Ideas to Recycle Silk and Cotton Curtains

Cushion covers are easily the most over-priced items on earth. Seriously. Every visit to a home store lures me to the soft furnishing section for want of possessing a good set of silk cushion covers: the ones in bright color printed with trendy design or the lovely, hand-embroidered ones or some plain yet elegant ones with wooden buttons or some painted ones with great detailing? But their price is a huge letdown. Something like these come in the range of Rs.150-Rs.300 per piece …

Silk Cushion Covers

Silk Cushion Covers

Even the less fancy ones such as these are not worth the price if you are up for a little DIY project.

Cotton cushion cover in yellow and blue

Cotton cushion cover in yellow and blue

If you’ve been dying for a change in decor for your living room or bed rooms, then the easiest thing to do is to change curtains or rearrange furniture. And if your curtains are a couple of years old, then it is perhaps times to replace and recycle them. If the cotton or silk curtains are in good condition, then this project might just be for you. There are a number of ways to recycle old curtains based on the material and purpose.

I had two ivory-colored cotton curtains that I used for this project.

Steps to transform curtains into cushion covers:

1. Firstly, wash the curtains, dry and iron them.

2. Remove the loops and buttons, if any, from the curtain.

3. Keep an existing cushion cover for measurement and cut along the sides. If your cover is 12″*12″, the cloth you’ll need to cut roughly is 13″*13″ for every piece. This will leave around 1/2″ inch on either side for stitching. Cut the corners in an angle to get crisp corners. If you’d like a flap-typed cover, then cut an additional 3 inches on side. Alternatively, you can use a zipper to secure the pillow. From one window curtain, I got about 4 cushion covers of 16″*16″ done.

4. Once you have cut out the cloth for the covers, stitch them to form a cover using a sewing machine or give it to a tailor. Tailors typically charge Rs. 10 for a cover like this.

6. Cut out 3 small rectangular strips for each cover. These strips will be stitched on one end to the open flap and the wooden buttons will go on the other end to secure the pillow. I reused the wooden buttons on my window curtain. If yours doesn’t have one, use a zipper.

This is the result of my project.

Curtain recycled as cushion cover

Curtain recycled as cushion cover

You can stitch four buttons on the front to form a square which will make it fancier. Or if have another curtain of a contrasting color like orange, use it as a seam around the cover.

Here are some more ideas to reuse old curtains:

1. Silk curtains will make for great cushion or pillow covers as well.

2. You can also use them as table runners.

3. With a little padding, they can be recycled into coasters or table place mats.

4. I prefer to use some really faded ones as kitchen towels.

5. The light-weight cotton curtains can be stitched into a fancy apron. (ideal if it is not a plain curtain)

Image Courtesy:

1. Kaboodle
2. Overstock

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