With Spring showers visiting us in the hollow these past couple of weeks, I have formally initiated Operation “Spring Cleaning” in our farmhouse. Btw, an old treadle sewing machine similar to this one shown above has been on my farmhouse wishlist for as long as I can remember. I just haven’t found the right one that works and is within our budget. (sigh)
We experience power outages from time to time during the different seasons in the hollow, so it would be nice to have a manually powered sewing machine for just in case we need it. I have to say that I do love my Bernina 380 that my husband gave me several birthdays ago. It has gotten a lot of use over the years. From couch slipcovers like this one here to seasonal crafts like this here. Once upon a time, I even sewed felt play food for our littles’ play kitchen, but I will save that for another future post. (smile)
With our Pre-Spring cleaning and organizing-the-farmhouse in full effect, I was able to check this interim mudroom fix off the project list. So, I thought I would share the simple step-by-step that I took to hide the “not-so-pretty storage bins” and shoes with fabric that I already had on hand. Don’t you just love those DiY projects where you don’t have to spend a thing and it doesn’t take more than a day to complete?! Yes, me too!
HERE ARE THE SUPPLIES I USED FOR THIS SIMPLE DIY PROJECT
-Drop cloth (you can purchase these from Lowe’s or Home Depot or online here)
-Sewing Machine (optional)
-Serger (optional, I have this Janome brand here)
-Staple gun with staples (I have this electric one here, but you can also use a manual one like this here)
-Rotary Cutter (optional, I have had this one here for years)
-Self-healing mat (I have one similar to this one here)
-Sharp scissors (I love to use my vintage style gardening scissors from Frog Goes to Market on Etsy here)
The “NO SEW” version of this project is even easier. You simply iron the hem together with the hem double-sided tape and follow the same steps mentioned above.
-Hem tape (you can find this at any craft or fabric store or online here)
-Staple gun with staples
Take the measurements (height and length) of the area that you will be hiding and add a minimum of 2 inches to allow for seam allowance. If you would like the pleated look like mine above, you will need to add at least double (plus or minus) the fabric horizontally to make up for the folded portion of the fabric. There is no exact science to this and eye-balling is allowed in my simplified book. (wink) I honestly did both and adjusted as I went along and it turned out great.
Cut and serge (optional) to size. Once you have your raw pieces cut, you can serge the raw edge or fold two times and then sew a straight stitch with your sewing machine. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the run so that the thread doesn’t unravel. I am self-taught in a lot of things around the homestead and so I apologize for not knowing the proper sewing nomenclature, but this project is so simple and fast that it doesn’t really matter. (smile)
After I serged the ends, I folded the hem and sewed a straight edge to secure the neat fold. If you are not using a serger, you can fold the hem twice so that no raw edges are exposed.
BONUS TIP: Before I begin a sewing project, I always like to make sure that my needle is still sharp and that I have a couple extra bobbin spools ready to be used. Nothing worse than being almost done with your project, only to have to break your momentum to stop and prepare another bobbin.
After you have all your edges sewn and ready, next is the fun part. Take your staple gun and get stapling. Simply take your fabric and place your first piece on one side of the furniture that you are stapling to and affix it to the inside corner, then make a small pleat (make sure to keep your pleats going in the same direction to make for a cleaner look, but note that it is not necessary because it will all be hidden under the piece) and staple again. Repeat until you get to the end. You will want to make adjustments as you go and try to evenly space your staples and pleats, but perfection is not what we are after here. We are just looking for a simple and budget-friendly way to hide some of our storage and/or clutter.
BONUS TIP: If you leave an extra inch on the total height of the fabric, you can fold the top piece and adjust the length as needed without having to re-sew or make a new piece. This can save a lot of time and headache if the measurements are way off or your piece does not have straight lines.
I used the same technique for the shoe bench that my father built us two or three summers ago. Shoes can be an eyesore and cause visual clutter, so this was a great way to spruce up this farmhouse bench without a lot of time or effort.
Eventually, we will be upgrading the floors, ceiling, adding cabinets, counters, and shelves for more storage solutions. If you have an area in your home that needs a little facelift, but a new project is not in the budget, I hope that you will consider this simple technique and give it a whirl. You may be pleasantly surprised as I was.
Until next time, keep it simple,
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