Category Archives: Accessories

7 DIY Rug Options for Renters Or the Noncommittal

When you’re decorating a room, rugs are a fantastic way to make a huge impact on a space – the bigger, the better.  However, the prices of large rugs can intimidate a renter who’s decorating a temporary space, or a homeowner who is on a tight budget.

Now that I’m trying to finally decorate our basement TV room, I’m on the hunt for an inexpensive, large rug.  I’m happy to invest in a beautiful piece of furniture, but since we are renting, now is not the time to splurge on a fancy, over-sized rug.  That led me to search for DIY and budget options – and I was thrilled by the many results I found.

7 DIY Rug Options for Renters

1.  Painted Cloth Rugs – This option seems to be a popular one with DIY bloggers.  You find an inexpensive, plain rug, then either tape off a pattern or use a stencil when you paint it.  I haven’t found much info on how well a painted rug holds up to foot traffic, but it sure looks like a fun project that could yield great results if done well.

This painted rug by Sarah M Dorsey Designs is my absolute favorite:

Sarah of Diddle Dumpling painted her white Ikea rug using a DIY stencil. It looks fantastic!

2.  Painted Jute or Sisal Rugs - Jute Rugs are another great candidate for the paint treatment.  Below, Marian of Mustard Seed Interiors gave a simple jute rug a classy upgrade with a simple white border.

3.  Sharpie Sketched Rug – This is a newer twist on the painted rug concept.   Katie of Upcycled Treasures created a great West Elm knockoff for only $25 by using a sharpie to create the rug’s pattern.

4. Fabric Scrap Floorcloth – This funky rug is essentially a small quilt!  The blogger at Craftapple turned it into into a sturdy rug with a few simple supplies.  Skeptical? I was too, until I read how she did it.

5. DIY Fabric Yardage Rug – Camila of Effortless Style sewed a chevron rug out of fabric and rug backing.  I think this is a great option for renters who are stuck with dingy wall-to-wall carpet in living rooms or bedrooms.  A simple DIY rug like this would pull the room together if placed under or a bed or coffee table, and you don’t have to worry about heavy wear since it would sit over carpeting.

6. Remnant Cutout Rug – Finally, you could get an inexpensive remnant from a wall-to-wall carpet store and have it bound.  But why do that when you could cut out a fun shape instead, like they did at Offbeat Home?  A simple wavy edge could kick things up a notch.

7.  Overdyed Vintage Rug – I’ve saved my favorite DIY rug option for last.  To transform an old, unfashionable rug, you dye it a rich jewel or dark tone.  The former pattern peeks through, but the wash of bold color helps overcome the outdated pattern.  Be sure to use a natural fiber rug (cotton or wool)  to ensure it drinks up the dye evenly.

This rug at Paperblog is my inspiration – and you’ll never believe what it looked like in the “before” image!

I also love how this one by Kristen F Davis Designs turned out:

For our basement solution, I’m leaning towards that last option – overdying a vintage rug.  Now it’s time to hit the thrift store in search of an old, unloved rug!  In the mean time, you can find more rug and floor covering ideas on my Rugs & Floors Pinterest Board.

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Simple Pleasures: Clean Sheets & a Sydney Hale Candle

Simple Pleasures is a new quasi-series.  I want to make it extra clear that this series will never be sponsored.  It’s just me sharing something that makes me happy.  Because life is too short not to find happiness in the little things.

The other night I came home from a winery outing / small business group meeting, spent some time watching a movie, and then decided I wanted to get cozy in bed and do some writing. I’ve been writing a lot more lately, a lot of which isn’t shared on this blog.  Maybe someday.

But I digress.

Simple Pleasures Sydney Hale-1

I lit one of my scented candles, the Lemon & Olive Blossom by Sydney Hale, and was about to climb into bed with my laptop when I thought “hmm. . . it’s been a week. . . I should change the sheets.”

We only have two sets of sheets – our winter flannels and our summer cottons, because I learned that having fewer sets means you can’t procrastinate on washing or folding the laundry as much. Plus, it leaves more room in the linen closet for things like fun throw pillows by Janery ;)

So with clean sheets on the bed, an absolutely heavenly-smelling scented candle burning on the night table, and two big cuddly dogs, I settled in for an awesome hour of writing and thinking.

And that’s when I thought to myself how sometimes the little things can really make a moment.

Simple Pleasures Sydney Hale-3

Let’s chat about the candle for a minute, because I think it should go straight to your Chrsistmas list.  And they aren’t paying me to say this.  I buy the candles with my own money, and they don’t know who I am.

The Sydney Hale candles cost $28 each.

What?? Twenty-eight dollars?

Yeah, I know.  That’s a lot of money for a candle.

I thought so too the first time I bought one.  I don’t even remember why I bought it.  But then I burned it in my house, and it smelled so amazing.  Amazing in a natural, real way, not amazing in a fake chemical way.  And it burns for 50 hours.  I haven’t timed it precisely, but I have burned this specific candle a lot for two months now and it’s still going strong.

I’m telling you, if you light one of these and then climb into a nice clean bed with a good book, you’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven.  And if you think about it, 56 cents an hour for an amazing, naturally scented candle isn’t so bad.

Simple Pleasures Sydney Hale-2

But speaking of sheets, there’s something about the feel of fresh, clean sheets when you climb into bed.  They feel 200% better than even day-old sheets.  Why is that??

I think if I ever win the lottery, I’ll put a fancy candle in every room, and hire someone to put clean sheets on my bed every day. 

What’s one of your simple pleasures?

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DIY Fancy Flour Sack Tea Towel Tutorial | The Borrowed Abode

Stitch It: Embellished Flour Sack Towels

If you’re searching for an easy but appreciated DIY hostess gift, this fancy flour sack towel tutorial may be just the thing!

Because these can be made with or without a sewing machine, I thought they’d be the perfect first tutorial to share in the Stitch It series that I’ve been wanting to write for ages.

I whipped these up at Christmas as a gift, but if you just switch up the fabric, you can make these flour sack towels for any season or color palette.

DIY Fancy Flour Sack Tea Towel Tutorial | The Borrowed Abode

I didn’t take photos of the process because I was busy just trying to get them made – but I think it’s simple enough that you can follow these easy steps:

Materials Needed:

  • Flour sack towel
  • Cotton quilting fabric – at least 1″ wider than your flour sack towel
  • Pom-Pom Trim or other trim of your choice – at least 1″ wider than your flour sack towel
  • Iron-on hem tape
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine – OR – needle and thread

Let’s Get Stitching:

1.  Measure the width flour sack towel and cut a 5″ strip of patterned fabric that is at least 1″ wider than your flour sack towel.  For example:  My towels are 30″ wide, so I cut my patterned fabric strips at  31″ x 5″.

2.  Using the iron-on hem tape, adhere the fabric strip to the towel at the spot where you want it to go. Make sure you center the strip so that a 1/2 inch of fabric sticks out at each side of the towel.

  • Sewing Machine Version: I just use a few pieces of iron-on hem tape to help hold the strip in place for machine sewing.
  • No Sew Version: Use extra-strong hem tape to adhere all the edges. Iron on high heat with steam for best adhesion.  See photo below for where to use the tape.

Embellished Tea Towel Tutorial 2 | The Borrowed Abode

3.  Once the strip is adhered to the front, turn the towel over.  Fold the flaps of patterned fabric over and use more iron-on hem tape to adhere them to the back of the towel. Before I iron them on, I like to trim them to be nice and neat, just the width of the towel’s hem.  (See detail photo below.)

Embellished Tea Towels Back Side | The Borrowed Abode

4. Repeat this iron-on hem tape process to adhere the fun trim (pom-poms or whatever trim you choose) to the bottom edge of the towel. Don’t forget to fold over and trim the ends again.   Again, if you aren’t going to use a sewing machine, iron and steam this carefully to get a good adhesion.

5. Stitch it!

  • Sewing Machine Version:  Use a regular presser foot on your machine, and set the machine to a medium-width and length zig-zag or overlock stitch.  Sew along every edge of the patterned fabric to attach it well and prevent fraying.
  • No-Sew Version:  If you’ve used heavy-duty hem tape and have ironed it really well with steam, it technically should be fine.  However, I’d recommend threading a needle and just putting a simple running stitch along every edge.  This is easy to do while watching TV, etc.

6:  Iron it and admire your work!Embellished Tea Towels 4 | The Borrowed Abode

I hope you found this tutorial useful.  Please, if you have any questions or are confused, let me know in the comments below! I promise I’ll answer – if not today, within a few days. :)

New to sewing and wondering what supplies you need?  Check out my fabric bunting tutorial for a list of my must-have sewing supplies.

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