5 Crafty Ways to Add a Homespun Feel to Your Dining Room

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Since Pinterest took off, homeowners everywhere have been obsessing over that shabby-chic, handmade look that the site is famous for. We’re tired of clean-cut, modernist lines and want something that’s a little rough at the edges, plus of course the satisfaction that comes from doing something yourself – and no, putting the flat-packed table together you just bought in Ikea doesn’t count! If you’re on a bit of a budget and can’t afford to start from scratch, here are a few simple ways you can add a homespun touch to your current dining room decor...

1. Painted Plates
Remember painting paper plates in school? Now you can do a much more grown-up version and create some tastefully decorated plates for your equally tasty dinners. Coat your plates with ceramic primer (this helps the paint to bond, so it won’t rub off) and once dry, get designing using a fine brush and non-toxic (this is important!) paint. To increase durability, wait until dry and then add a clear top layer to seal, again in a non-toxic varnish.

2. Textured Tablecloth
The dining table is undoubtedly the centerpiece of any dining room, so decorating such a large expanse of surface space adds instant interest to the room! You only need very basic sewing skills to create your own tablecloth, since it’s effectively just a circle, rectangle, oval or square with hemmed edges all the way around. Why not go one step further and create a table runner in a contrasting color or fabric (jacquard looks super luxurious!) to go on top?

3. Crocheted Chairs
Yarn bombing’ is probably not for the beginner crafter, but if you’ve got a weekend to spare and plenty of wool and lacquer or paint to hand then this is a fantastic way to turn cheap dining chairs into truly unique and eye-catching works of art. It takes a lot of patience, but the method itself is pretty simple. Simply wrap your yarn very tightly around the chair in a design of your choice and top with a layer of clear lacquer or colored paint. Leave to dry completely and repeat, building up the layers until your design is finished!

4. Comfy Cushions
If you’ve got expensive wooden chairs you don’t want to modify or cover up completely, why not top them with comfy, handmade seat cushions instead? They’re easily removable if you change the design of your dining room too. Cushions are super simple to make – just lay your two pieces of fabric together with the decorative sides facing inwards and sew around three sides. Turn inside out and slide a sheet of thick foam stuffing that’s been cut to size into the ‘pocket’, before hand-stitching the fourth side closed. If your chairs have post-style backs, add two ribbons in two of the corners to tie around the posts and keep the seat in place. If your sewing skills are a little more advanced, how about trying your hand at quilted seat covers?

5. Colorful Cutlery
It’s not only your plates you can liven up with a lick of paint – you can decorate your cutlery too! Be sure to use a non-toxic, non water-soluble paint and it’s best to decorate just the handles, leaving the actual part you eat with free from paint.Wooden spoons and other wooden cutlery are simple to paint, but if you want to adorn your metal knives and forks with pretty designs you’ll need to use a couple of coats of primer underneath your paint layer to help the paint stick, and to reduce corrosion.If you’re still worried about eating with cutlery that’s been painted, why not turn your creations into funky, rustic-inspired wall decor instead?

Do you have any more DIY, crafty ideas to add a homespun feel to your dining room? Please share them below!

Estelle Page is an interior designer and prolific blogger for Great Furniture Trading, with a passion for crafting and DIY.

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