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How to Decorate with Fabric Without Sewing a Stitch

No Sew Decorating Ideas Using Fabric

As a blogger I get to take part in many cool opportunities. One that I received recently was becoming a part of the Waverly Inspirations Network

I know you have heard of Waverly fabrics. Well, now they even have ribbon, paint and more that is all affordably sold a Walmart.

Every month I will receive a surprise box filled with Waverly Inspirations products. I will be challenged to create something pretty and useful out of the fabric and items in the box within a given theme each month.

Waverly-Inspirations-fabric-and-ribbon-from-Walmart

Here is what was in my box this month, the theme is “The Beach”.

Easy to make no sew decorating ideas

I tweaked the theme a tad…and made something with “The Lake” in mind. A vinyl covered tablecloth complete with weights to hold it in place when the wind starts to blow off the lake along with a pair of tie-on chair cushions, and some napkins. All made using no sew decorating techniques.

Painted-Naval-Academy-gifts

I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but we have wonderful neighbors. Their names are John and Diane.  They are both very handy and creative. Since we moved in they have made and given us many decorative items. John has a workshop filled with state of the art power tools and more. Diane has a craft room that looks like a small Michaels craft store :-) John is a Navy guy and made these for Ed using the US Naval Academy logo where Ed went to school.  Bluebirds are living in the birdhouse…very appropriate :-)

When I opened the Waverly Inspirations box that contained red, black and yellow fabrics, I wasn’t sure what to do since they are not colors that would coordinate with my decor, but then I looked out the window and knew exactly where they would coordinate…

my-neighbor's-pontoon-boat

 

…on John’s boat, the SS Poverty. It is the cutest boat on the lake. He took an old pontoon boat and transformed it with his DIY skills into an enclosed cabin boat that resembles a tug boat. It has a long bench in the stern and a metal cafe table and chairs on the bow. Inside is the helm and more seating.

_how-to-make-No-sew-napkins

Since I have been thinking about making something for him to thank him for the birdhouse and saw, I knew the anchor and wheel fabric would coordinate perfectly with his boat. He goes out to lunch every day on the boat and frequently takes others with him. A wipeable tablecloth for the cafe table came into my mind. I wanted to keep things simple and decided to make a tablecloth, napkins and..

outdoor-chair-cushion

…tie-on chair cushions without sewing a stitch.

All are so easy to make.

How to Decorate with Fabric without Sewing a Stitch

To make the three easy to make no sew decor projects I gathered a few of my no sew tools.

tools-needed-to-make-no-sew-decor

  • Pinking Shears – the easiest way to create a no sew hem on fabric.
  • Fabric Glue – Using an iron and fabric glue creates a hem that looks just like a sewn one.
  • Safety Pins – My go-to for covering cushions.
  • Large Grommets + Hammer – create a finished metal edged hole that makes it easy to attach straps, curtain rings, and more.

How to Make an Outdoor No Sew Waterproof Round Tablecloth with Weights

All the items I used to make all 3 no sew projects were bought at Walmart.

No-sew-outdoor-tablecloth

1. I wrote about how to make a round tablecloth in a previous post. You can find the tutorial here:  How to Make a Round Tablecloth

no sew decorating techniques that work

Wash and dry fabric to allow for shrinkage before cutting. Cut the fabric to size. Use regular scissors if covering the cloth with vinyl. You will use the pinking shears after you add the vinyl. Use pinking shears if you are not covering it with vinyl since this will be your final cut hem for the cloth.

iron-on-vinyl

2. After I had the fabric for the tablecloth cut to the right size, I fused iron-on gloss vinyl to it.

It is sold by the yard at Walmart.

how to fuse vinyl to fabric

3. To attach it to the fabric, you simply cut the vinyl to the length you need. Remove the paper backing and place the sticky side of the vinyl face down on the right side of the fabric. Press with your hands to get it into place. Place paper backing over it with the shiny side of the paper face down. Use a medium dry iron over the paper until the vinyl fuses. It takes a couple of seconds, then move all around until all the vinyl is fused.

how to fuse vinyl to fabric

If you need more than one length of vinyl to cover the size of your cloth, you can overlap the vinyl slightly.

For my round tablecloth, I ran one width of the vinyl over the middle section of the tablecloth and then added two more pieces to each side.  I overlapped them slightly. Once you press them, they fuse into the fabric and the seams flatten. Two side seams creates a seam free center and will make your cloth look better.

Cut along the edge of the fused fabric with pinking shears to create a finished edge and remove any excess vinyl.

How to Make Tablecloth Weights

nautical-tablecloth-fo-rsummer-decorating

supplies needed:

  • Large grommets
  • Grommet tool and hammer
  • Scissors
  • 3/4 ounce Steel Bass Casting Sinkers – found in the fishing rod aisle. I needed 8.
  • 3 rolls of Ribbon
  • 3/16 cotton cable cord

How to attach a grommet to fabric

  1. Cut a small hole in fabric where you want the center of the grommet to be. Insert the deep half of the grommet into the fabric from the right side.
  2. On the wrong side of the fabric, place the short grommet with the small spikes over the long ended grommet that has been pushed through the hole.
  3. Place and center the bottom grommet over the base part of the grommet tool.
  4. On a very solid surface. (I used my concrete garage floor.) Use a hammer and the stud end of the grommet tool to attach the grommet. It will need a few very strong strikes with the hammer so that the stem of the deeper half of the grommet rolls over the edge of the short grommet until closed and the two are melded together.

How to Make Weighted Ribbon Tassels

how to make tablecloth weights

  1. Cut three different colors of ribbon 12-inches long. Thread all three through a grommet that is attached to the fabric. String a sinker weight onto a 12-inch long piece of cable cord. Center it and then wrap the ends of the cord around the ribbon to create a tassel.

ribbon tassel tablecloth weight

2. Double knot the cord in the back. This will keep the ribbons in place.

tablecloth-weights

3. I don’t have a photo of this, but to help keep the cotton cord from unraveling, Dip the ends of the cord into fabric glue. This will keep them from unraveling. Once the glue is dry you can cut the ends where the glue is. If using nylon cord, you can melt the ends with the tip of a just-burnt-out match.

Variation:  The fishing line sinkers can also be:

  • sewn on
  • attached with an earring wire
  • attached with a paper clip

How to Make No Sew Fabric Napkins

supplies needed:

  • Fat quarter of fabric
  • Pinking Shears

how to make no fabric napkins

Fat quarters are pre-cut fabric that is used by quilters and crafters for small projects. They measure 18 x 24 inches and are the perfect size to use to make napkins.

All you have to do is press to remove the folded creases and then trim the edges with a pair of pinking shears.

How to Make No Sew Chair Cushion Covers

Picnic-on-a-boat

supplies needed:

  • Fabric
  • 1-inch thick foam
  • Marker
  • Heavy duty scissors for thick fabric
  • Safety pins
  • Ribbon:  2 – 14-inch long pieces

how to make a cushion for a chair

  1. These chair seats are shaped where the back is not as wide as the front. To make sure I would get a good fit, I turned the chair upside down and laid a piece of foam over it. I used a marker to trace the shape onto the foam.
  2. Cut out using a pair of scissors made for thick materials.

TIP: An electric knife that you use to carve a turkey also works well to cut foam.

how to make a no sew cushion cover

3. Pretend the cut foam is a gift box and the fabric is gift wrap. Wrap the foam as you would a gift, put instead of using tape to secure the giftwrap on the box, use safety pins.  Pull the fabric taut before pinning. Cut away any excess fabric.

how to attach a cushion to a chair without sewing

4. To create ties for the cushion. Cut 2, 20-inch long pieces of ribbon. Fold each in half and pin folded center of ribbon on the back underside corners of each cushion. Depending on the style of the chair, I find that pinning the ribbon on an angle in each underside corner of the cushion helps them fit over the rungs of a chair better.

no-sew-outdoor-chair-cushions

5. Tie each ribbon to the back of the chair.

All of these projects are easy and fast to make. It took me more time to write this post then it did to make all of them. :-)

If you like to decorate with fabric but don’t own a sewing machine now is the time to try one of these no sew decorating techniques. You will no longer have to do without having your favorite fabrics all through the house… on tables, cushions, pillows, window treatments and more.

To learn more no-sew decorating techniques, check out my No-Sew Decorating Project Gallery.

How to decorate with fabric without sewing a stitch! Super easy techniques that will have you making no sew decorative fabric treatments for all the rooms in your house. From seat cushions , tablecloths and more.

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36 Comments

  1. Diane! I love all of these projects!! Especially the vinyl tablecloth!
    I’m going to go to my Walmart and find everything I need to make this. I can see it on our happy hour table on our dock!
    Love the idea of boat hopping!!
    Enjoy lake loving!
    Ps I loved the NAVY mailbox and saw!!!

  2. That is the cutest pontoon boat I’ve ever seen! Love it! Your post inspired me to get out my pinking shears and do a couple of projects that I’ve been putting off. I have a moody sewing machine but I soldiered through and did some sewing, too. I’m going to keep that iron on vinyl in mind for some outdoor projects that I’d like to do – a tablecloth and some pillows for my table. Love reading about neighborly generosity, too.

    1. Hi Jenny – Earlier this Spring after we lived in our lake house, John asked if we would like to go out on the boat with them to a restaurant on the lake. I was so excited to go and see his boat close up. It is super cute and well outfitted inside the cabin. Where ever he goes, people always have questions for him.

      I have an old Singer sewing machine that works like a charm. My husband asked me a few years ago, why don’t you get a new one? I told him that the Singer works so well and newer machines can be finicky or I like what you called it…moody :-) I hope it wasn’t too moody while you were making your outdoor projects.

      1. I have two sewing machines and one of them is an old Singer that I picked up at my local thrift store. It always sewed like a dream for me. In between my projects, one of my adult kids had used it. The tension was way off, but I think I’ve got that back to a good place. The other issue I noticed was my white upper thread looks blackish after sewing. I’m wondering if it was over-oiled by the fore-mentioned crafter. My husband keeps my machines in running order and also oils my sewing machines for me, but right now he is out of town. Perhaps I can fix this myself. Do you have any suggestions for me, Diane?

  3. Thanks so much for the vinyl tip – iron-on vinyl, who knew? I have been looking for a tablecloth for my sunroom to go with cushions and pillows and this is perfect. I’m sure I’ll find other uses for it, too.

    1. Hi Maggie – Iron on vinyl is the best invention ever! I have used it for many projects. It is my first time using the Pellon brand. I usually use HeatnBond Iron On Vinyl. It is harder to find in stores, but you can get it online. It is great for smaller projects since it comes in a precut roll. Here are links to a few other ways I use it.

      https://inmyownstyle.com/2011/07/thrifty-findmaking-a-wicker-tray-usable.html

      https://inmyownstyle.com/2011/06/thrifty-thrifting-this-weeks-decorating-finds.html

      1. I have used wicker trays for everything, too, but never as a serving tray because of uneven bottom. You solved that problem for me, too! I will probably use plain white contact paper to cover the bottoms after I get the fabric scotch-taped securely in place, then just use 3-4 pieces reusable UHU tac mounting putty (available at art supply stores for mounting art work or art labels to walls without damaging the artwork or the wall) to anchor them to the wicker for stability. I can remove them, wipe them off and store them for next use. Double-sided foam tape would work, too, but is harder to remove if left on too long. Love your idea!

  4. Loved this post. How nice to bless your neighbors. I’m going to try the iron-on vinyl for a sink skirt in my utility room.

    1. Hi Michelle – The iron on vinyl for a sink skirt will work great. Once you make it, I am sure you will be looking for other ways to use it around your home.

  5. Holy Moly I love the conversion of your pontoon boat!!!!!! Super job! Now I need to convince my husband to do that also…..only we need to buy a pontoon boat first…..oh, and a house on the lake…..guess I can only continue to dream about it for now :-)

    Also, that tablecloth is perfect for that very cozy setting on the pontoon boat. Looks so inviting!!!!

    1. Hi Monica –

      The pontoon boat is not ours. It is my neighbors and his pride and joy. He goes out every day on it. He told us that he bought an old pontoon and took it apart so he could create the perfect boat for him.

      Living on a lake is a dream come true for us. We are loving it and enjoying every minute. I hope you get your dream too. :-) Keep dreaming…dreams do come true.

  6. My fav the weights, what a clever idea!
    I finally finished painting that bathroom. We used a darker green color and then
    rolled on a lighter color with a patterned roller. The hubby thought it was a little too dark,
    so my crafty daughter suggested we use a sea sponge and white paint to lighten it a bit.
    What a difference, it’s perfect now. My son-in-law said it looked like wall paper.
    Really proud lol.

    1. Hi Mary – Isn’t it the best feeling when you can step back and look at your DIY efforts… and then get complimented on them? Plus you did it in your own style. I hope you enjoy the room for many years to come.

    1. Hi Susan – My neighbor whose boat I made the tablecloth for, smiled big time when he saw I posted photos of it on my blog. It is his pride and joy.

  7. My little deck is languishing this summer. I have a new table and umbrella, but I’ve also been trying to find a couple more chairs like the ones in your picture. They aren’t normally hard to find, and I’m kicking myself for not buying extra when I had the chance.

    Better than that, I’m so happy to hear you have great neighbors right next door. It can be difficult to make connections in a spread-out community like yours is, and I’ve wondered how that was going. Sometimes you hit the jackpot, and I think you have!

    I have friends with pontoon boats at a couple of the lakes in my area, and they’d drool over your friend’s “remodel.”

    1. Hi Ellen – I think my neighbors got the table and chair set for their boat at Ace Hardware. You may want to look there if you have one near you.

      We feel very lucky to have such great neighbors. Yesterday everyone on our end of the street went out on the lake with our boats and then anchored and connected the boats side by side. We each brought food and drinks to share as everyone went from boat to boat. It was one big swim party out on the lake and quite a good time.

  8. You are amazing! I think your thank you gifts are amazing. I have to tell you, when I first saw John’s boat I thought to myself…oh no, your kitchen budget was a little weak, lol!!!

    1. Hi Melissa – John is the cutest guy. He and his wife have been retired for 15 years and are always working on something creative. He wants to buy an old golf cart now and make it look like a fire engine. :-)

    1. Thanks Debbie – I am not sure why companies like Pellon and HeatnBond don’t promote the iron-on vinyl more. It has so many uses and is so easy to use.

  9. Thank you so much for posting about the iron on vinyl. I had been looking for oilcloth tablecloths, they are expensive and none of the fabric selection appealed to me. I didn’t know an iron vinyl existed-just another reason I love your blog so much!
    Thanks Diane!

    1. Thanks Judy :-) – Iron-On vinyl is the best stuff. I mentioned to another reader that I am surprised that Pellon or HeatnBond don’t promote it more. It has so many uses and is so easy to use.

  10. what an adorable idea. It looks fabulous. We are moving to a wonderful community and I must keep the weighted table cloth in mind for our outdoor entertaining. :)

    1. Hi Tonya – Our neighborhood had a boat party out on the lake yesterday and John and Diane’s boat that I made the cloth for was the boat where all the food was placed. The tablecloth stayed perfectly in place all afternoon.

  11. Really fun and creative. Love the weights on the tablecloth. I shall tuck that idea in the back of my mind for a later use. Always fun to see what project you are completing. :)

    1. Thanks Doni – It is funny that I never even looked at a fishing weight before, but now that we live on a lake, I see them all over. The Bass sinkers are the ones that look the best..nice shape and shiny.

    1. Thanks Alyssa – I see the weights all over now that we live on a lake. Since they are shiny and have a nice shape I am trying to find ways to repurpose them. You may see them show up on my blog again with a new use. :-)

  12. Oh how I love your tablecloth, napkins and cushions! I think I may have to make a tablecloth and napkins for my patio table. And the weights….I just LOVE them!!! My hubby, Ron, would ADORE your neighbor’s boat! If we ever retire on the water (our dream for many years now) Ron said the only boat he would buy is a pontoon. He would love to have a cabin on it like your neighbors’ boat. It sounds like you and your neighbors are a perfect match! Enjoy your wonderful lake and crafty neighbors!

  13. Diane, this is some of the most charming decorating I have seen to date. :) Love all the details. I’ve never used the Pellon iron on vinyl and you make it so simple to follow. Thank you! Love the pontoon boat!!