Where to Find Free Decorating Fabric to Use In Your Home

Budget decorating idea on where to find free fabric to decorate your home. Hint… it may be something you already own. Don’t throw it out like I almost did!

wood deck with umbrella in metal stand

Last summer, one of the deck umbrellas on my deck broke. We fixed it as well as we could. This summer “our fix” broke and the umbrella was a goner.

Broken patio umbrella on two deck rocking chairs

Instead of throwing the whole thing in the trash, I threw away the mechanical frame and kept the durable Sunbrella fabric cover you see in the photo above.

What Did I Do With the Fabric?

I repurposed it into something perfect to decorate my kitchen for the fall season.

If you have read my blog for awhile you know I enjoy finding ways to reuse, recycle and repurpose items into decorative objects and decor.

It makes me feel good that I am saving money and helping the planet at the same time.

Dining table and chairs with blue and white chair seat cushions.

Back in the early summer, I removed the blue and white cushions from my dining chairs for the summer.

Birds eye view of kitchen table setting done in driftwood grey, white and green.

I then added white chair back slipcovers that I had made for my dining room table chairs in my previous home and left the seats cushion-less.

I made both the cushion covers and slipcovers and like to switch them out seasonally.

Repurposing Fabric

I repurposed the Sunbrella fabric from the umbrella into new neutral cushion covers for my kitchen chairs. The fabric is perfect for fall. It has a slight texture and weave that I love.

Driftwood colored rattan dining chair covers made by repurposing an item that was broken and headed for the trash.

I made these new cushion covers the same way I made the white and blue printed ones. You can find out how I made them in this post:

Up close image of new dining chair cushion covers made by repurposing fabric from a broken outdoor umbrella.

The umbrella was a large 9 ft. umbrella. After washing and measuring the fabric and figuring out how to cut it, I had just enough fabric to make 5 cushion covers with a little left over to maybe make something else.

I couldn’t be happier with how the new covers turned out.

Driftwood colored rattan dining chair covers made by repurposing an item that was broken and headed for the trash.

All they cost me was time to make, which was about 4 hours total. It felt nice to not have to spend a cent to make something new for my kitchen for fall.

Dining chair and table in kitchen showing new neutral cushion covers on chairs made from fabric from the fabric of a broken patio umbrella.

Pretty nice deal… Free fabric that if I hadn’t kept an open mind about, would have ended up in the trash.

Where to Find Free Fabric to Repurpose to Decorate Your Home

Besides using the fabric from a broken deck umbrella, there are many other fabrics around your home just waiting to be repurposed into new decor.

My $150 Kitchen Dining Table

My round kitchen table that the rattan dining chairs are around is going on 25 years old. I bought it at JC Penney back in the 90’s. It used to have a dark wood top and a black wrought iron base.

Seven years ago I decided to strip the top to reveal a lighter color and paint the wrought iron white.

How to cut and size bulletin board paper to make an alternative table cloth

Did you take notice of the paper table cloth alternative on the table in a few of the above photos in this post? It has held up better than I would have ever thought. It is starting to come up along the edges after 8 months. I will most likely remove the current piece and cut a new piece from the $20 roll I bought. It is the best table cloth to hide the beaten up veneer table top. It is so easy to wipe clean. I love it.

White painted metal table legs that have worn showing the black wrought iron underneath that gives the table a vintage look. Perfect for fall.

Another aging part of the table is the base. Here is a close up shot of how the paint has held up. It has worn. I thought about repainting it, but I don’t mind the way it looks, especially now that fall is coming. I like aged and vintage finishes. They are warm, cozy and casual… just the look I am going for. Nothing fussy or in need of a pedigree for me.

I have looked into buying a new table, but this one is the perfect size and shape for the space. I will only replace it someday if I find something that I absolutely love.

Decorating the Kitchen Dining Table For Fall

Fall dining table centerpiece using twigs and flowers from your yard.

I am still in pre-fall mode, but did bring in a few drying hydrangeas from my yard to place on the table. I shopped the house and found the twig vase I made a few years ago. It looks nice placed on a tree trunk slice.

Dining table decorated for fall using a twig vase and seeded glass candle holder.

And of course a candle. I love white unscented candles all the time, but for fall they are a must in the rooms where I spend the most time.

The seeded (bubble) drinking glass is made by Tag but can be hard to find. I have a collection that I use to both drink from and use as votive candle holders. Here are similar ones.

Dining chair and table in kitchen showing new neutral cushion covers on chairs made from fabric from the fabric of a broken patio umbrella.

So the next time you need fabric to make something decorative around your house and want to be thrifty, don’t forget to consider using the fabric from something you already own that you were about to throw in the trash. :-)

Kitchen table and chairs with new chair cushions. Text overlay says Free Resource for Decorating fabric

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  1. Aquaguard RO says:

    wonderful post thanks for sharing

  2. I love your beautiful chair covers! What a great re-use of materials. I was able to attend a “stuff the bag for $1” event at a local thrift shop. There wasn’t a lot left except for men’s shirts. I used a plaid one to recover my chandelier shades for holiday decorating and still had enough to cover two throw pillows. I used more shirts to make embroidered zipper pouches that I gave as gifts last Christmas. During this time of social distancing, I am finding myself have to “make do” more and more often. Happy Labor Day, Diane!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Bettsi – What a fun find! I love plaid! Covering your chandelier shades using it sounds so festive. Brilliant idea!

  3. Recently started cleaning EVERYTHING in my house and I came across this beautiful red drape set I used to use in my living room… now I want to get a sewing machine and create pillow covers for my bedroom. I love this idea, so obvious but yet not the first thing that came to my mind.

    Thank you for always sharing amazing advice!!


  4. I use yard sale and clearance drapes to make pillows all the time. One year I’d been looking for a big floral print on a red background to use as throw pillows on our sage couch. All the fabric at the fabric stores were $15/yd or more and I just couldn’t swing that. So I kept checking the clearance aisle at our local Walmart and found 4 drapery panels for $5 each. Each panel made 2 pillow covers, So I had a full set for the couches and a spare set in case one of them got stained or worn out.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Shannon – I LOVE hearing about readers decor finds on a budget. Sounds like you keep an open mind – that is how to find the best deals. Anything can be used. I am sure your friends and family always say to you… “you find the best stuff, I never do”. That is because they are not thinking out of the box. :-) I hope you are enjoying your new pillows for the style they bring you your couch, but also your creative thinking on display.

  5. Valarie Sanford says:

    Once again TY Diane for a wonderful post, you’re the best!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Valarie – :-)

  6. Wonderful! When looking at thrift/estate/garage sales, I always check out the curtains.

  7. 1960s girl says:

    Hello. The seat cushions look wonderful. What a great idea. Every time I reuse or repurpose something I already have, I feel good and I definitely think it comes from ready your blog. Thank you.

    1. 1960s girl says:

      I mean “reading” your blog!

  8. Cate Cooper says:

    Excellent Diane!!! Reuse, recycle, repurpose. Love your tree trunk base and the twig covered vase and how they go so well with your table cover! Super!!

  9. This is a great idea for re use!! The cushion covers look great and nobody would ever guess where they came from ?. Definitely a “thinking outside of the box” idea ?