I think it’s safe to say that most of us out there would love to spend a decent amount of money on home furnishings. This is because when we put the time and effort into decorating our homes the finishing touches really set off our designs. We don’t want to feel that all the sweat, blood and tears that we put into decorating have gone to waste by half-heartedly accessorising our rooms.
So this is the point where we either sit down with a mug of coffee and our tablet to browse the internet for the finishing touches, or we wrap up in our coats and scarves and head for the shops. Now we all have our favourites, mine being Laura Ashley and Cath Kidston and we know that we will find exactly what we are looking for within just a few shops. But this is where we (or at least I) struggle, can I really justify spending that much money on cushions, throws, baskets and blinds? This is the point where budgeting feels like your worst enemy and your best friend all at the same time. You want to just throw caution to the wind and buy everything you see, but you don’t because you know that the prices are way too high and you will always look at your furnishings and wonder if they really were worth blowing the budget over (especially when your young children don’t seem to appreciate the cost of the cushions they have decided to fight with!). So is there another option?
Save Money by Making Your Own
Making your own home furnishings and accessories has turned into a real trend over the past year or two. This is because it is fun and easy to do. You can enjoy having full control of the fabrics and designs and you can be as adventurous or classic as you like. You also gain the satisfaction of knowing that you made it all yourself and saved money.
Now I can’t lie, I didn’t just wake up one morning with the confidence to just start making things. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful mother-in-law (who is fantastic at sewing and very creative) who tried to encourage me for years to start sewing. I would make the odd little thing with her, mostly bits for my boys. But it wasn’t until I got my own (and quite antique) sewing machine that I really took it on. The sewing machine I use was bought from a charity shop for only £10. My mother-in-law kindly took it apart and gave it a bit of a spring clean and it has been great. It isn’t a modern fancy one that can do every trick in the book, but if you are thinking of learning to sew don’t let the prices of some of these sewing machines put you off, look for a bargain to get you started and maybe one day treat yourself to a hi-tech sewing machine when you feel confident.
Once you feel ready to start you need to find yourself a good fabric shop. There are quite a lot of fabric shops to choose from where I live but after asking around I was told about a real little gem in the next town. It is a small warehouse, in a rundown part of the town but it is a real Aladdin’s cave. Stacked to the ceiling with beautiful fabrics (well most of them lol), a lot of them were the same fabrics that were in the posh shops but the prices are much better. I think that the most I have paid for fabric from Immanuels is £4 per metre, bargain! Finding fabric at the right price is essential for making this a money saving hobby. Just last week I made a roman blind for my bedroom. I bought 4 metres of fabric for £18, 4 metres is quite a lot to buy for one window but it is quite a large window with the house being a Victorian terraced, but it means that I have a load of fabric left over to accessorise my bedroom, I can make scatter cushions for the bed and even cover a few good sized baskets to tie it all in, plus it’s a great way to make beautiful storage solutions without having the hefty price tag. I also used a good quality table cloth for the lining that was picked up from the charity shop for just £3. The extra bits like the tape, cord, wooden rods and cleat came to £22. So in total my blind (excluding the extra fabric bought to accessories the room) cost just £30. For a bespoke roman blind I honestly don’t think that price can be beaten, even if you were to buy from slightly cheaper places like Dunelm Mill – another place I love.
Now that I have finished the blind for my bedroom, my next task is making another four roman blinds for my bay window in the dining room, argh! I must admit that the thought of making four is quite daunting but once I get started I’ll be well on my way. This window should have cost a fortune to buy fabric for but I couldn’t believe it when I found (hiding in the corner of the back room at Immanuels) some gorgeous fabric for only £1 per metre! I had to buy 10 metres to be on the safe side but I couldn’t have been more excited for finding such a massive bargain 🙂 so it just shows that it pays to hunt around for the right fabric shop.
As soon as you walk into a room full of fabric you are instantly inspired. You will have ideas for cushion covers, blankets, curtains and the list goes on.
So why not give it a try, just start small and work your way up. Before you know it your home will be full of beautiful furnishings that you can proudly say you made yourself. 🙂
What things have you made yourself that you are bursting with pride over?