Soft FALL Touches
Cozy up your home with snuggly blankets, comfy cushions and other warming textiles
in autumn’s classic patterns and hues.
SIMPLE SCRIPT RUNNER
Colleen Pastoor of Lemon Thistle created this simple but heartwarming monogrammed runner from none other than a painter’s drop cloth! Use fabric scissors to cut a drop cloth to fit your table; leave enough overhang to accommodate an initial on both ends. Pull any loose threads to leave a clean fray. Iron the runner to remove any creases and create a smooth finish. Paint a scripted initial in the center of each end, a couple of inches up from the edge, and let dry.
GLOWING AUTUMN FIREPLACE
Dress your mantel and fireplace for the season with ideas from Christina Jenkins at The Frugal Homemaker. For her neutral fall display, she placed a fluffy cotton wreath over a paned window and set a pillow and blankets on the hearth below. Located safely inside the firebox, a tiered candle arrangement lends a golden glow to the whole scene.
BUTTONED-UP PLACE MAT
Design a place setting that’s ready for comfort food by adding an inset made with tea towels and buttons to a solidcolored place mat. Measure and cut a section of a fall-print tea towel to fit on top of your place mat, leaving an equal border on all sides. Allow extra fabric on each edge of the tea towel to turn under and create a seam. Sew the edges of the towel under to secure. Press both pieces with an iron. Secure the inset to the top of the place mat by sewing large wooden buttons on each of the four corners. To remove the inset, simply detach the buttons and store for later use.
WORN & WONDERFUL FLANNEL
Add some nostalgia to your beverage break with coasters featuring a longtime fall favorite—plaid flannel.
For each coaster, lightly sand the top and edges of an unfinished wooden plaque to remove any rough areas. Using a soft rag, rub the plaque with a 50/50 wash of white chalky-finish paint and water. When dry, use a damp soft cloth to apply a light coat of brown finishing wax. Measure and cut fabric to fit the top center portion of the plaque. Brush waterproof decoupage medium onto the wood, and then carefully set the fabric in place. Cover the fabric with waxed paper and smooth out any wrinkles or air pockets. Apply waterproof decoupage medium over the fabric and remaining wood surface of the coaster. When dry, spray or brush the coaster with a waterproof sealer, if desired, for additional water resistance.
FRINGED BLANKET ROLL
Warm up a neutral chair with this blanket-wrapped bolster pillow. Create an inner bolster from a 28" square of plaid blanket fabric. Fold in half, stitch the long edge together, and then turn to the right side. Fill with a roll of thick batting. Gather the ends closed and finish with large cover buttons. Measure and cut enough fringed blanket fabric to wrap around the bolster twice. The doubled fringe will drape over one end, and at the opposite edge, allow 6" extra to recreate the twisted fringe. Also allow a couple inches extra to fold the front edge under. Secure the fabric with 24" leather belts wrapped around the roll several inches in from each end.
FRAMED FALL BEAUTIES
Arrange silk leaves and faux acorns against autumn-hued plaid fabric to create a simple shadow-box grouping. Remove the backing from three shadow boxes. Cut fabric to cover each board, allowing extra on all sides for wrapping around the back. Apply double-sided tape on the outer edges of each board. Arrange the fabric over the front of each board and then fold the edges over to the back across the double-sided tape to secure. Cut and glue a length of dowel rod to the center of each leaf you’d like to display. Glue the back of the dowel to the center of the fabric on each board. Place each shadow-box frame facedown. Add acorns to the bottom ledge. Secure with hot glue, if desired. Replace the backing and secure with the original hardware. Rest the trio on a shelf or hang in a grouping on the wall.
INVITING ENTRY BENCH
As summer turns to fall, Jennifer Shugart at Derby Lane Dreams likes to introduce rich, autumnal colors all around her home. In her entryway, she brings the soothing colors and textures to a year-round wood bench with a soft plaid throw and a festive pillow and silk leaves arrayed around white pumpkins.
EASY SEAT MAKEOVER
Bring the warm feeling and classic look of a plaid blanket to your dining chair seats. The blankets or other textiles you choose should have a firm, tight weave to prevent the fabric from stretching out of shape when covering or sitting on the seat. Remove the seat and arrange the fabric over it. Cut the fabric to fit the seat with several inches extra to wrap to the underside. Staple in place, trim the excess fabric from the underside, and replace on the chair.
FALLING FELT LEAVES
Mimic the colorful leaves falling from the trees with felt and upholstery-fabric leaves cascading over a plain lampshade. Cut leaf shapes from felt, and then cut smaller leaves from upholstery fabric to layer over the felt. Sew the pieces together, mixing straight and zigzag stitches. Hold the leaves in place for the season by wrapping the shade with an autumn-hued felt-ball garland.
An oversize tassel made from an old fringed blanket can add a whimsical fall touch to a door handle or accent a curtain tieback.
STEP 1 For the tassel’s top, cut a hollow wooden egg in half. Drill a 1/4" hole in the top and then paint the piece gray. Let dry. Antique with dark wax.
STEP 2 Paint one large wooden bead gold and paint one smaller bead and several mini beads a pumpkin hue. Let dry. Antique with dark wax.
STEP 3 Cut a 2"-wide strip of blanket fabric with fringe attached. Roll up the strip and stitch to secure.
STEP 4 Thread a length of doubled cotton cord on a long upholstery needle. Send the needle up through the roll’s center, leaving several inches of cord to finish with a knot. Slide on the half-egg top, the large bead and the smaller bead. Make a loop, and secure with an overhand knot at the bead’s top. Go back through the beads and snug together. Tie an overhand knot between the large bead and the top. Pass the needle through the top and the fringe center. Tighten the assembly against the large bead, and double knot all the cords together. Trim the cords to hide in the fringe.
STEP 5 Stitch the mini beads at the fringe line.
STEP 6 Cut two strips of fabric and twist them together like a rope. Attach as a hanger for the tassel.
DESIGNED AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY COLLEEN PASTOOR OF LEMONTHISTLE.COM. DESIGNED AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY CHRISTINA JENKINS OF THEFRUGALHOMEMAKER.COM.
GREEN IDEA Use leftover fabric from the tea towel to create a napkin or napkin ring.
PLAN FIRST DESIGNED AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY JENNIFER SHUGART OF DERBYLANEDREAMS.COM.
Center a portion of your fabric’s pattern on each board before you reach for the scissors.
PATTERN BOOST Arrange the plaid on the diagonal rather than parallel to the seat’s edge.