to recognize the occasional diamond in the rough.  You’ve got to be willing to work with the things you find!  I know it may be hard to jump and get something that isn’t quite right, but I have found over the years that transforming things into the *perfect* item for you and your space creates a look that cannot be duplicated with considerably more money and a full box store….  Start with a project that can be spray painted if your sewing skills are shaky, or decoupage is super-rewarding and easy to pick up.  Even if it doesn’t succeed in transforming to meet your expectations, you only spent a few dollars on that item.   And every so often, these ‘failures’ end up being perfection in another problem area of the home with just a few more tweaks….

What have you made over lately?  I’d love to see it!  Do you have something you’ve thrifted that you don’t know how to fix?  Ask me!  I’ll do my best to help you figure out how to repurpose your items to fit your needs!  Logging in is easy, you can use facebook or one of your other already-active accounts!


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