Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Look of Linen for Less

Linen is my absolute favorite textile, both in home decor and fashion.  Linen pants are super comfortable and somehow I always feel thinner when I wear them.  And, regardless of what fabric store I'm shopping in, I always pick up linen fabrics first, whether I plan on it or not.  Although linen is classic and beautiful, it also comes with a high price tag.  Most linen fabrics, even linen blend fabrics, are over $20 a yard, if not much more.  I decided to find an alternative to spending this much money but still have something that looked similar to linen.

Look at this fabric:

Now, look at this one:

Which one is real linen?  It's hard to tell, isn't it?  The second is the non-linen, which I used for drapery panels in the Family Room.  My original plan was to go with burlap drapes, which I had seen in a Ballard Designs catalog, something like these


But, my daughter broke out with a rash when she touched it, so that was a no go.  I searched the internet for alternatives, because I really just wanted a plain, neutral colored fabric, with no pattern on it.  Muslin was recommended for drapes, but it was a bit too lightweight for me.

I browsed through the utility fabric section at Joann's one day and discovered Osnaburg (I think that's what it's called).  It's a Roc Ion fabric, and it only costs $3.99/yard.  This was perfect!  It had the textured look of linen, the neutral color I was looking for, and with my coupon that week I only had to pay (wait a minute while I get out my calculator...) $2.40/yard.  When you need to purchase 15 yards, this is a great deal!

These panels were easy to make.  Because I hate cutting fabric, as mentioned in my Easy Drapery Panels post, I made each panel as wide as the fabric so I only had to cut it the length that I needed.  I sewed a small hem down the side of each panel, made a rod pocket at the top, and then used stitch witchery (actually my mom did this part for me) to make the hem.

I love that the sunlight comes in through the fabric, they hang nicely, the wind blows them just right when the windows are open, and they are the simple drapes I wanted.

You don't have to spend a lot of money on fabric.  Be creative and utilize other fabrics to get what you want while being a frugal, yet tasteful, decorator.

Linking to:

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage


  1. These look great! It's hard to tell that it's not actually linen! I love the neutral color. I'm thinking that's what I want to do in the living room of our next house

  2. I will have to check that section out... I thought I knew every corner of Joanns... ha! Thanks for the tip! I love linen too!!

    Tiffany {Living Savvy}

  3. Again a great job! I'm telling you I'm going to try to make curtains by the end of 2012 LOL!

  4. These are wonderful~ Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday! :)


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